The last RF working at StainesRed RF routes

Request for RF reminiscences

As you will have found, we seek to record as much history of red RF operation in London as we can.  To bring the history alive, personal recollections from those who worked on the buses (or just rode on them regularly) are very welcome. 
We thank former LT employees and others who have contacted us; their memories are summarised here and included under the routes on which they worked. 
So if you remember the RFs in service, please e-mail us.  We'd love to hear from you.
Red RF operation came to an end on 30 March 1979, a week before the last RTs at Barking.  The last routes were the 218 and 219 out of Kingston Garage.  Here RF507, last man home, leads two duplicates (RFs 314 and 492) and preserved RF392 on the last journey, seen at Staines Lucan Arms.    Photo © John Parkin
Some questions to get you started!

What was the RF like to drive or to work on, and how did it compare with other buses in service (including those that went before or came after)?  Do you have any stories of idiosyncrasies of specific buses, breakdown stories etc?   And of course, comments on and corrections to the details on our pages.


For the routes that you knew:

  • stories of 'characters' - staff or regular passengers
  • what were the busiest stops, what were the busy periods and why were they busy?
  • what sort of people used the route at different times of day/week?
  • details of how the duties were put together and practical things about how the operations worked
  • how did garage runs work, were they run in service (in theory and in practice), what route(s) were used
  • what short workings were there, and how were the turns done
  • anything about what happened during layovers - where you got tea, etc
  • to what extent were there practical variations from the procedures set down by LT?  What 'dodges' were there to make life easier for crews? 
  • if the route converted to one-man operation, how did drivers feel about it, what were the practical issues? (for example, changes to turning arrangements)


... and anything that comes to mind on the subject of RFs in service!   And if you have photos you'd like to share, let us know!