It is 50 years since Routemasters first arrived on route 9. The trolleybus conversion at Poplar in November 1959 enabled RMs to venture out on Sundays on route 9. Now 50 years later there are still Routemasters on the route thanks to the heritage overlay between Royal Albert Hall and Aldwych.
So what better way to celebrate it than with another ‘new’ Routemaster. This time RM1005 which was the first Marshall refurbishment (their “M.RM001”) which last worked on route 13 for Sovereign on 21st October 2005 and today re-entered service on route 9 from Westbourne Park.
Newly painted and prepared, it ventured out today with its owner Commissioner for Transport in London Peter Hendy at the wheel and me as its conductor. The bus is currently on loan to First.
On a bright November Sunday London was teaming with tourists and we were very busy on our trips between Royal Albert Hall and Aldwych. Great to see so many friends come and join us too.
Passengers are still raving about the heritage routes – we had them taking us even though it was off their planned journey and also to get them half-way to where they wanted to go. Some asked if it was only for today!
Peter Hendy and I with RM1005 during the briefest break between trips. Silver Routemaster SRM3 was also in service on route 9 today and for one brief moment they were together too!