London Bus Museum to operate 60 year-old RT-family buses over full route11
Route 11 is London’s most famous bus route, passing the Bank of England, St Paul’s Cathedral, Fleet Street, Strand, Trafalgar Square, Whitehall, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Victoria, Sloane Square and Chelsea’s Kings Road.
Before the famous Routemaster came the RT, the first of which ran in London before the second world war, 75 years ago in August 1939. After the war, London Transport built up the largest standardised bus fleet in the world, and by the mid-1950s virtually every bus operating in London was an RT. In total, almost 7,000 were built, continuing to serve London alongside the later Routemaster up to 1979.
London Bus Museum will operate a fleet of RTs on route 11 on Sunday 2 November 2014, during shopping hours between 10 and 5. They will run alongside the New Routemasters which now operate the route. Buses will run from Liverpool Street Station via Trafalgar Square and the Houses of Parliament to Chelsea, with some buses running on to Hammersmith.
All are over 60 years old and restored to the highest standards. Each will be operated by the traditional driver and conductor team, and commemorative tickets will be issued. All heritage buses will be free, except the original 1939 prototype ‘RT1’ which will charge a fare of £5. This 75-year old has been restored to the distinctive livery in which it was launched to the press in the summer of 1939 as ‘London’s new RT bus’.
The full timetable, identifying which bus is planned to operate each journey, is here. RT1 will run as GM11, duplicated by RTL139 as R5. The journeys are shown in the timetable under running number 5. The buses scheduled for each running number are as follows:
|Garage code||Running number||Bus scheduled|
|GM||20||RT3238 or 3435|
The published timetable, which also appears on some bus stops along the route, is here.
Late changes can be found on www.red-rf.com
In addition, it is hoped to run the following extra services:
- A through journey from Liverpool St at 1110 to Hammersmith Brook Green, arriving at 1238;
- An additional departure from Hammersmith Brook Green at 1247 to Aldwych, arriving 1408;
- An additional departure from Aldwych at 1646 to Fulham Salisbury, arriving 1745;
- Late journeys with three buses, continuing until 2130-2200.
Subject to all the usual caveats, we hope to have in service four RTWs, four RTLs and ten RTs plus RT1. All three types worked alongside each other on the route on Saturdays in the mid-fifties. A vehicle working diagram should be available here later this week.
RT1 will work the 0917 from Hammersmith Brook Green, the 1046 and 1236 from Aldwych, the 1138 and 1328 from Chelsea Worlds End and the 1440 from Liverpool St to Hammersmith.
The service is operated by London Bus Museum and reserves the right to make timetable or other changes due to operational requirements.
All buses will provide a free service, except for RT1 which will charge a flat fare of £5 and will be duplicated by a free bus.