aldenham works routemaster london transport



by 1954 there were nearly 7,000 members of the RT and RTL classes and that number bosses had to be repaired and maintained somehow and that job was undertaken here at Alden emboss overhaul works developed in 1956 in a 67 acre site in Harvard sure the site was originally built as a tube train depot for the never completed extension of the Northern Line and before being converted into the boss plant was used for aircraft production in the Second World War the works over hold 50 buses each week and all of London transports 12,000 buses paid a visit every three to four years once the boss has arrived in the workshop the first job is to remove all the seat cushions being collected in a rather speedy fashion and the vehicle is then trailered to the trim shop after a thorough inspection all over all items needing attention boy placement are marked and of course noted and recorded a keen eye inspected the exterior paneling while the upper deck seek flames our check for stability with all the body repairs noted and logged the boss is moved into the next stage with this rather nifty device the boss is lifted by the front axle removed with electric powered trolley all necessary items are disconnected from the boss and bolt moved the overhead crane is steadily moved into position and the body is slowly and carefully if that chassis he's then moved along almost all the length of the workshop the massive works at Aldean employed nearly 2,000 staff and as known as the biggest undercover works repair shop anywhere in the world the whole idea of all denim was based on the artis and later the room masters having separate bodies and chassés as the bodies often took longer to repair than the chassis the original body and chassis on a vehicle will like to be reunited and instead will match drug to the next of the airline once above its allocated pit the body is carefully lowered into the place ready for further inspections oh the worn or damaged parts are removed starting with the body side panels worn tread boards removed after probably a million feet has stood a wartime and then it's the turn of the side windows that cab door can't be any good so off it comes but the main body frame is good well for another couple years at least all the worn parts are taken to the workshop and new ones made most of the workers at Alden ham was skilled craftsmen internal roof and corner panels have been affected for dents and scrapes Oh and the selection of new parts are ready to be ferried back to the boss you the chassis is overhauled in a similar systematic way to the bodies they are lined up on a production line in its line they are one Leyland and to AEC shutters the steering box is being separated into its basic components and the oil drained the column is removed and put to one side followed by the main gears from the steering box each part is then checked we worked if necessary and then we assembled the front axle is the next for inspection first it is cleaned to remove any traces of a paint rust and dirt then it's moved again this time to be checked for cracks a magnetic liquid is poured over the axle which one put on removal act will show up any cracks in the unit it is then taken back to the production line and reassembled the hub's are refitted with new king pins together with new brake shoes and drums and then take him back to the production line back on the production line this Leyland chassis is receiving a degree of detailed attention the overhauled chassis is then taken away to the paint shop the chassis is put onto a ramp which tilts to 45 degrees enabling the chassis to be sprayed silver all over all of immovable body sanctions such as the engine cover are spray painted separately back to the refurbished body which is now back on the tilting machine showing the extent of the work undertaken a new panel below the driver's cab window and two new front wheel arches can be seen then the body is lowered carefully back onto the chassis a job which calls for precise alignment in the pit underneath the balls the bolts which hold the body to the chassis are quickly fitted before any further work is undertaken the boss is taken for tests jaunt around the ordinal this is to ensure everything is working as it should and also gives the opportunity to test the brakes once the fitter has achieved a good speed the brake test meter is reset and the cue is given for a hasty stop a reading of 40 isn't bad for the brakes will probably undergo some attention later and then it's back off inside and after a look at the brakes using the pit the boss is towed to the paint preparation area here the body is washed down from top to bottom and has its advertising posters removed as the work progresses outside the inside starts to be painted the side windows are blanked off using specially made locking boards and the cab window is masked off using whitewash the completely masked boss is steadily moved through the works to the spray-painting chamber buses arrive to the Spay painting chamber on a conveyor belt which could accommodate 16 vehicles to be simultaneously given their two coats of paint once the paint has dried the many transfers which need to be honorable of applied here the distance from the beading is measured to get the transfer exactly in the right place the transfers are fitted and then the attached paper is moistened to allow it to peel off the same method is used for all the other transfers with the transfer as applied the conveyor is started and the 16 buses are taken to the next stage allowing another 16 to take their place the buses then enter the final stage of the overhaul the number plates on the RTS were actually transfers the newly refurbished seats are refitted and the now unmasked windows are cleaned to perfection next the remainder of the fixtures and fittings are attached with varnish applied and the new advertisements positioned the bosses are nearly ready again for public service they're just the final tests to on there's only the destination blinds to fit before the overhaul is complete and the boss rejoins the many thousands ant on the streets of London in October 1985 the decision was made to end the practice of overhauling bosses every four years which meant the end the old Nimbus works and its activities were transferred to the older and smaller maintenance Depot a Chyzyk the site was sold off redevelopment and is now a business park you

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