AEC's Blue Triangle symbol [ AEC Ltd] is reproduced by kind permission of The British Commercial Vehicle Museum Trust.
  BLUE TRIANGLE & IMPERIAL BUSES  
Well-known Essex operators Blue Triangle and Imperial Buses are based in Rainham, Essex, on opposite sides of the A13 trunk road.  There is much to interest AEC enthusiasts in both operators' yards, including two rare 30' Routemasters, as this selection of photos show.
C L I C K   A   T H U M B N A I L   F O R   A   L A R G E R   I M A G E
RML 900
RML 900 (109k) RML 900 (99k) RML 900 (109k) RML 900 (94k)
The only RML from the original 1961 batch of twenty four buses to be sold by LT is RML 900 (WLT900).  Having sustained extensive front-end damage in an accident in 1987, and considered to be uneconomic to repair, the bus was sold to Clydeside Scottish who did the decent thing and undertook the repairs utilising parts from an RM.  RML 900 famously returned to London in June 1988 when it ran from Finchley Garage over routes 13 and 26.  Ownership changed in 1989 and again in 1991, and after another accident it was acquired by Blue Triangle in 1995.  Rehabilitation (to use UndergrounD parlance) continues, and these views taken in May 2002 amongst the stacks of containers at the Denver Road yard show the bus to be in remarkably good condition after seven years in store.  RML 900 was relicensed in January 2004.

SM 3 & RT 1320
SM 3 (84k) RT 1320 (87k)
RT 3150
RT 3150 (77k) RT 3150 (97k) RT 3150 (83k)
Ex LT SM 3 (AML3H) was latterly operated by AML Coaches and immaculately turned out in maroon and grey livery.  It now has very few windows intact and the interior has been gutted.  Seen awaiting its fate at Denver Road in May 2002.  Behind the SM is Saunders-bodied RT 1320 (KLB569).
RT 3150 (KYY879) is the last surviving Matchbox Toys RT still in its white and orange stripey livery.  The two RTs and the SM were photographed at Denver Road in May 2002.

RMF 1254
RMF 1254 (101k) RMF 1254 (92k) RMF 1254 (74k)
Rather less fortunate than RML 900, but thankfully still with us, prototype front entrance Routemaster RMF 1254 (254CLT) lies peacefully in Imperial Buses' yard down Ferry Lane in August 2001.  Listed as "preserved", it will require a considerable investment of time and money before the original RMF turns a wheel again.  Since these photos were taken RMF1254 has been skilfully restored and was a star entrant at the Routemaster50 event held in London's Finsbury Park on July 25 2004.

MILITANT & MAMMOTH MAJOR
Militant 1457MR (96k) JOY 407K (96k)
Imperial have two impressive breakdown tenders.  Wearing Blue Triangle livery the Militant 10 ton is ex London Transport service vehicle 1457MR, acquired by LT in 1966 ex RAF.  Still in Croftpeak livery the K reg Mammoth Major Six has a Holmes 750 single boom crane rated up to 5 tons swl.

Acknowledgement
Thanks to Blue Triangle and Imperial Buses for allowing access to their yards.
Remember! Always get permission before entering a working bus depot.


vangastow@aecsouthall.co.uk