Sunday, 16 December 2012

Another look at Binky's past

RM1568 towards the end of its operating days with MTL London on route 139 to West Hampstead.
Here is another view of our "Binky" operating in London towards the end of its first unbroken period of operation in London. It was withdrawn in 1998 and sold the following year, but then was re-acquired by Transport for London in 2000 as part of the "Dartmaster" programme. It was ironic that as the last of the repowered "Dartmaster" conversions entered service that developments in smartcards and the hugely successful Oystercard made the bus conductor almost redundant in central London. As the last of the conversions re-entered service, TfL were making plans for the wholesale withdrawal of the Routemaster class. RM1568 returned to London service in September 2001 but was withdrawn a little over four years later, October 2005.