Please note : There are lots of large pictures on this page
That may take some time to download if using a dial up connection.

37801 The model of the unique Single Deck Routemaster RM1368
37801 RM1368 The Single Deck Routemaster Conversion
A Brief History
The Single Deck Routemaster

   RM1368 was a unique vehicle among London Transport's large fleet of Routemasters, it's existence was brought about by an unplanned incident rather than any desire for a fleet of single deck vehicles!

RM1368 in it's original double deck form entered service in December 1962 at Cricklewood Garage, it moved on to Peckham in 1963 and remained there until it's first overhaul in 1967. Following it's overhaul at Aldenham Works it re-entered service a Tottenham where it remained in service until 1974. It's public service life ended abruptly that year following an arson attack on New Year's Eve. This incident gutted the vehicle's upper deck and it was decided that repairing the damage wouldn't be viable.

Rather than scrap the vehicle it was converted to a single decker in 1975 and allocated to the Experimental Department at Chiswick Works. In it's new roll it released the first production RM built for public service. RM8 had been used as a test vehicle at Chiswick since it's delivery in 1958.

The conversion of the RM1368 saw the remains of the upper deck structure and staircase removed and a completely new roof fitted. The rear platform area was altered and hinged double doors fitted to secure the vehicle and prevent unwitting members of the public hopping on. As the vehicle wasn't intended to be used for public service duties again no blind boxes were fitted and instead simple private signs were rivited to the front & rear of the vehicle.

RM1368 rarely ventured beyond the confines of Chiswick Works and continued to be used as a test bed well into the late 1980s. It was eventually sold for preservation in 1990 and has since undergone an extensive restoration and repaint. It can now regularly be seen at various Bus Rallies across the UK.

A more detailed history of the RM class complete with individual vehicle histories can be found at Ian's Bus Stop.

RM1368 in it's preserved state
The preserved RM1368 at Cobham in 2010.
RM1368's modified rear platform area
The modified rear platform on RM1368.

The Model

   EFE announced it's intention to produce a model of RM1368 at the Showbus Rally in September 2010. A mock up of the model was exhibited at the event and following much interest from collectors EFE went ahead with the new tooling required to re-produce the vehicle in miniature.

Due to the uniqueness of the subject EFE decided that the model would be a one off issue, the downside of this however was that the cost of the new tooling had to be recovered from the one & only model release. As a result the model had a much higher RRP (£52) compared to other EFE models (£31) at the time of it's release.
To reduce the tooling costs all the new components, the roof & rear platform modification, were produced in resin rather than diecast metal.

37801 Front & rear view
37801 Nearside view
37801 Offside view
37801 Baseplate
37801 The resin roof

   As can be seen from the photographs above the model is based on the lower deck casting used for EFE's standard double deck RM model. Examining the model reveals that the only visible modification to the main casting is the removal of the raised light mouldings on the nearside rear panel.
The staircase detailing is still present on the model but has been painted matt black to make it less obvious, the between decks band, baseplate & driving mirrors are also standard parts from the double deck version while the new resin roof fits neatly and has been painted to match the rest of the model.

The rear platform has been modified using a resin insert which includes both the glazed doors & the extension to the rear panel on the nearside, the rear lights mentioned earlier have been re-positioned on to this panel.
Although the insert fits neatly in to the rear platform opening the joint at the rear is still evident. It also has to be said that the real vehicle has lost the curved valance above the entrance so there's has been a certain amount of artist license used in this area.

The paint finish on the model is up to EFE usual standards while the tampo printing of the decals is sharp. Most of the decals seems to be in the right places however the rear private sign has been placed on the dome whereas the rare photographs I've seen of the real vehicle before preservation show it positioned on the grey band.

37801 front close up
37801 platform doors close up
37801 rear close up

   Overall the model captures the general feel of the real vehicle, the new roof looks pretty accurate and although the rear platform treatment isn't perfect one can understand EFE's desire to avoid further costs by doing an expensive modification of the existing tooling for what is a one off issue.

This model fills another gap in the long history of the Routemaster and I'm sure it will be welcomed by many collectors who want a reminder of this unique vehicle.

37801 front off-side
37801 rear nearside
Single deck model with a more familar efe version
RM1368 next to the standard double deck EFE model.
 Model Review Index