Post details: News and About Old Double-Decker Buses in North America

06/20/06

Permalink 08:43:23 pm, by Email , 955 words   English (CA)
Categories: Any News?, General Shtuff, Pictures/Photos

News and About Old Double-Decker Buses in North America

...and now, the news...

Total Amount Needed To See The Dream Come True: $20,000.00
Total Amount Collected So Far: $181.00
Total Amount Still Needed: $19,819.00

I've also now added a press release to the HelpCoverTheBus.Com site...

And... despite me not wanting to put a PayPal button on the blog or site it has already been a success! We received our first $1.00 donation which is HONESTLY very much appreciated! Now, if I can just get 19,819 more people to do that, it's a done deal!

We also recently sent off an e-mail to a gentleman named Gino Empry who is a well known manager/agent/publicist here in Toronto. I remember my Grandpere mentioning him... so I sent a letter asking for help promoting... No word yet, but time will tell.

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Now, about this post...

I also got much positive feedback on my myth busting post about the bus and dream... but mostly people enjoyed the information and the photos.

To that end, I'd like to introduce you to the common double-deckers you might see in North America... at least, the older "half-cab, platform loading" ones...

What does "half-cab, platform loading" mean?

Full Cab

Above is a "full cab"... in that the front of the bus is squared off and the engine is (usually) mounted in the rear... now...

Half Cab

Above is a "half-cab"... where the engine sits in front, beside the driver. The cab rides forward of the passenger "saloon" or seating area.

As for the "loading", most modern buses, like the one below, load with passengers entering near the driver...

Front Loader

...whereas the older British buses loaded at the rear via an open platform. This meant your tickets were bought or shown to a conductor... therefore, these buses usually had two staff members running... a driver and a conductor.

Platform Loader

So, without further ado, here's the three most prevalent types platform loading, half-cab British double-decker buses seen in North America...

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#1: The Routemaster

Routemaster

The AEC Routemaster (or RM) is easily the bus most people think of when they hear the words "London Bus". Built between 1958 through 1968, more than two-thousand, eight-hundred of these buses were built.

Standing at 14 feet, 4 1/2 inches, it was the standard London Bus until 2005 when they were removed from service (save for a handful on "tourist routes") due to their problems with accessibility to wheelchairs and their age. Funny thing is, most of the Routemasters that were operating with London Transport were only recently refitted with more environmentally sound Scania engines... and their lifespan was therfore increased... but they were still pulled off the streets.

The Routemaster came in many flavours during it's heyday... including the RML (Routemaster Long) which seated more people than the standard RM and the RMC (Routemaster Coach) which had rear doors and more comfortable seating for long country runs.

Mostly, within North America, you'll see the standard RM and the RML... usually with the top cut off. This allows for a "pleasant" ride with good weather, but mostly it's done to meet maximum height restriction in North American cities.

If you were wondering, the average price of a Routemaster is, they range about $30,000.00 to $40,000.00 USD... and expect about $12,000.00 shipping if purchasing from England. Best place to shop is the FINE folks at Ensignbus in England.

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#2: The Regent (or RT)

Regent

Easily the most enduring of all London's buses, the Regent (or RT) bus. Built starting way back in 1939, there were RT buses in use on London's roads until 1979!

With over seven-thousand built and multiple variations to service various special tasks (including our own dear Regent Low Height #3,) the RT is a very common "older bus" seen in North America despite being over 14 feet, 4 inches (for it's normal configuration) making it a wee bit over regulatory height for most places... although, again, it's not uncommon to see one with it's roof lopped off.

You may remember an RT driven by James Bond (007) in Live and Let Die... when he sheared off the top on a low bridge! (...but who paid attention to the bus when Jane Seymour needed saving!!!!)

Again, for those interested, I've seen RT buses for sale in North America for anywhere (depending on their condition) from $2,000.00 to $30,000.00 USD. There's really no "sales outfit" for RTs... so you just have to watch eBay or some of the news groups and websites of bus enthusiasts.

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#3: The Lodekka

Lodekka

The Bristol Lodekka was never a "London Bus", but serviced the cities and towns outside London... so many times, you'll see hard-core bus enthusiasts decry a Lodekka being listed as a "London Double-Decker Bus"...

Introduced in 1939 and still in regular service in some areas of the UK, this venerable bus is a "low bridge" double-decker (like the RLH,) it's rather short height of only 13 feet, 5 inches make it an ideal bus in North America.

They're sturdy and well put together... and range in price (in North America) from anywhere from $2,000.00 to $50,000.00 USD (depending on condition and any "adjustments" made by the sellers.) I was told of one in my home province of Ontario (owned by a mechanic for a British import company) selling for $25,000.00 CDN running and (obviously) well kept!

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So, there's the "top three" older British Buses you may have seen or even ridden on in North American cities and towns...

Now, I'd remind people that there's a specific reason we're looking at RLH 3 which means although you may know of a double-decker for sale near you, we're looking only at acquiring the dream bus.

To that end, please don't forget to think about donating even a dollar to the cause (see the "donate" graphic on the upper-right of the blog) or buying pixel ad space to help us with rescuing the bus...

Help a family reach a dream... and help save a piece of history in the process!

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