London service history


RT2688 was delivered on 11th September 1951 to Edgware Garage with a Park Royal '3RT8' body number 6195 painted in red livery. It was stored there in an unlicenced condition ready for it's first garage allocation the following month.

The official document for accounting purposes was the rather important sounding "VARIATIONS IN PHYSICAL ASSETS (OTHER THAN STORES)" form, which shows that it's original book value was £4,600 (£1,600 for the chassis and £3,000 for the body).

In early October, it was sent to Palmers Green Garage (AD) as RTs began to replace the STL and RTL type buses on route 102 between Golders Green and Chingford - Royal Forest Hotel. It is shown here at Muswell Hill Broadway on 13th October - one of it's very first days in revenue earning service with London Transport.
Photograph © Alan B Cross.

In October 1955, after four years of use, it was sent to Aldenham Works for it's first overhaul. Here, it was fitted with another Park Royal body, number 5915, and then transfered to the old Holloway Garage (J) where it operated for a further four years.

In July of 1959 it returned to Aldenham for a second overhaul and this time was fitted with a Weymann body number 7129 before allocation to Upton Park Garage (U).


It remained there until May of 1963 when it was overhauled for the third time and reverted back to a Park Royal body number 5795 before return to Upton Park for four more years.

It's fourth and final overhaul was in March 1968 when it was fitted with another Park Royal '3RT8' body number 6259 and transferred across to Edgware (EW).

It worked from Edgware Garage until 1973 and must be fairly unique in having only changed garage following an overhaul during the first twenty-two years of it's life, nine of which were at the same garage (Upton Park).

We have located a number of photos that were taken during it's time at Edgware:

From top, clockwise: Working route 292 on the A1 south of Stirling Corner and heading towards Colindale, approaching Borehamwood on a 292A service to Edgware Station, back on the 292 route opposite Borehamwood Station and bound for the Rossington Avenue terminus, and finally, near the shopping parade in Borehamwood High Street. ©Jim Blake.

Three more photos taken on Edgware Garage route 292 at Burnt Oak Broadway going towards Borehamwood. Photographs are ©unknown.

The Red-RF website has some photos of RT2688 taken on route 292 in 2010, around 37 years later than these ones.

Waiting by the shops near the Rossinton Avenue terminus in two different decades.

Black + White [1970's]
©Dave Flett.
Colour [2010] ©Neil Adie.

When it's Certificate of Fitness (CoF) expired in March 1973, it remained at Edgware unlicenced until May when it was recertified and issued with another two year certificate.

Photographs are ©unknown.

In July 1973, Edgware garage lost all of it's RT buses and became London Transport's second 'OMO' (one-man-operated) garage. RT2688 was moved and stored at Stonebridge Park Garage (SE) until August when it was transferred across London to Catford Garage (TL). After 22 years on the streets of North London, it would now have three years of use in South London.

In black and white on route 47 at Shoreditch whilst working from Catford Garage.
©Capital Transport.

The colour photo was taken at the same place in 2014.

In March 1975 when the 'CoF' expired it was put into store at Catford Garage. In June it was transferred to nearby Bromley Garage (TB) and certificated for one final year.
It is seen here on route 146 by the Queens Head at Downe in Surrey.

A final view of RT2688 by the Whitgift Almshouse, George Street, Croydon on route 119A in 1975.
© The Photographic Library - Vic Zealey.

During May 1976, the 'CoF' expired, route 119 was converted to RM operation and RT2688 was withdrawn from service and put into store at Bromley Garage.

Later that month, it was sold to E.Brakell, Dealer of Cheam in Surrey who then resold it in December 1976 to St Richard of Chichester School, Camden Town, London as a replacement for RT4802, their original RT which was then scrapped.

In December 1980, after four years of use on trips in the UK and abroad, the school sold it to the London Bus Preservation Group at Cobham in Surrey.


In May 1981, we bought it for preservation. (Malcolm Padbury and David Fisher)