Old Routemasters in Sri Lanka

I have been interested in buses from my childhood. Sri Lanka has had many British buses in the Government owned Sri Lanka Transport Board in the 60s and 70s. However sadly today we have hardly anything left, not even in preservation. Almost all the buses for public use today are Indian Ashok Leylands, Tatas and late Chinese entries like Higer Yutong for tourist use.
We did get some used Routemasters as aid maybe around the nineties but hardly any are in use today. The earlier Leylands and AEC (RTL and RTW) deckers were found more reliable and hardy probably because of the ladder chassis and front beam axle. They were used much beyond passenger transport to carry heavy cargo from the port once removed from service and sold to private operators. But Routemasters had no post service value as a result of integral construction (if I am correct) and were scrapped much faster than their predecessors. I include photos below of a few remaining buses.

One used as an improvised scoreboard in the Sri Lanka Transport Board playground in Colombo.

This photo is about 3 years old when the bus was in service, short runs in the western coast of Sri Lanka Reg No.60-6639.

This photo of Reg No 60-6640 (RM 731) is still in service in the the city of Colombo for sight seeing tours. It is still owned by the Sri Lanka Transport Board and is at the Ratmalana depot which is close to Colombo.

The last photo which was passed on to me by a friend is of an auctioned bus Reg No.60-6630, awaiting it's fate in a local garage.

There is a bus converted as a mobile food take away/cafeteria (KFC I think) and maybe a few more. I will keep you informed whenever possible.
Hope these photos and the explanations are adequate.

Rohan Nanayakkara



08/09/16 - 14:14

I have today (September 8, 2016) travelled on the Routemaster reg 60-6639 shown in your pictures. It is now green (see my picture in Buses magazine last year) but is still working the Mawavilla to Nattaliya service.

Matt Giles



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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Thursday 13th August 2020