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The London Heritage Routemaster services

Operation of the iconic London Routemaster on regular London routes "finished" on 9th December 2005 when they ran for the last time on service 159. But recognition of their role as a tourist attraction led to the introduction in 2006 of two heritage routes operated by Routemasters. Both were shortened versions of regular routes with the same numbers that operate through those corridors. Service 9 was operated by First London (Centrewest) between Albert Hall and Aldwych, later changed to run between Kensington and Trafalgar Square. It was taken over by Tower Transit in the summer of 2013 but was  withdrawn on 25th July 2014 when New Routemasters took over operation of all journeys on service 9.

Service 15 was operated by Stagecoach's East London Buses subsidiary between Trafalgar Square and Tower Hill. Although designated as a heritage service it operated like an ordinary bus route, seven days a week, taking cash fares and all tickets and passes - just like any ordinary bus service. The Routemasters used were owned by TfL and leased to Stagecoach. They were some of the RMs that were refurbished by Marshall and fitted with Cummins engines in the 1990s. Occasionally Stagecoach would use heritage Routemasters of their own alongside the TfL ones. Latterly it was officially known as 15H but continued to display 15 on the blinds. The service was withdrawn in 2020, with TfL citing a drop in tourist numbers due to the Covid-19 pandemic as the reason - but it had already been reduced to weekends only and it was known that TfL were considering its future.

First RM1204 on the 9 at Charing Cross in July 2007


First RM1204 on the 9 at Charing Cross in July 2007
RM1218 passes Charing Cross at dusk in April 2009
Already blinded up for its next journey, RM1627 takes its layover at Aldwych in August 2010
RM1735 passes through Knightsbridge on a westbound journey of the 9 in July 2011
RM1913 seen in Kensington on a rare day of sunshine in April 2013
One of the First heritage fleet, open top RMC1510 was running as a guest vehicle on the 9 in May 2011
Another heritage Routemaster, RM1650 is seen in silver livery with fleetnumber SRM3 as it carried for the Queen's silver jubilee in 1977. It was on the 9 at Kensington in summer 2013.
East London Buses RM652 on the 15 at Charing Cross in July 2007
RM871 pauses outside St. Pauls Cathedral at dusk in April 2009
RM1933 was painted in maroon and platinum commemorative livery in 2008, to celebrate 75 years of LT and the centenary of Bow garage.  It usually ran on the 15 but was seen on the 9 during a special event day in May 2011.
RM324 passes another great London icon, Sir Christopher Wren's St. Pauls Cathedral, in August 2010
Following repaint into standard livery RM1933 is seen again at Tower Hill in December 2018
RM1941 pictured near the Tower of London in February 2019.
Representing 1980s style Lt with the roundel and white band, RM1968 loads at Trafalgar Square in August 2010
RM2050 on the 15 at Trafalgar Square in July 2007
RM2060 pictured at Tower Hill on the 15 in 2011
RM2071 passes Charing Cross station on the 15 in October 2008
RM2089 at Tower Hill in April 2009
RM652 seen on diversion around New Change and the A40 due to an event at St Pauls in February 2018
RM2050 catches the evening light at Tower Hill in December 2018
RM1968 pictured passing St Pauls while working route 15 in February 2019.
RM2060 pictured in Fleet Street while working route 15 in February 2019.
RM2071 pictured at Tower Hill while working route 15 in February 2019.

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