Road vehicle; Prototype RM-type double deck motor bus bonnet No RM1, registration mark SLT56, 1954
Red Double decker Routemaster. The first of the four Routemaster prototypes, it first appeared in public at the Commercial Motor Show at Earls Court on 24 September 1954. This event also saw the first public use of the name Routemaster, which had been used by the development team for some time beforehand. This model was 8 inches wider than any previous bus for London.
Simple name : Road vehicle
Date : 1954
Collection : Vehicles
Object location : Acton Depot
Reference number : 1989/119 part 0
Associated company :
  • Lockheed
Operated by : London Transport
Associated route : 2
Associated place : Golders Green
Bibliography : CURTIS C., 1988. The London Bus. London: London Transport
Manufacturer : AEC : 1954
Mode : Bus
Vehicle caption : The red Routemaster has become internationally recognised as an icon of London. This bus, RM1, was the first of four prototypes for the Routemaster. It made its first public appearance in 1954 at the Earl's Court Motor Show. Before entering service it underwent extensive testing, included skids at 30mph and a tilt test to at least 28 degrees. In 1956 it was trialled on Route 2 between Golders Green and Crystal Palace. Passengers were encouraged to share their views on this 'future London bus.'
Colour : red
Deck : Double
Height : 14ft 4.5in
Length : 27ft 6.55in
Seating upper : 36
Seating lower : 28
Type : RM-type
Weight (laden) : 11tons 10cwt
Weight (unladen) : 7tons 7cwt
Body number : 9228, then B1
Chassis number : RM1
Engine number : AV/590/U180515
Registration number : SLT56
Lt type code : 1RM1
First date in service : 08/02/1956
Last date in service : 01/08/1959
Record completeness :
Record 100% complete

Related items

The front of the Museum


COVID-19 update

London Transport Museum is closed. But for as long as we can we’ll bring you inspiring content and keep our education work going. Thank you for sticking with us!

Find out more

Bundle of products inspired by sporting posters


Fathers day gifting

From moquette socks to mugs and clothing inspired by Dad's favourite sports, we've got a great selection of Father's Day gifts at our shop! 

Shop now

3 posters with wartime transport workers


Object of the month

'Seeing it Through' was a series of posters commissioned in 1944 which commemorated the everyday acts of heroism by civilian workers during the Second World War.