Relive the history of London public transport through scale model buses
27 Mar
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Relive the history of London public transport through scale model buses

Posted By: Paul Times Read: 87

As a global capital with more than 10 million inhabitants – depending on how one defines its boundaries – London has long inevitably depended on public transport to be the economic success story that it is. Indeed, the city’s many forms of public transport have become iconic in their own right down the years, with the London Underground just one example.  

It is, though, London’s buses that have arguably come to be held in particular affection, and it’s no wonder. After all, they have been absolute servants of the city down the generations, to such an extent that the red double-decker has become more synonymous with this part of the world than any other.

It’s also no surprise, then, that so many people have become great enthusiasts for London’s buses from throughout the British capital’s history. That’s also why so many people collect scale model buses like those that we can offer in our extensive product selection here at The Modelstore.

The evolution of London buses down the generations

Buses have been a fixture of life in the capital since the early 19th century, with one of the city’s first public bus services being operated by a man called George Shillibeer, who had the genius idea of ferrying people between Paddington and the City in his horse-drawn omnibus.

But horses couldn’t do the job of powering masses of Londoners through their daily commute forever, and the capital’s final horse-drawn public bus service was withdrawn in October 1911.

By then, motorbuses were already becoming widespread, and the 20th century was to see all manner of increasingly advanced London buses – as we would now recognise them – hit the roads. These included the LGOC B-Type, or ‘Ole Bill’, an example of which can now be seen in the city’s Imperial War Museum, followed by the likes of the AEC Q Type, AEC Regal and AEC Regent III RT.

But it was the original AEC Routemaster that was to become the stuff of London transport legend. The first examples were delivered in 1954, and production only ceased in 1968. It took until 2005 for these buses to largely disappear from service, although not entirely, as one heritage route using a preserved Routemaster still exists, running between Tower Hill and Trafalgar Square.

In recent years, of course, it is the New Routemaster – manufactured by Wrightbus – that has come to be seen as the archetypal London bus of the 2000s and 2010s. It incorporates a ‘hop-on, hop off’ rear open platform similar to that of the AEC Routemaster.  

Indulge your love of London’s buses with a little help from The Modelstore

What better – well, at least more practical and affordable – alternative to assembling your own garage of London buses could there be, than collecting scale model buses with the assistance of a well-stocked online store like The Modelstore? 

Perform a search for London diecast models today, and you’ll see that there really is no better place to shop for scale bus models based on many of the buses that have become legendary in the history of our great capital city.

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