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News: 1965 AEC Routemaster Coach - CUV 233C

Published 8 May 2018, 15:01

Type of Vehicle - AEC Routemaster Coach
Year Built/Registered - 1965
Vehicle Description - AEC Routemaster Coach (Greenline)
Reg No - CUV 233C
Fleet No - RCL 2233
Livery/Operator - Green Line (London Transport)

RCL2233 - A brief history

RCL2233 was one of 43 Routemaster coaches built for Greenline use and entered service in June 1965 from Romford on Routes 721, 722, 726.

Repainted in to a simpler Greenline livery in May 1968 and worked route 704 and 705.

In January 1970 transferred to London Country and in 1972 downgraded to bus services.

CUV 233C was bought back by LT in December 1977 and the following month became a trainer vehicle out of West Ham still wearing her green livery. In December 1978, 2233 was repainted red although still on trainer duties.

In 1980 RCL2233 was converted to a bus (doors etc. removed, re-seated, stanchion fitted) and entered service on the 149 from Stamford Hill until December 1982 when she was withdrawn from service.

Brought for preservation by Alan Brown in February 1984 but due to a mix-up the vehicle was nearly scrapped by Norths in Sherburn.

Alan restored CUV 233C back to her early Greenline livery and he rallied her for many years.

We bought 2233 from Alan in July 2005 and have since carried out internal repainting of the drivers cab, stairs and rear-platform area, complete refurbishment of the luggage racks and mechanical work including the late 2006 replacing the B-frame (rear sub frame).

In addition, all the tyres have been replaced; we've changed the registrations to the correct font, replaced the indicator 'ears' and purchased a complete new set of destination blinds.

Whilst the AEC AV590 (9.6 litre) bus engine fitted to 2233 was a good engine, the RCL was under powered being much heavier (8 tons 3cwt) than a standart Routemaster (7tons 7cwt).

We decided to find an AEC AV690 (11.3 litre) engine that the RCL would have had when new. We eventually found one and it was fitted in February 2010. Now 2233 cruises beautifully with little effort.

In 2012 all the seats were refurbished and reupholstered with new foam cushions and the original style grey Routemaster coach moquette.

In early 2013, we replaced the platform flooring with new 'Treadmaster' slats.

During 2014 some repainting has been done both internally and externally and the underneath silvered again, along with the refurbishment and repainting of the wheels.

Many running components have been replaced or refurbished including the gearbox, accumulators, Diff oil seal, brake cylinders, rear shock absorbers which are different to standard RM/RML as a RCL has air suspension on the rear.

June 2015 was the 50th Anniversary of RCL 2233 and the RCL class of vehicle.

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