Sunday, 2 December 2012

CBNW throwback - our Binky!

In my series of postings looking at our fleet before they joined CBNW, this posting focuses on Routemaster RM1568, which we know affectionately as "binky". New in April 1963, Binky is approaching its 50th birthday next year. It's first spell of operational life in London lasted until 1998 when it was withdrawn after many years as a Tottenham based bus. It was prior to sale that 568CLT surrendered its registration and became BNK324A, hence its nickname as Binky.
It's life away from London proved to be shortlived for in September 2000 it was one of over 50 RMs purchased by Transport for London to rejoin active service in the capital in advance of congestion charging and planned increase in bus services. RM1568 was sent to Marshalls for refurbishment and repower with the Cummins engine and allison gearbox, which became known as the dartmaster conversion. It was leased by TfL to Sovereign who operated Route 13 (Aldwych to Golders Green) with 'dartmasters' until Routemaster operation ceased in October 2005.

RM1568 in 1980s guise awaits its next departure on 2B to Crystal Palace
After sale, "Binky" was used on an Oxford tour operation before it was passed to a Manchester operator but then ended up on ebay. It joined CBNW in January 2008 and has been in regular use with us ever since.