HISTORY OF ROUTEMASTER RM 980 (USK625)


RM 980 (WLT980 (Body No. B980) was built by AEC Park Royal in October 1961.  

On 8th November 1961 RM 980 entered passenger service with London Transport at West Ham (WH) garage.  The bus operated on routes 5, 58, 69 162, 238, 249, 249a, 272, 278.

In January 1963 transferred to Cricklewood (W) garage. Used on route 16 for RM conversion.  Also operated on routes, 2, 245, 266

February 1965 transferred to Putney (AF) garage.  Routes operated 14, 30, 37, 74, 85, 85a plus 93 (Weekends).


RM 980 on number 14 route

First Overhaul March 1966 (Body No. B849) and fitted with Leyland engine.

Transferred to Walthamstow (WW) garage.  Worked routes 123, 249, 249a, 249b, 256, 257, 275.

7th September 1968 transferred Enfield (E) garage for route 127.

May 1969 transferred to High Gate (HT) garage. Worked routes 17, 63 (Sunday), 104 (Saturday), 127, 214, 253, 259, 271.

June 1969 transferred to Norbiton (NB) garage.  Worked routes 14 (Sunday), 85, 131, 285.

April 1970 transferred back to Cricklewood (W) garage.  Worked routes 2, 16, 245, 266.

March 1971, transferred to Camberwell (Q) garage. Worked routes 35, 40, 40a, 159.

Second Overhaul March 1973 (Body No. B798)

Transferred to Hackney (H) garage.  Worked routes 6, 30, 35.

Delicensed in August 1974 storage at Hackney (H) garage.


Third Overhaul January 1978 (Body No. B266)

Transferred to Elmers End (ED) garage.  Worked route 12 and 54 (Saturdays)

June 1982 to works float.

Fourth Overhaul July 1982 (retaining Body No. B266)

Transferred to Alperton (ON) garage.  Worked route 187.

September 1982 Transferred back to Cricklewood (W) garage.  Worked routes 16, 16a, 266.

November 1983 transferred to Catford (TL) garage.  Worked on route 47 until Titan conversion.

October 1984 transferred back to Cricklewood (W) garage.  Worked routes 16, 16a, 266 until Metro conversion.

May 1985 transferred to Shepherds Bush (S) garage.  Worked route 9, 12, 73, 88 (Saturdays) until RML conversion on route 73.


RM 980 on 88 Route

July 1987 transferred to Westbourne Park (X) garage.  Worked route 7, 15 (weekend), 28, 31.

Withdrawn on 21st November 1987 due to RML conversion on route 7.

February 1988 sold to United Counties and operated in Corby.


RM 980 on number 1, East Midlands route

April 1989 transferred to Stagecoach East Midlands, Mansfield.  Mansfield & District painted green and cream livery.


August 2003 worked special journeys on routes 101, 104, 115, 147, 237 and 330.

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29th August 2003 worked on the last day of Route 15.  This was the first of the crew operated routes to be withdrawn from London service.

RM 980 was the last 64 seat Routemaster bus to work in the East End between Aldgate and
East Ham Town Hall.  

30th August 2003 withdrawn and stored at Stratford.

September 2003 sold to Ensign Bus

5th September 2003 bought by Mr P Warrener, Winchester for preservation.


In August 2014 RM980 was purchased by Traditional Travel Ltd and put back into public service in London.


RM 980 has been beautifully re-sprayed red, original red seat moquette, cream ceiling and burgundy interior has been reinstated, and is ready for weddings and private hire.

June 1989 used on route 248 for last day of East Midlands operation.

February 1992 hired to Sheffield Omnibus.

Re-registered USK 625 by East Midlands.

July 1994 withdrawn by Mansfield, transferred to Stagecoach Scotland and fitted with AEC AV.590 engine.

September 1994 Transferred to Bluebird Buses, Perth then into store 1997.


January 1998 Transferred to back to London service with Stagecoach East London, Upton Park (U) garage for extra support on route 15.

RM980 Went through a Stagecoach East London refurbishment program. Fitted with a new Scania engine to replace the old AEC AV.590 in order to make emissions cleaner.  The interior bulb lighting was removed and strobe lights were installed.  New heating system, internal CCTV and advertising monitors and new Stagecoach marking seat moquette installed.  


March 1998 worked on route 15 and the occasional television appearance on the
East Enders film set.  


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