VLT 44

© Ian Banks

AEC Routemaster 1959
with Park Royal body H36/28R
Reg no VLT 44
London Transport RM44
Southend Transport 122
Engine: AEC AV590 9.6 Litre Diesel
Transmission: 4 speed automatic

2876 Routemasters were built between 1954 and 1968 and there are well over 1000 examples still in existence. Most were built for London Transport although a small number went to other bus operators. VLT 44 served with London Transport for 25 years before being withdrawn in 1984. It then passed through various owners until purchased by Southend Transport in 1991 who after previously converting totally to “one man operated” services decided that buses operated by a crew were much more efficient on their busier routes. In December 1991 it passed to Reading Mainline and was subsequently cannibalised before being purchased by the current owners in a scrap condition for preservation in December 1999. Then followed a long period of renovation resulting in the outstanding condition you see here today.