and other
Bus Stuff

The London Transport Routemaster Bus

What time is it now?

Colin Curtis, last of the Chiswick engineers responsible for the development of the Routemaster (and my old Guv'nor), passed away on 18 September 2012. My personal obituary is here.

Celebrate ROUTEMASTER 60 with our fine A4 artworks here

Click here for a Potted History of the Routemaster bus

This is the Home Page Memorabilia Page Routemaster Artwork Page Routemaster Electrical Wiring Diagrams Order Form Page Contact us at

Here you can browse and buy specialist items essential for everyone who runs, maintains or repairs London's most famous Red Double-Decker - and for everyone who is simply fascinated with what goes on under the bonnet!

Click here to see other items essential to transport enthusiasts
NEWLY AVAILABLE - a dimensioned drawing of the Routemaster showing four sides, deck plans and cross-section; and a fascinating and informative Vehicle Statistics Chart. Both available on our Memorabilia page.

The New Routemaster Maintenance Manual
THE PAPER MANUAL IS NOW OUT OF PRINT, but the electronic version is available on CD-ROM or by email.
The New Routemaster Maintenance Manual
Over 250 pages with over 90 illustrations and diagrams covering the mechanical, body and electrical servicing of this world-famous London Bus. Covers AEC, Leyland and Iveco engined versions. Endorsed by London Transport and drawn from original materials, compiled by London Transport's Mechanical Engineer - Development.

PDF format, file size 6.6Mb.

ISBN-10: 0-95261-780-3
ISBN-13: 978-0-95261-780-8

A Cream Band publication by C & G Walker

Price £48.00
The mechanical and body cutaway artworks on the Routemaster Artwork page would make a wonderful addition to this manual!

To order this or any other item on this page, please print and complete the
Order Form, or send an email to TheRMmanual[at]

AEC/Leyland Wiring Diagram

AEC / Leyland Routemaster Wiring Diagram

Click to view sample
Using original London Transport information, the Wiring Diagram has been completely re-drawn and validated. Compiled by London Transport's Mechanical Engineer - Development and produced using CAD technology for clarity and accuracy, it represents the entire electrical system on AEC and Leyland-engined Routemasters, as they were in the 1970's and '80's when early charging equipment had been replaced by alternators with built-in rectifiers. The diagram shows all cable sizes and colours, and sleeve codes.
Full A0-plus size (840mm x 1270mm).
Price £15.00.

Wiring Diagrams for Cummins-engined
IVECO-engined RMs
- Available NOW!
Similar to the above diagram, the Cummins and the IVECO diagrams show the bus after installation of the new engine and after refurbishment in the 1990s, including fluorescent lighting.
Full A0 size (840mm x 1180mm).
Price £15.00 each.

To order this or any other item on this page, please print and complete the
Order Form, or send an email to TheRMmanual[at]
AEC Routemaster Lubrication

A3-size table listing the more-than 40 essential lubrication points, with frequencies and recommended lubricants.
Plastic encapsulated for long life
in your workshop.
Only available from C & G Walker.
Price £5.75
Routemaster Lubrication Chart
Fitter's Pocket Cards
Really handy reference information on a card, encased in wipe-clean plastic for long life in the workshop.
The Hydraulic card shows Brake System diagrams and test pressures for both the Lockheed and the Clayton systems, and on the other side a Brake Fault Diagnosis Chart.
The Electrical card features a diagram of the Flag Unit, Test Switch and Pressure Switch wiring (a frequent source of confusion and many test failures), while on the reverse are details of how to convert from Automatic to Semi-automatic gear control, by bridging out the Automatic Control Panel.
Size 150mm x 100mm approx.
Price £3.00 each.

To order this or any other item on this page, please print and complete the Order Form, or send an email to TheRMmanual[at]
Hydraulic and Electrical Pocket Cards
Potted history:
The Routemaster double-deck bus was designed in the 1950s by London Transport, AEC (the engine and chassis maker) and PRV (Park Royal Vehicles, the body maker) to replace the AEC Regent RT type. Experimental vehicles took to the road in 1954, and full production began in 1959.
The bus used the AEC AV590 or Leyland O.600 diesel engine, an automatic gearbox by SCG (Self-Change Gears Ltd), power hydraulic brakes by Lockheed or Clayton Dewandre, and electrical equipment by CAV and Simms. A total of over 2700 were built in several variants, apart from the standard RM: the longer RML, coach versions RMC and RCL for the London Country operations, and the forward-entrance RMA for the London-to-Heathrow Airport shuttle service (a similar type being operated in Newcastle by Northern General Transport).
Heavy overhauls were carried out at Chiswick and Aldenham Works until these facilities closed. Surplus London Routemasters began to be sold in the 1980s, but in 1993 the remaining fleet was extensively refurbished, with new Cummins or IVECO engines, fluorescent lighting and other improvements. After the RM's 50th Anniversary celebrations in 2004 the number of Routemasters in service was reduced to just a handful, currently (2008) running on Route 9 and Route 15.
Colin Curtis
I worked for Colin Curtis from 1973 until his retirement from London Buses in 1988 - from the trials and tribulations of the Daimler Fleetline, through the development of the Metrobus and Titan, to the refurbishment of his beloved Routemaster. For most of that time Colin managed the Development Office at Chiswick, instilling, by turns, enthusiasm and scepticism for his projects and experiments. But for all his single-minded, some would say 'workaholic', support for the RM, he was always a jovial and likeable man, full of boyish glee at every victory.

In the mid-1950s he had nursed the four prototype Routemasters into service, and helped turn the concept into a production-ready design. That experience convinced him of the superiority of light-weight, sub-frame based, simple vehicles, and of the benefits of hydraulic braking over the air brakes of the time. Observing the weaknesses of the Fleetline and others in London conditions he worked tirelessly with MCW and with Leyland to design the next generation of one-man double-deckers. The robustness and light weight particularly of the Leyland Titan were due as much to Colin's efforts as those of the manufacturer's engineers. Unfortunately the troublesome hydraulic braking systems on both buses were also at his insistence; but in fairness their serious leakage problems arose through manufacturing quality-versus-price arguments rather than failures of design principles.

Colin remained convinced of the advantages of hydraulic power, and experimented with hydraulic drives for alternators, doors, and even windscreen wipers. But it was the more mundane work of solving day-to-day maintenance and reliability problems that occupied most of Colin's time - gearbox piston seal materials, brake lining alternatives to asbestos, fire and accident investigations, amongst many others. He and his team (along with the highly-skilled Experiment Shop fitters, who were remarkably tolerant of some of our more outlandish schemes) struggled against old Spanish customs and accountants to raise the standards of design and maintenance across manufacturers, garages and in Chiswick Works, with at least a modicum of success: I doubt very much if the Routemaster would have survived as far as refurbishment without Colin Curtis' hand on the wheel.

Graham Walker, former Mechanical Engineer - Development, London Buses. © G. L. Walker 2012.
Useful Links - The Routemaster Association

The AEC Bus Site - Neil Gow

AEC Southall - Neil Fraser

Park Royal Vehicles - Graham Hill

The Classic Buses Website - Dick Gilbert

The BusWeb

RT3236 and Friends - Eric Scott - Canadian enthusiasts' site

Ian's Bus Stop

The British Bus Club - dedicated to those who love British Made Buses

Mostly Food & Travel Journal - Food, Book Reviews, everything for the enthusiastic eater!

Designed and maintained by C & G Walker
Pages updated 23 June 2015