Tuesday 18 February 2014

Back into service

This months tube strike saw the need to put lots of extras out on to London's bus network to enhance the service in areas where the tube would not be working. Special dispensation was given to put vintage vehicles into service as well for the duration of the strikes to help cope with the demand. Ensign was the main contractor for this and were looking after extras on the 25/29/38/91 and 257 routes. The 25/29 and 38 were the routes that got the heritage buses, with the 38 getting RM/RML and RT, the 25 RT/Metrobus/FleetlinePD3 and the 29s RM and RT.

The weather was foul for most of both days, so we are grateful for the photographers who recorded the day and kindly shared their images with us.

RT3232 was new to Romford for the Green Line services that ran into Aldgate, there cannot be many buses that 64 years later are covering the same piece of road in regular all day service. The vintage vehicles were working shorts from Stratford to Holborn and is seen here in a photo by Graham Smith being passed by a Wrights bodied Gemini a regular on the 25s today.

Also on the 25s was RTL453 seen here in Richard Godfrey's shot at Stratford with one of our articulated Volvos also on the 25s in the background. The 25s was one of the busiest routes and at peak times the extra capacity was a welcome and necessary addition.

Another of Richard's photos shows RT4421 pulling away with a good load also on the 25s.

And for something completely different how about Haydn Davies' shot of the ex Southend Fleetline also on the 25s. These vehicles were sometimes used on the X1 service running Southend to London when their were vehicle shortages or ironically train strikes meaning extra capacity was required, so another vehicle that would have plied its trade into Aldgate!

As we are still a little busy out with emergency rail due to flooding and landslips I will endeavour to try and get some more restoration update pictures next week.



  1. I bet a load of people were surprised to see the vintage buses runnig on their route. I know what I would have rather had a ride on, but the again perhaps I am biased towards AEC, what with working on and driving the GWR/AEC Railcar at Didcot. And I know that the AEC and Leyland buses are probably more reliable than the modern buses. I think that the long runs would have done the vintage buses a world of good, and I would have thought that they would have felt better to drive at the end of the day. What a great turn out

  2. What good times, putting on a vintage running day and getting paid handsomely for it! The stuff of dreams, courtesy of Boris and Bob.