1965 AEC Routemaster - CUV 233C

Type of Vehicle - Coach
Year built/registered - 1965
AEC Routemaster Coach Lengthened (RCL)
Reg No. - CUV 233C Fleet No. RCL2233
Livery/Operator - Green Line
RCL2233 – A brief history RCL2233 was one of 43 Routemaster coaches built for Green Line use and entered service in June 1965 from Romford on routes 721, 722, 726. Repainted into a simpler Green Line livery in May 1968 it worked route 704 & 705. In January 1970 transferred to London Country and in 1972 downgraded to bus services. CUV233C 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 removed, bell chord installed, re-seated, stanchion fitted) and entered service on the 149 from Stamford Hill until December 1982 when she was withdrawn from service.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 CUV233C back to her early Green Line livery and rallied her for many years. We brought 2233 from Alan in July 2005 and have since carried out internal re-painting of the drivers cab, stairs & rear-platform area, complete refurbishment of the luggage racks, mechanical work including in late 2006 replacing the B-frame (rear sub frame). In addition, all the tyres have been replaced; we’ve changed the registration plates to the correct font, replaced the indicator ‘ears’ and purchased a complete new set of destination blinds. Whilst the AEC AV590 (9.6ltr) bus engine fitted to 2233 was a good engine, the RCL was under powered being much heavier (8 tons 3cwt) than a standard Routemaster (7 tons 7cwt). It was originally built with an AV690 (11.3ltr). We decided to find an AEC AV690 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 the RCL has air suspension on the rear. June 2015 was the 50th Anniversary of RCL2233 and the RCL class of vehicle.