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AECs Before and After
AECs changing owners

This page follows the history of some individual AEC buses through pictures. If you have any historical pictures of AECs listed on the Preserved or In Service pages, you could help develop this page by sending them to . All contributions will be credited and Copyright marked.

DFK 214


DFK 214 is a 1949 Burlingham bodied AEC Regal III, which was new to Burnham's of Worcester. Following service with Burnham's, it passed to Mulley's Motorways and ran with them for some time.

DFK 214 was then bought for preservation and restored, and was subsequently sold to a non-PSV owner in The Netherlands. The photo shows it at a rally in Burnhams livery in 1986. Photo by Ian Findlay.

Still in the Netherlands and registered BG-TP-21, the vehicle was returned to PCV use in 2010 for wedding and private hires with Tichelwerk Recreatie in Ootmarsum. Photo by Chris Yland.

HKL 836

One of three Maidstone & District 1946 Beadle bodied AEC Regals converted to open top for a tour of Hastings, HKL 836 was seen at work in Hastings Old Town in 1981.

HKL 836 and sister HKL 826 passed from M&D to Hastings & District in 1983 and were then sold to Guide Friday for use in the Stratford area. Painted in Guide Friday livery, it was pictured some way from home,at Oxenhope in West Yorkshire.

836 later moved to Wests of Wood Green, who painted it into their livery and exhibited it at the 2006 Showbus rally.

In 2010 north Kent based heritage operator London Bus Company bought HKL 836 for use as a wedding hire and special events vehicle. It was pictured at Upminster in August 2011 running on hire to Ensignbus for a running day.

AEC Reliance - Willowbrook
497 ALH

This is one of three Willowbrook bodied 2-door Reliances bought by London Transport in 1960 for experimental use on country routes. They were withdrawn after only three years and sold to Chesterfield Transport where RW3 was in service for 13 years. It then moved via Shaftesbury & District to Brutonian in Somerset, where it was pictured in April 1986.

Following sale by Brutonian RW3 was acquired for preservation in 1988 and kept in dry storage until restoration could get under way. This commenced in 2010 when a new group of owners acquired it. This picture from Chris Stanley shows the task they were confronted with.

RW3 has been rapidly and superbly restored by the new owners. It made its preservation debut at the London Bus Museum's Wisley rally in April 2012.

AEC Reliance - Burlingham
200 APB

200 APB was new in 1956 to Safeguard of Guildford and operated their local routes in Guildford. This picture shows it at the Safeguard depot in October 1962, shortly before it was sold to the similarly named Safeway Bus Services in Somerset. Photo by Keith Wheal.

After a spell in service with Safeway Bus Services, 200 APB passed to Quantock Motor Services and was used by them on Taunton Deane heritage services. It was seen in 1999, still in Safeway livery. Photo by John Hammond.

In 2003 Safeguard reacquired 200 APB and restored it to original condition. It now operates as a heritage vehicle in their fleet. It is seen here at Leatherhead in October 2009 during a Cobham Bus Museum event.

AEC Reliance
325 NKT
(AFE 719A)
325 NKT at Hastings depot in the summer of1976
Maidstone & District Weymann bodied Reliance 3325 was converted to open-top in 1975 for a service to the Fairlight Country Park in Hastings, but was withdrawn after two seasons following poor loadings and difficulties turning at the park. The picture shows it in the M&D Hastings depot (now the site of a Morrisons supermarket).
AFE 719A at Chilworth in August 1993
After various moves and a reregistration it found its way to London & Country who employed it on Surrey C.C. Sunday leisure services.  It was seen at Chilworth in August 1993.

Following Arrriva's withdrawal from the heritage operations, it changed hands again and by 1998 was working summer journeys in the seaside town of Mablethorpe with local operator Grayscroft.
Photo: LEYTR.
After a couple of seasons with Grayscroft, 3325 joined the Rexquote Heritage fleet in Somerset and was captured by Ken Jones on a Heritage Tour in June 2001.
Subsequently it moved to Cornwall, first with Hobbs of Truro and then Caradon Riviera Tours, and in 2010 it was sold to the dealership arm of London Bus Company.

Continuing the story, in 2016 Seaford & District acquired 3325 and restored it to service in time for their running day in August 2018. Subsequently it moved on again, to English Riviera Tours in Torquay, before passing to an environment activists group in 2021.

AEC Reliance - Marshall

One of City of Oxford's last batch of Marshall bodied AEC Reliances for London services, number 54 was seen in the twilight of its career with the company, at Chipping Norton depot in March 1980.

Following withdrawal, COMS sold TJO 54K to neighbour Chiltern Queens of Woodcote, who used it for a number of years on their routes between Reading and Wallingford. It was pictured at Reading station in April 1983.


TJO 54K subsequently operated with Crowther, Booker (Classic Bus) and passed to Brown of Builth Wells around 2002. It later found its way to the Cardioff Transport Preservation Group as a source of spare parts and was scrapped in 2014.

AEC Reliance - Park Royal
LCBS RP43 at Bishops Stortford in 1982
One of 90 AEC Reliance 6U2Rs with Park Royal dual-purpose bodies bought by London Country for Greenline services, RP43 was seen at Bishops Stortford in April 1982, working a Greenline service although now painted in all green bus livery.

RP43 was sold by LCBS in 1983 and moved to Scottish independent Rennies of Dunfermline for school bus and private hire use. It was seen outside the Rennies garage at Cairneyhill in September 1983 about to take up a wedding hire.

By 1985 the former RP43 had moved south again to the fleet of Prestwood Travel at Cryers Hill in Buckinghamshire, for school bus operations. Prestwood had acquired a couple of these ex LCBS machines, along with a former Greenline AEC Swift, and would later go on to acquire RS class Plaxton bodied Reliances from the same source. It was photographed near the company's depot in March 1985.

AEC Reliance - Park Royal

Another of the former Greenline Park Royal bodied Reliances, RP44 was seen at Guildford in September 1979, following its repaint into bus livery and downgrade to operate mainly bus routes out of Dorking depot.

Following withdrawal RP44 found its way to Warwickshire based Heart of England Services for their Coleshill to Water Orton service. It was seen on this route at Curdworth in April 1984, still in its former owners livery.

Completing the set, and complementing the picture above, RP44 joined its sister at Prestwood Travel in 1985. It was photographed in the Buckinghamshire countryside in November 1985.

AEC Reliance - Duple
JTM 109V

The last AEC Reliance built with a bus body, Duple Dominant bodied JTM 109V was new to Tillingbourne and then passed to their sister company Metrobus. It later moved to Sussex Bus, and was then bought by London & Country as a schoolbus in their Guildford and West Surrey divison - a rather unusual vehicle to appear in the fleet of major operator. This photo at Guildford (on the site of the old London Country depot) was taken in March 1995.

JTM 109V has now passed into preservation, restored in Metrobus livery, and was seen looking resplendent at Forest Row during the April 2014 East Grinstead running day.

AEC Reliance - Plaxton
EPM 137V

One of the last batch of AEC Reliances delivered to London Country for Greenline services, Plaxton bodied RS137 was one of those painted to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Greenline in 1979. It was seen in this livery at London Victoria in January 1980.

Following withdrawal from Greenline service, RS137 moved to Scotland and spent time there with a number of small operators. It finished up as a schoolbus with Meffans of Kirriemuir, a subsidiary of Strathtay Scottish - and even survived into Stagecoach ownership. It was pictured at the Kirriemuir premises in August 2005.


EPM 137V is now being preserved in Scotland and will be returned to its original Golden Jubilee livery.

AEC Swift JPA 108K

A batch of 21 Alexander bodied AEC Swifts with dual-purpose seats were diverted from a South Wales Transport order for London Country for the orbital Windsor-Gravesend Greenline service. One of these, SMA8 (JPF 108K), later moved to East Grinstead to cover a contract operation, and some bus duties on the 424/426 service before it was withdrawn in 1981. This 1979 picture shows it at East Grinstead station, a location which has changed little over the years.

Prestwood Travel of Great Missenden bought SMA8 after withdrawal by LCBS and ran it on school contracts in the High Wycombe area. Here it is in the south Buckinghamshire countryside in June 1984.

After a lengthy restoration SMA8 returned to the road with the London Bus Company in September 2018, more than 30 years after it last carried passengers. Here it is at Theydon Bois on its first day in service, an Epping Ongar Railway running day.

AEC Regent III
JXC 77

Former London Transport AEC Regent III RT714 (JXC 77)
 was one of a number to be exported to Canada as tour buses with Abegweit Tours of Prince Edward Island. It's pictured here at Charlottestown in 2006 after 26 years of service there.

The RTs with Abegweit Tours were finally withdrawn in 2009 after almost 30 years service there, still in original London Transport condition. They were brought back to the UK by the London Bus Company in 2010 and returned to service by them over a number of years. RT714 returned to service in 2019 and was pictured at Heathrow Airport during a running day organsised by the London Bus Museum,

A picture of RT714 in service with London Transport in June 1975 can be seen here:

AEC Regent III
OLD 566

One of the ranks of preserved London RT class AEC Regents, RT4479
(OLD 566) was unusually displayed at the 2011 Alton rally whilst a significant amount of restoration work was still required.

With restoration complete and following a repaint into Lincoln Green country livery, RT4779 was seen in action at Leatherhead in July 2017.

RT4779 is preserved at the London Bus Museum and subsequently gained a repaint into red livery. It was seen in this guise at Burnt Oak during a ruinning day in November 2019.

AEC Regent V
PFN 853

This first picture is a bit of a cheat, because I don't have one of PFN 853 operating in service with East Kent. So here is a picture of sister vehicle PFN 855 at Ramsgate in August 1978 showing what 853 would have looked like when it was an open topper on the Isle of Thanet.

After withdrawal PFN 853 passed into preservation and was repainted into traditional EK livery. It remained licensed for private hire, though, and was seen thus employed on a trip to the Epsom Derby in June 1986.

Subsequently PFN 853 returned to revenue earning service as one of the first buses to operate as a London Tour bus with the now well-established Big Bus Company and was pictured early in its career with the company.
Picture: Rob Sissons.
 Latterly it had a more sedate life as a mobile ticket office and was seen in this guise at Charing Cross in August 2004. It is still owned by Big Bus Company but is now preserved, and was treated to a repaint in 2012.

AEC Regent V
MFN 946F

One of the last batch of Park Royal bodied Regent Vs for East Kent, 7946 was withdrawn earlier than the rest and passed to sister company Maidstone & District as a mobile ticket office and overall advert for "Freedom Ticket" weekly and monthly passes. It was seen in this guise at Hastings Coach Station (now the site of a shopping centre) in July 1978.

MFN 946F was still in Hastings at the time Hastings & District was formed in 1983, and it passed to the new company. It was restored to passenger service as a special events vehicle and also saw use on peak workings right up to 1999. Here it is on a Hastings pier service in 1996.

The addition of both East Kent and Hastings & District to the Stagecoach empire gave them the opportunity to do the right thing, and 7946 is now back in the East Kent fleet as a special events vehicle, restored to traditional EK livery. Here it is in action at a running day at Gravesend in 2006.

AEC Routemaster RM787
Click to enlarge RM787
RM787 was one of those refurbished by Marshall and fitted with Cummins engines to extend its life in London service. It was seen on route 36 near Kennington Oval tube station in September 2002. Routemasters on this route were replaced in January 2005. Photo by Stephen Gow.

After withdrawal from London service, RM787 was converted to open top and used for a couple of seasons as a special events vehicle in the Quantock Motor Services fleet. It was pictured on the lengthy Minehead-Lynmouth-Ilfracombe service in the summer of 2005. Photo by Bob Wingrove.


RM787 subsequently moved to York Pullman to run open-top tours of York. The open-top tour operation was sold to Transdev in 2011, but RM787 is still with York Pullman as a private hire vehicle.

AEC Routemaster RMC1510
Click to enlarge RM1510
RMC1510 was converted to open-top while with London Transport, and passed to Centrewest in 1994. The lack of a roof didn't stop Centrewest from putting out on service 23 peak journeys, even in the middle,of winter as demonstrated by this picture of it at Liverpool Street in December 1998.

RMC1510 continued in service as a private hire and special events vehicle after Centrewest passed into FirstGroup ownership. First had the contract for Transport for London heritage service 9, which was normally operated with Marshall refurbished RMs, but RMC1510 would make occasional guest appearances such as this one in May 2011.

One of RMC1510's last uses with First before the London operation was closed down was on the First Berkshire Legoland shuttle in the summer of 2016.
Following sale by First, RMC1510 initially passed into private ownership in the Reading area, but retained it's class VI MOT. As well as frequent appearances at rallies and running days, it also ran on Reading Buses' first day of free operation on Greenline route 702, and on a private hire to the Epsom Derby in June 2018.
Subsequently RMC1510 has passed to Midland Classic. It was pictured operating at the annual Imberbus running day in August 2019.

AEC Routemaster RM1599

Would someone like to fill this space? After 22 years of London operation RM1599 was among the first wave of Routemasters sold by London Transport in 1985. It was bought by Stagecoach and entered service in the Glasgow Magicbus fleet where it was reregistered YTS 80A. In 1990 it moved to East Midland where it stayed until 1992, during which time it received an AEC engine in place of the original Leyland O600.

Following its stint with East Midland, Stagecoach moved it to their home town of Perth where they had won the war with Strathtay and taken over all local services. It was seen on a local service there in August 1996.

After all that moving around RM1599 ended up where it started. It was one of three RMs returned from Perth to East London in 1997 to replace front-entrance RMA vehicles on route 15 which were exported to Portugal for sightseeing duties. It was seen at Paddington awaiting it's next turn of duty early in 2000.
Ironically it started its London career in 1963 on route 9 and ended in 2003 on route 15, the two routes which continue to have heritage Routemaster operation today. It was exported to France in 2004.

AEC Routemaster RM1650
650dye.jpg (38308 bytes)
RM1650 was one of many Routemasters bought by Reading Mainline for their services in competition with Reading Transport. It was seen as No. 37 in May 1999. RM1650 returned to London after use in Reading and after refurbishment by Marshall joined Centrewest for further service.
First London special events vehicle RM1650 frequently appears at at running days in the SRM3 identity it carried during the 1977 Queen's silver jubilee.
Following withdrawal of the remaining regular RM services, it became a special events bus in the First London fleet as silver SRM3 - a livery and fleetnumber it previously carried in 1977 for the Queen's silver jubilee. It was seen on a running day at Windsor in 2007.


AEC Routemaster RML2336

Click to enlarge CUV 336C
Shortly before withdrawal by London Country, and never having been repainted into N.B.C. green during it's nine years with the company, RML2336 looks tatty and dated compared to the Leyland-National behind it.  It was seen at Dartford garage in June 1979.  This bus was sold back to London Transport, who needed to replace the unsuccessful Scania Metropolitans on the 36.
Click to enlarge CUV 336C
RML2336 remained in use with London Central on route 12 up until 2004.  Here it is at Camberwell Green in May 2000, having just arrived on a short working from Central London and about to head for Camberwell depot for a crew change.  Refurbishments and red livery did wonders for the appearance of the bus, almost 21 years after the previous photo was taken.

After withdrawal by London Central, RML2336 was used by Lancashire Transport Trust on the Blackpool-Lytham St. Annes summer service in 2007, and then went on to further revenue earning service with the Big Nottingham Bus Company (Bellamys) in 2008. It was sold to dealer Ensign in the summer of 2010 and exported to Ambassatours, Nova Scotia, Canada.

AEC Routemaster RMA50

One of the former BEA Routemasters used originally for passenger transfers between Heathrow and central London, and later on a variety of duties in the London Transport ancillary fleet, former RMA50 was seen working for Lothian subsidiary Mac Tours in livery for the Britannia Tour in July 2003. Photo by Stephen Gow.
RMA50 at Greenhithe in December 2013
Ensignbus bought RMA50 in 2009 to replace a sister vehicle which could not operate in the London low emission zone as it still had an AEC engine. It was seen in December 2013 at Greenhithe on one of the company's popular running days.



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