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28 fleet news items posted in 2020.
36 site news items posted in 2020.
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The protracted delivery of the latest LBSL Incident Response Units is drawing to a close. Another four had reached Acton by last weekend (9085/96/98/99VW seen on 19th Sept), while only one remained at Bedfont this Tuesday (9094VW on 22nd Sept). 9092/93/97VW must presumably have been delivered to Acton on the Monday, or perhaps they went through earlier and are already in service (as per 9091/95VW). Reports of allocations for the new vans would be welcomed, as would any sightings of remaining red (Mercedes) IRUs.
Several of the older Transit dropsides from Lillie Bridge have been seen at Acton Works recently (7988/95/96/97/98F), presumably pending disposal. It is possible that these have been replaced by new deliveries, although they could be a delayed response to the addition of several Transit dropsides late last year. Or perhaps Lillie Bridge has some hired vehicles. Or maybe they just don't need them anymore. I really don't know.
Another slight mystery is the report of BYD electric car FJ64OWP at Waterloo garage, together with FJ64OWO. We had listed FJ64OWO as a Go-Ahead vehicle but I reckon that these cars are actually used by BYD themselves. I won't delete OWO but I don't plan to add OWP unless it becomes a regular.
Some of the ten remaining London Buses Incident vans have been delivered in the past week, with two seen in service at Turnpike Lane today (9091VW and 9095VW). Also there was 9102N, one of the three TfL-liveried Nissan Leaf electric cars new a few weeks ago. The expected fourth Nissan (9101N) has also been seen, at Walthamstow Bus Station. This does spoil my theory that they were destined for Streets at Chancel Street. Reports of 9100N or 9103N 'in the wild' would be welcomed. Also entering service are the RATP-Dev Renault Master vans, with MF20RYX seen at Hounslow Garage. This had number R70034 which supports the idea that the batch has been numbered in registration order. A sixth Seat Leon for Arriva London at Dartford has been seen (DA69TLX), while Stevenage has an unmarked black Citroen C3 car (CN19SFX). A black MB Vito minibus was seen doing crew ferries to Ilford, believed to be from Go-Ahead's River Road garage. The registration was reported as KY19RWR but this seems to be incorrect. Talking of incorrect registrations, one of the new Metroline Ford Transit Connect vans also seems to be affected. AV20BYD seems to be the correct reg (going by DVLA data) but the van carries AY20BYD on the rear at least. It occurs to me that the Tube Lines branding looks likely to be on the brink of disappearing. It was last carried by Ford Transit dropside 7552F (seen at Acton Works during August, presumably pending disposal) and Mercedes Axor dropside lorry WX08KUW (not seen since March 2019). The logo may still feature on some of the demountable bodies, but reports of these are scarce.
Caddy van RK70VRW is now at Acton Works and has been numbered 9164VW in Trams white/blue/green livery. Also seen at Acton this weekend were a pair of newly delivered Ford Transits in the part of the lorry yard previously used by the facilities vans. Registered YT70VHZ/VJE, the Yorkshire registrations suggest they could also be facilities conversions. They are currently in plain white with a yellow safety stripe, though the rears have chevrons and Highway Maintenance lettering. Oh, and a further six LBSL IRUs vans had been delivered and were parked on the stub road. This should mean there are now just ten left at Bedfont. All of these developments will be covered by photos in due course but I am running a bit behind and the batch from last week is not yet ready to go up!
Other than the fact that VW Caddy van RK70VRW gained a blue skirt at Bedfont by the beginning of September (and was licensed a couple of days ago), today's news concerns the bus companies. A new VW Transporter van for Tower Transit at Lea Interchange has been reported (VU69FYO), replacing Ford Transit BG66VKT). Over at Metroline, there have indeed been some deliveries of Ford Transit Connect vans, with 3 being seen at Perivale CELF and one each at West Perivale and Alperton this week. Registered in the AV20xxx and AY20xxx series, they are to presumably start replacing the ten similar vans registered in the AX15xxx and AY15xxx series.
Another 'missed' delivery has been found and is rather interesting. LR20VWU (fleetnumber not known) is a Ford Ranger 4x4 pick-up in Tramlink white/blue/green, new in July. According to our database, Tramlink now has over 20 service vehicles allocated, which seems rather generous.
Things seem to be getting back on track, with a few more new vehicles being delivered, and a few more people getting out and about and reporting stuff.
Starting with the Bedfont dealership, the first three of the 'frozen' Incident Response Units (9088/89/90VW) departed this week. 9089VW was then seen at Acton Works at the weekend. Also at Bedfont are the first vehicles seen with '70 registrations. However, Caddy van RK70VRW and Transporter RK70VNO were both still in plain white so may not be destined to be service vehicles. In the car park of Acton Works this weekend were three newly delivered Nissan Leaf electric cars in TfL white/blue livery. Numbered 9100/02/03N, this suggests a batch of four (with 9101N), perhaps to replace the remaining LL14Vxx Toyota Yaris cars. The appearance of these numbers does confirm that the LBSL IRU batch of 45 vans numbered 9055-9099VW is likely to be complete. Inside the works were three new Ford Transits. 9022F and 9109F were both Custom vans, for LUL and Tramlink respectively. The third was rather interesting, being a mid-height Mk8 van in LUL livery and with the number 8786F. This was the last number in the 87xx block to appear, most having arrived over a year ago. There is no obvious reason for the delay to the delivery of this apparently standard van. It looks like a couple of deliveries may have been missed over the past few months. An LUL Transit van numbered 9021F was seen in Bow earlier this month, but it got away before the registration number could be noted. Talking of Bow, it looks like Bow Road Station may have an allocation again after a gap of quite a few years. I published a photo of 8847F and 9133VW there earlier this month, and dropside 8847F has since been noted present on two more occasions. Back to Acton briefly to mention that I have added Scania tipper MV69KVM to the database. New in February and illustrated on LTSV in March, I initially suspected it may only be a hire. Either way, it has been around for a few months so I figured it was eligible for inclusion.
There is a bit of news from the bus companies, though with a few question marks. Abellio has a further newish van, a white Peugeot Expert seen near Twickenham/Fulwell with fleetnumber 6907 (registration not known. Update 29/08/2020: It is MC19XNE). This follows on from 6906, shown here in July, though numbers 6904 and 6905 are yet to be reported. Arriva London has a further red Seat Leon at Dartford (their fifth), while the engineers silver Vauxhall Vivaro van has been replaced by an unmarked white Peugeot Partner (NV66EHL). Seen at Go-Ahead's Plough Lane garage near Wimbledon, Mercedes Vito minibus RK68GVR (latterly at Croydon) is parked up out of use. Also present was older white Vito RJ62ZHB. We had marked this as withdrawn in February, based on the fact that it had had a new logbook issued. However, it may remain in use and further reports would be welcomed.
At Metroline, some new Ford Transit Connect vans are being delivered, although only one has been reported so far (AV20BZS, seen at Perivale CELF earlier this week). Four of the older AY15LHx vans were also present, perhaps for disposal having been replaced by further new vans. Also seen at the CELF was a red Renault Kangoo electric crew van (MA20WZN). This was parked inside and was only partially visible, so we are not yet sure if it is actually a Metroline vehicle. Finally to RATP, and it had occurred to me that if the new Renault Master vans were given fleetnumbers using the same logic as the earlier Ford Fiesta (FF) and Ford Transit (FT) vans, then they would be in the RM class! However, this was not to be. A visitor to Hounslow Heath this weekend found that fleetnumbers had been applied to the vans, but that they were in the R700xx series. Three were visible and have been added to the database, and it looks like the twelve vans may now be R70030 to R70041 in registration number order.
The registrations of all of the new RATP Renault Master vans at Hounslow Heath are now known and there are 12 in total. This seems to tie in with there being 11 garages within the group, the 12th van being a spare and/or for admin/head-office use. The vans do no (yet?) carry fleetnumbers.
News regarding the central fleet is still somewhat scarce. Fleetnumbers for the four Point Care Ford Transit vans at Arnos Grove are now known to be 9153F to 9156F. There may be some more to come as the previous allocation was of seven vans (8110-12/14-17F). The LBSL IRUs at Bedfont are reportedly due for delivery during August. The Iveco tipper at Acton (LK58HKN) appears to have been withdrawn, possibly as a result of fire damage. We don't yet know if the Scania photographed in March is a replacement. Also withdrawn are the two unique Peugeot Boxer vans latterly based at Lillie Bridge (7941/42P). It is believed that these vans had generators inside and it remains to be seen if anything similar has replaced them. Allocations have been added for a couple more of the earlier IRUs, while there seems to have been some movements among LBSL and TfL-PCO cars, with (for example) the two at Eltham now moved elsewhere.
With the bus companies, another two Citroen DS3 cars have been reported at Arriva London's Palmers Green, this time in unmarked black (the earlier three were white), while Dartford has an unmarked silver minibus, possibly on hire. The main news is the arrival at the very end of July of several Renault Master vans for RATP Dev. Eight were seen parked at the back of Hounslow Heath Garage yard on Friday, of which five could be identified. All were red and most had light-bars, chevron rears and white Buses roundels on the sides. One in plain red may be for admin or cover use, or may have simply been awaiting the application of markings. These vans will most likely be allocated, one to each garage in the group, as replacements for the 12-reg Ford Transits. Fleetnumbers are likely to be allocated but it is not yet known if these are applied externally.
All about pairs today. Two more Transit vans at Arnos Grove have been reported; AY20ZSR is 9156F while the number for AY20YYT is not yet known. Two more Seat Leons at Arriva London's Dartford Garage are DA69OZF and DG69BDV (both red but the latter unmarked). Finally, two more unseen vehicles have been confirmed as being in LUL livery (8847F and 8980VW). The nineteen LBSL IRUs remain at Bedfont for now.
The four predicted IRUs (9093/94/95/98VW) have all been noted at Bedfont recently, and there are now a total of nineteen of the type parked here (9071/72/83-99VW). All of the vans have been licensed and could potentially be entering service soon. Also new but back in March were some Ford Transits for the Point Care team at Arnos Grove. Seven existing vans 8110-12/14-17F were mostly withdrawn in March but replacements were not noted until recently. Two of the new vans are AY20YYO and AY20ZBV (licensed in March but note the unusual use of Anglia-region registrations), with one perhaps numbered 9153F. Finally, another belated addition is Arriva London Vauxhall Combo WR15VVP, seen in Clapton. Similar WR15VVO has been operated by Arriva London since new, so it is possible that WR15VVP has been too. Perhaps it was just hiding in Clapton or Stamford Hill garage (neither of these garages has had any allocated vehicles reported for a while).
Another useful report from Bedfont yesterday. The six VW Caddy Maxi crew vans in LUL livery (9128-9133VW) were licensed on Monday (22nd June), and only one remained at Bedfont the following day (9132VW). The eleven VW Crafter vans for LBSL (9071/72/83-90/97VW) were all still present and had been joined by a further four now in full livery (9091/92/96/99VW). Assuming that 9093/94/95/98 are also imminent, that would give a batch size of 45 vans (9055-9099VW), which sounds about right given the number of Sprinters in use until recently. Having said that, numbers 9100-9103 remain unclaimed, so the batch could go as large as 49 vans.
There seem to be some developments down at Bedfont, which is just as well as I have little else of interest to report! The LBSL IRUs mentioned previously are still present but have been joined by similar 9088-9090VW (RK20UZW/U/V) and 9097VW (RK20UXA). Also, the six VW Caddy Maxi crew vans (RK20UYA-F) are now in LUL livery and numbered 9128-9133VW (not in order). It is interesting that these vehicles are having livery and lettering work done at the dealership, as all previous vehicles (apart from the IRUs) had this done after delivery to Acton. Various other new VWs in plain white are also at Bedfont, and may in due course become service vehicles. The vehicle database will be updated tomorrow.
The position with the newest LBSL IRUs appears to be that three (most likely numbered 9068/69/70VW and registered RK20UZA/B/C) got to Acton Works in mid-March. At least seven others were 'stranded' at the Bedfont dealership, where they remained into May. These are believed to comprise 9071/72/83-87VW with regs RK20UZD/E/F/G/H/N/O. Many of the older Mercedes IRUs have been marked up as withdrawn, based on the fact that their licenses were not renewed for May onwards. Also withdrawn are the seven high-roof Ford Transit vans allocated to 'Point Care' at Arnos Grove (8110/11/12/14-17F). Unfortunately we have no means of finding out what might have replaced them at present.
A fleetlist for Go-Coach Hire has been received, this including their service vehicles. Though coverage of 'country area' operators on LTSV is a bit hit-and-miss, this is usually due to a lack of information. The Go-Coach vehicles have been added, and they include one curiosity. S114KLR is an Iveco EuroCargo 'Airport Support Unit', although it is SORN (out of use). Without knowing what format this vehicle is, I have listed it as a 'Truck'! Also added to the database today are a pair of Ford Tourneo Custom minibuses being used as crew ferries from Abellio's Southall garage, presumably because social distancing in a minibus is slightly easier than in a Ford Fiesta car! The minibuses are unmarked and are likely to be on hire rather than bought. Some other bus garages are using larger vehicles as crew ferry vehicles (including Arriva's Ware garage), while other bus routes have had the duty rosters amended to reduce the need to use crew ferries.
Delivery of new vehicles is believed to have been suspended, or at least significantly reduced. Six of the LBSL VW Crafter vans (9071/83-87VW) were noted still at the Bedfont dealership at the weekend. One vehicle that has not been seen but which is understood to have been delivered before the COVID-19 restrictions is a new recovery truck for Ensignbus. AY20TXB is a Volvo FH540 Interstater, licensed as blue but probably in Ensign's blue/silver livery.
The database has been updated with the last few reports received prior to the lockdown resulting from the Coronavirus problem. Among these were more LBSL IRUs seen at the Bedfont dealership. It is presumed that delivery of these will most likely be postponed. The 20-reg IRUs seen so far have been numbered in registration order. Subject to confirmation in due course, 9068-9072VW are RK20UZA/B/C/D/E while 9083-9087VW are RK20UZF/G/H/N/O. Registrations RK20UZU/V/W are also on similar vans and so could eventually become 9088-9090VW. This would give a batch total of 36, so another ten or so should be expected. Also seen at Bedfont were some more VW Caddy Maxis (RK20UYA/B/E plus others unidentified), while at least two Ford Transit crew vans had made it to Acton and gained LUL livery (9030F, reg unknown, and LR20FEM, fleetnumber unknown). A dozen vehicles (including seven of the replaced Mercedes IRUs) were listed by British Car Auctions as being auctioned at Wolverhampton today.
The first 20-reg vehicles have arrived, comprising Ford Transit crew vans for LUL (9016/7/8/9F) and a Renault Kangoo for Trams (9119R). Mitsubishi Outlander 9054MIT has indeed replaced 8005H at Harrow-on-the-Hill Station, with a third of the type arriving as 9104MIT in TfL white/blue. The next batch of LBSL IRUs are in preparation at Bedfont, although they are not expected to be delivered for a week or so. Noted so far (all with 20-regs) are 9068VW, 9071VW and 9083VW. Also at Bedfont are some more VW Caddy Maxi crew vans now in white/blue, including RK20UYA and RK20UYE. At the bus companies, a list from Go-Ahead London has clarified a few allocation queries and also added two previously unreported vehicles at Silvertown (Vito minibus RF19UZK and Transit Custom van EF19HHE). The 30 Dacia cars for RATP Dev are now all in service but reports have been scarce (perhaps understandably given the current public health concerns). Withdrawals of some of the existing vehicles have been traced. The ST750xx number series seems to have been used (but not carried) on most of the short-term (ST!) vehicles used over the past couple of years. Thirteen numbers in the range ST75075 to ST75090 are unaccounted for, though we have listed 15 vehicles during this period. Most are probably now gone anyway.
Another 13 LBSL IRUs were licensed towards the end of February (9065-9067VW and 9073-9082VW). Also new was a second Mitsubishi Outlander for LUL (9054MIT), perhaps to replace 8005H at Harrow-on-the-Hill.
A few more gap-fillers have arrived, including Transit Custom vans 8723F and 8724F for Trams. The first ten LBSL IRUs (9055VW to 9064VW) are now in service, though other examples remain at the dealership and are not yet licensed. RATP's new Dacia cars are also entering service. The first 8 are at Epsom, though reports from other locations (Hounslow Heath, Edgware etc) would be welcomed.
Lots of fleet additions in the past week or so. A mixed bunch of Ford Transits and Transit Customs has been seen at Acton Works, with fleetnumbers in the 88xx, 89xx and 90xx ranges. One carried fleetnumber 8625F, which seemed rather odd. However, although it is a couple of years 'late', the number is still available. Notably, this means that all 100 numbers between 8600 and 8699 have been used, not a common occurence recently. Lots more LBSL Incident Response Unit have been noted awaiting entry to service. These had fleetnumbers in the range 9065VW to 9082VW and were curiously seen in full livery while still at the dealership. As they are not actually licensed yet, the registration numbers could be liable to change. Delivery of the batch may take a while, and Crafters pre-registered RK20UWB and RK20UZB have also been noted at the dealership, albeit still in unmarked white.
Fleetnumbers for the last few RATP Dacia Sandero cars are now known. One has not actually been visually confirmed but there was only one reg and one fleetnumber outstanding so I put two and two together and got D75118. Examples of the cars have been noted at Hounslow Heath garage, but with the large quantity involved (30), they are likely to be allocated to a variety of garages.
The first 10 new LBSL IRUs have been added to the database. Nine of these are numbered 9056VW to 9064VW. The number of the tenth is not confirmed but believed to be either 9055VW or 9065VW. I would expect the total order to be for about 40 vans.
A number of new VW Crafter Incident Response vehicles have been noted at Acton and at the dealers. They are all white with red/yellow stripes on sides and rear. Some of those at the dealers carry numbers and, along with some Caddy vans, carry xx20xxx registrations. The first are expected to enter service imminently (R)
The batch of Dacia cars for RATP-DEV has now reached 30, and I would be surprised if it gets any bigger. Numbers are in the range D75101 to D75130, although the reg to fleetnumber tie-ups are not yet known for five of them. Arriva the Shires renumbered their service vehicle fleet into a new 97xx series in December 2018. Information on this has only recently been made available and the database has been updated accordingly.
More new vehicles have arrived recently including a VW Crafter van for LUL (8934VW), further Ford Transit and Transit Custom vans in the 88xxF and 89xxF ranges and yet another 3 Dacia Sanderos for RATP, taking their batch up to 27 cars.
Further to Monday's news item, a visitor to Twickenham yesterday found new Dacia cars numbered D75111/2/3/5 (D75114 was not seen), which had been delivered last week. He also found ten more Dacia cars that had only just arrived and were still in unmarked white. So it looks like the batch will total at least 24. Some of the earlier arrivals had recently departed, presumably to start work. I would guess that Hounslow Heath garage should be getting quite a few.
There are now four Renault Kangoo vans in TfL white/blue livery, electric 9114/9115R and diesel 9117/9118R. The gap in the numbers suggests that more may be on the way. Likewise for the RATP Dacia Sandero cars at Twickenham, with one numbered D75112 appearing in the background of a recently submitted photo. None of the Dacias has been reported in service yet.
Seen at Acton Works earlier in the week was a new Renault Kangoo van in TfL white/blue livery, the first to carry this. Numbered 9117R, it is not yet known which department it is for. Also seen were two former Elizabeth Line vehicles, now reliveried for LUL. This is presumably because the full fleet of Elizabeth Line vehicles will not be required until the line opens, and the opening date has been pushed back again. The vehicles noted were VW Transporter crew van 8643VW and Toyota Prius 8653T. Reports of any others would be welcomed.
The nice people at Acton have supplied another updated fleetlist, enabling us to catch up on recent deliveries. Only seven new vehicles had not already been seen, including 6 more Ford Transit dropsides (making a total of 20 of these in the last two months of 2019). Fleetnumbers are now known for a further 8 vehicles.
The number of Dacia Sandero cars for RATP-DEV has doubled, fleetnumbers D75101 to D75110 all now having been seen at Twickenham. This suggests to me that the cars are intended for use at various garages, presumably to start replacing the 19 remaining Ford Fiesta vans from 2012, or perhaps to replace some of the unmarked cars and vans operated over the past year. Observations (and photos) of the new cars would be welcomed.
A couple of bus company items to start the new year. Five new Dacia Sandero cars with RATP markings and fleetnumbers in the range D75101 to D75105 were found at Twickenham (NC) garage over the holiday. It is not yet clear if they are based here (in support of the Ealing 'Slide' minibus operation) or destined for elsewhere. At Arriva London's Palmers Green garage, a trio of new Citroen DS3 cars was seen. Although in unmarked white, it is assumed that these are new crew ferry cars for the runs to locations such as Edgware.
I had started work on a second batch of September photos (including more 1980s views) but I then decided that I should really try and get my revised railway website ready for launch on 1st October, i.e. exactly one year later than planned! Although this will only be the first stage, with more functionality being added later on, I do still have a long list of tweaks and changes that are needed before launch. Working through this list will be my focus for the next few days, and the next SV photos will most likely appear in early October.
The database has been updated. Ray and I have been working on various 1980s data recently, adding history entries and improving details on main database entries. My policy is to capture all published and official information to start with, even things which seem to be incorrect. A later exercise will be to go through these and distil out the actual (or most likely) histories.
The first 25 photographs have now been published.
The photos are on the way! I made a shortlist of those I wanted to publish, but it was a bit too much of a longlist at 63. So, I picked an initial 25 to do and I am three quarters through writing the captions. They should appear later tonight or tomorrow. The trouble with taking my time over this task is that I get overtaken by new arrivals. Phil has already sent another 60-odd (mainly from the 1980s but with a few modern views) and Ray has been to Acton Works again. Perhaps I could put in for some overtime...?
I have updated the database and the fleet news. Photos will have to wait a bit longer, although there is no shortage of candidates. In fact I have received a healthy 124 over the past month, from 12 different contributors. Among them was a large batch of 'classic' 1980s SVs, which I look forward to sprinkling among the more topical views. This week I am attacking the last bunch of John Marshall's LT documents for the other part of this site. However, I am also having to limit my time at the computer due to sustaining a back injury while doing DIY. Ho hum.
After a couple of quiet weeks, I have received a fair number of photos in the past few days, including some from the first visit to Acton Works since March and also some of classic 1980s service vehicles. However, rather than publishing some of these straight away, I really need to press on with my 'projects'. About a year ago I envisaged completing three 'new' websites by mid-2020. These were a replacement for this site, a replacement for my railway wagons website, and a new site for John Marshall's LT document archives. Things did not quite go to plan, with everything taking much longer than anticipated. The document website was put on-line this June but is only 75% complete (10,000 documents still need adding, along with various admin functions), while the launch date for the railway site keeps getting pushed back. The site is considerably larger and more complex than the existing one (think 'LTSV for all railway vehicles') and it is going to have to appear in stages, the first hopefully before the end of the year. Work on the 'new' LTSV site will not be started until the rail site is at least partially completed, though I don't expect it to take quite as long, since many of the same techniques will be used on both sites. The new LTSV will not be hugely different but it will have some new features and much-needed improvements to the security and appearance. There is also now a fourth website being worked on. I don't want to say much about it until it is a bit further advanced but it is another collaborative effort, utilising someone else's data, and the subject matter is a remarkably good fit for the other elements of the LTSV portfolio.
I have updated the database and fleetnews.
Twenty photos, most of which were taken in July, have just been added. Subjects include an ERU, some IRUs and the new RATP Renault vans.
The database has been updated, with the key points also covered in Fleet News. A batch of photos should follow in the next few days.
A small database update has just been done.
The vehicle database has been updated with a few additions and withdrawals.
A smallish batch of 15 new photos has just been added, one of which has what is probably the longest caption I have ever written, at 1,177 words! An update of the vehicle database will follow shortly.
The vehicle database has been updated with a few additions, withdrawal and updates.
I have finally managed to complete the latest batch of 32 photos, this comprising 21 recent views and 11 that form the last part of the 'Twenty Years Ago' feature. Next on my list will be to update the vehicle database.
Sorry for the lack of updates recently. I don't have a great deal of service vehicle news to report, though I have been receiving a few more photos over the last couple of weeks. I will start work on a new batch shortly, as well as bringing the database up to date. My thanks go (again) to Ray. He has been delving into the Vehicle Record Card collections I published recently and has updated hundreds of vehicle and history records with new or improved information.
Visitors might be interested to know that John Marshall's huge collection of London Transport document scans is now available on-line once again. Following the closure of his Picasaweb galleries, the documents can now be found in a new branch of this website at www.ltsv.com/lta. Three quarters of the 40,000 documents have already been uploaded, and the remainder will be done before the end of the year.
Staying in the past, today's update is the addition of further Vehicle Record Cards, which London Transport used to record details of individual vehicles from the 1930s until the mid-1960s. A total of eighteen new documents have been added, containing 2,177 photographs of cards (usually both sides). There are more cards still to be done but, for obvious reasons, the project is on-hold at the moment. To see the list of new documents, head to the Archive article page.
Part 2 of the '20 years ago' photo feature has just been uploaded, comprising 28 photos of the newer half of the leased fleet as at April 2000. Part 3, with a brief look at the bus company fleets, will follow soon.
I have scraped together a few reports and web findings to update the vehicle database. I have also been very busy with background work for future developments, though there is nothing to show for it yet.
The photograph situation is not as bad as I feared, at least for this month. I put together a small set of recent receipts, including a couple of 'oldies' and then I got a CD from Derek Everson with a bundle more. Although all taken in February and early-March, there were some interesting vehicles included, and these have been added to the batch being published today. Part two of the '20 years ago' feature will appear in early May.
I have updated the vehicle database. Apart from one report of LBSL IRUs still at the Bedfont dealership, most of the information has come from licensing checks. I have to be careful with these at present. Due to the COVID-19 situation, many bus operators are delicensing (or SORN - declaring off road) portions of their fleets. This probably also applies to the service vehicle fleets. For example, central fleet vehicles 6517F (the facilities van), 8362R and 8366R have not had their licences renewed for April. This could mean they have been withdrawn, or it could be that they are merely out of use temporarily.
I have received a couple of photos over the past couple of weeks, mainly taken by people out on their exercise walks! I will probably post a small batch this week, before resuming the '20 years ago' photographic review in May.
Due to the restrictions imposed as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, the supply of topical photographs has all but dried up. So today I am going to make you all feel really old by starting a photographic review of the service vehicle fleets as they were 20 years ago, in April 2000. The first 25 photos have just been uploaded, these looking at the owned fleet and the older members of the leased fleet. The next batch will cover the newer leased vehicles and those of the bus companies. I was taking a passing interest in service vehicles in 2000 but I did not start taking photographs until 2003. So for this update I am largely relying on the camerawork of Colin Lloyd (who sadly died this time last year) and James Mair.
The latest batch of photos (slightly increased to number 27) has just been uploaded. These might be the last 'new' photos for a while....
I hope you are all keeping yourselves safe and well during these difficult times. I have just updated the database with the latest reports, which may well be the last for some time. I have also being working on a batch of 25 photos, mostly taken in early March, which I hope to put up before the end for the month. After that I expect I will have to look at older photos for future additions. There are plenty available. Though many are in effect duplicates, I have over 18,000 SV photos that have not been published. That should keep me busy for a while! Finally I have started work on the database that will in due course run the next version of this website. If you have any suggestions for changes or improvements, now would be a good time to make them.
It has only been eleven days since the last update but there was a lot to add to the database today, including new deliveries, withdrawals and allocations. I also took the decision today to standardise the operator names for vehicles operated by London United, London Sovereign and Epsom Buses. Since these all now use a common fleetnumbering scheme it made sense to group them all under the parent company name of RATP Dev. This has been applied to all current vehicles and also to most other vehicles operated since the takeovers in 2011, 2014 and 2012 respectively. I have a lot of new photos to show but these will have to wait until next time.
The database has been updated with new additions (including three from the 1990s found in photos on Flickr), allocations and withdrawals.
The vehicle database was updated yesterday, and today sees the addition of 23 new photos, mainly covering the central fleet (including the first views of the new VW vans for London Buses).
The database has been brought up to date with lots of fleet additions and other changes. The IT situation has been resolved, apart from some minor issues trying to customise my new set-up. Reports and photos can be e-mailed to the usual address.
As Ray mentioned, my main PC has suffered a failure which seems to be unrecoverable. I can still update the website using other devices (I have just added the first of the new LBSL IRUs), and I have limited access to e-mail. Hopefully I will be back to full capability within a week or so.
Tom has been over-working his computer and it has now passed on. Could any reports be copied into Ray so that they can be entered on the site (hopefully). Thanks (R)
The 28 photos covering recent central fleet developments have now been uploaded.
The database has been brought up to date and I have also added 22 new photos, focusing on the bus company and 'other' fleets. I have received a lot of new photos over the past few weeks, including some showing some interesting developments in the central fleet. However, there were too many to do in a single batch so I decided to split them into two. Also, as the bus company coverage often takes second place to the central fleet, I decided to do them first for a change. This also allowed me to clear out some photos that have been sitting in my 'to publish' folder for a few months. The central fleet photos will follow shortly.
For new visitors it might be worth re-iterating how the data and photos on this website are categorised. What we call the 'central fleet' is the vehicles operated by Transport for London (TfL) or one of its subsidiaries (chiefly London Underground and London Bus Services Ltd, but not the bus companies that are contracted to provide the TfL bus services). The central fleet currently comprises a little under 1,000 vehicles. After a few fallow years, we are now once again receiving regular official updates on the central fleet, although we are still reliant on observations for details such as liveries and allocations.
Vehicles belonging to companies that run bus services are grouped as (unsurprisingly) 'bus companies'. There include the companies providing services under tender to TfL as well as those running other bus services in London and the home counties. Despite the larger area covered, there are fewer than 500 service vehicles listed for all of these companies combined. Having said that, very little official information is received and most of what we know comes from observations. Coverage of the TfL operators is fairly good but less so for the 'country' operators, particularly the smaller companies. As such, the actual number of service vehicles employed may be somewhat higher than 500. Coach and tour operators are not generally covered, although photos of their service vehicles may sometimes be included.
A third category of 'Other companies' covers companies engaged in work connected with public transport in London, or of associated interest. Examples include bus recovery contractors, railway companies and transport infrastructure companies. These vehicles are not generally included in the database but do sometimes appear in photos. Finally there is occasional photo coverage of service vehicles with operators from other parts of the UK and abroad, although again these vehicles are obviously not included in the database.
A bundle of new cars for RATP-DEV has been added to the database. They are logged under London United, although some may be destined for London Sovereign garages.
The database has been brought up to date. I have also been making more technical changes. Users should not notice anything different but, if you do, please let me know about it.
I have made some technical changes to the website today. These should be invisible but if you encounter anything odd or broken, please let me know.
The database has been brought up to date again, additions including some from the latest Acton Works list.
Happy New Year to all! I have updated the database with the latest additions, and have also cleared out a few vehicles that were withdrawn over the past couple of years.