How many miles will a Routemaster bus have done?  
How many miles will a Routemaster bus have done? - Dave_TD
In the yard of the haulage firm where I work are two Routemaster buses, one built in 1963 and the other in 1966. The '66 bus belongs to my boss and has been fully restored. The '63 model belongs to a friend of his and could do with about 5 buckets of filler and at least the same quantity of paint.

I've had the dubious privilege of driving the shiny one. I'm sure all previous RM drivers must now have Schwarzenegger-esque biceps from wrestling with the steering. As well as a flat head from the lack of dampers. And no hearing ability left whatsoever.

This is one of the 40mph models - apparently a few examples built for the Gatwick run had a much higher final drive ratio and could exceed 60! - although I levelled out at around 34mph due to the incredible noise from the engine some 12" from my left elbow.

They don't have odometers, so.. how many miles is a RM likely to have covered since it was built? I would guesstimate between 1-2 million, depending on the route, but surely someone will have a more accurate idea.

Dave TD.

Tags: driving sat nav vibrations steering problems

How many miles will a Routemaster bus have done? - krs one
I'd expect them to be doing at least 100000 miles a year. Assuming it worked every day from new until now I'd go for around 5 million.
How many miles will a Routemaster bus have done? - L'escargot
It was calculated by someone as being to the moon and back, which is approximately 500,000 miles.
How many miles will a Routemaster bus have done? - ifithelps
Think we've worked out on here before that a million miles is quite easily attainable for a bus, coach or commercial vehicle.

I imagine a Routemaster that could have been in service for 40/50 years may have done several million miles.
How many miles will a Routemaster bus have done? - jc2
I travelled to the South of France on a long-distance coach-these are on the road 24/24 with multiple drivers(occasional overnight servicing) and travel much faster than LT.Some of these had exceeded 100,000miles in months.Some of these were going from Scotland to the South of Spain and then back again repeatedly.
How many miles will a Routemaster bus have done? - L'escargot
I imagine a Routemaster that could have been in service for 40/50 years ........


According to this www.lighthouse.co.uk/rms/animals.html the average lifespan of a Routemaster is 28 years, and the average speed in heavy London traffic is 3 mph. (As it happens, 100 times faster than us molluscs.)

Edited by L'escargot on 28/03/2009 at 09:22

How many miles will a Routemaster bus have done? - jc2
And work a 12 to 14 hour day.A long-distance coach will do more miles than that in an hour. And some of them run twenty-four hours a day.

Edited by jc2 on 28/03/2009 at 09:35

How many miles will a Routemaster bus have done? - Rattle
Remember most of them had new engines fitted in the 90's and the a lot of them also got brand new engines fitted just a few years ago.

I am not sure if there are any routemasters still running on the original engine but if they are it would have been a long time since LT/TFL ran them.
How many miles will a Routemaster bus have done? - 659FBE
I used to work for a UK diesel fuel systems manufacturer and made frequent trips to the Chiswick 'bus garage nearby.

On one occasion I was passing the engine assembly shop when a mechanic showed me a crankshaft from an AEC 6 cyl engine - ex Routemaster. He was moaning about the fact that the journals were undersize and that he could not get shells for it and consequently it would have to go outside for metal spraying - job delayed.

I enquired as to the mileage of this engine. "About 3,000,000" was his answer.

659.
How many miles will a Routemaster bus have done? - jc2
Most were subsequently fitted with Volvo motors;LT(or TFL) still have a few Routemasters(RM) running and even the odd RT.
How many miles will a Routemaster bus have done? - Sofa Spud
Weren't most of the surviving Routemasters sold into preservation before the small number left in service were fitted with modern engines? So that would mean most still have AEC engines, with a smattering of Leyland-engined examples (a minority of RMs had Leyland engines when new).

Edited by Sofa Spud on 28/03/2009 at 13:02

How many miles will a Routemaster bus have done? - Rattle
I think the AEC engines were replaced during the 80;s and 90's. The last remaining batch in service will be on at least their 3rd engine by now.
How many miles will a Routemaster bus have done? - fordprefect
I think the AEC engines were replaced during the 80;s and 90's. The last remaining
batch in service will be on at least their 3rd engine by now.

Were not a number of Routemasters re-engined with Cummins B or C series engines at a place near Doncaster a few years back?

How many miles will a Routemaster bus have done? - Number_Cruncher
659 is going to hate this - so I should apologise in advance.

The weakness we found with AEC engines in the 70's was the awful DPA injector pumps, which would regularly seize up and snap the drive shaft, leaving the truck immobile. The Bosch inline injector pumps fitted to the 12 litre Leyland engines which were developed from the AEC engines were much more reliable.

How many miles will a Routemaster bus have done? - 659FBE
Not guilty, NC.

I was working primarily in the Electrical section and was seconded to the diesel division as part of a project for the electronic control of a large V12 diesel engine (not DPA territory).

The Maximec in-line pump fitted to this engine was as long as most 4 cyl car engines and injected at 1000 bar - the cams were like brick walls.

659.
How many miles will a Routemaster bus have done? - Armitage Shanks {p}
KRS - 100,00 miles a year is over 270 miles a day, 7 days a week. I don't think so, not on Central London routes at least!

Edited by Armitage Shanks {p} on 28/03/2009 at 15:44

How many miles will a Routemaster bus have done? - Roger Jones
A grumpy old bus-driver friend of mine says:

"All RMs had powered steering (less potent than today's vehicles, but much better than earlier vehicles like the RF and RM, which did require some muscle). The RMA, which ran to Heathrow (never Gatwick) had a different back axle ratio which permitted higher speeds but also had air suspension which gave a more comfortable ride. I think the same is true for the Green Line version.

No RM ever stayed on the same route: in fact no RM stayed in one piece. Aldenham maintenance depot separated them into their three component pieces (body, engine and transmission) and since the renovation of each component took a different length of time the three were never re-united. So it's nonsense to talk of the 'total mileage' of one vehicle."
How many miles will a Routemaster bus have done? - Mapmaker
>>in fact no RM stayed in one piece. Aldenham maintenance depot separated them into their three component pieces

Indeed that is true. In common, it has to be said, with many other vehicles. Aeroplane engines, anybody?


How many miles will a Routemaster bus have done? - Roger Jones
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Routemaster
How many miles will a Routemaster bus have done? - madux
Very slightly off topic but interesting.
I took a bus to the top of the 1465m Puy de Dome, near Clermont-Ferrand, a few years ago.
The single track road winds its way up and around the volcano for quite a few miles at quite a steep gradient.
The bus was as good as new but I did wonder whether it would be sold a a year or so later as a low-mileage bargain, without mentioning that half of its life had been spent toiling uphill in low gear!
How many miles will a Routemaster bus have done? - Garethj
As far as I remember, a London Taxi would commonly hit a million miles and a Routemaster bus was 5 or 10 times that.

There was a programme on TV about the Routemaster a few (15?) years ago that showed how they were designed for maintenance by the dedicated bus garage and what went into their design. Fascinating stuff from the age when labour was cheap and parts were expensive. Anyone know if it's available as a DVD?
How many miles will a Routemaster bus have done? - daveyjp
Gareth - that programme has been on BBC4 quite recently. It showed the guy in (IIRC) Barnsley who bought most of them to scrap.

I was watching a programme about Boris Johnson last night who has vowed to get RMs back into London with a revised model - it's at least three years away and many think it will never happen. He's removing bendibuses and replacing them with single deckers.
How many miles will a Routemaster bus have done? - Garethj
Gareth - that programme has been on BBC4 quite recently.


Thanks, can't get BBC4 so I'll have a look on the iplayer

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