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June 2004
The Routemaster retiral programme in now well under way in London, and the latest two routes - the 6 and the 98 - saw their final Routemasters on Friday 26th March 2004.   Many of the Routemasters (or RMs as they are affectionately known) had already been replaced by new Volvos from London Metroline, but there was still plenty for enthusiasts to see during the day, including duplicate appearances by other vintage London vehicles.   It was a cold and emotional day.
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Final Day In Service
There were plenty of RMs in service on the 6 and the 98 on their last day (above).    Some ran short workings (upper right) until the final one left Kensal Rise on the 6 (lower right).   Most passengers were completely oblivious to the significance of the occasion (right).
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Slipping Away
New Transbus bodied Volvos had already arrived at Willesden garage to replace the RMs (upper left).   RMs and Volvos worked side by side during the final few days (above).   Metrobuses and Olympians (lower left) are due for imminent withdrawal, but their demise will perhaps evoke less emotion from enthusiasts.
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Special Guests
Additional duties were performed by special visitors during the day including the first Metrobus (left) and the Stagecoach coach-seated RM (right).   Metroline staff were very considerate to enthusiasts during the whole day.
 Routemaster Retiral
All photos taken on 26th March 2004.   Click to enlarge.
Photo Facts (top to bottom)
London Metroline RM1979 (ALD979B) and RML2594 (JJD594D) on the (6) at Kensal Rise.
London Metroline RML2331 (CUV331C) on the (98) and RM1979 (ALD979B) on the (6) in Oxford St.
London Metroline RM2478 (JJD478D) on the (6) at Aldwych.
London Metroline RML2566 (JJD566D), the last (6) to depart Kensal Rise.
New Transbus Volvos for London Metroline at Willesden depot.
London Metroline Transbus Volvo LK04CSY and an RM at the terminus of the (6) in Aldwych
Arriva London MCW Metrobus M1319 (C319BUV) and ECW bodied Leyland Olympian L192 (D192FYM) in Oxford St.
Preserved London Transport M1 (THX101S), an MCW Metrobus, at Kensal Rise on a (6) service.
Stagecoach Routemaster RMC1513 (513CLT) at Willesden depot.
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