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Fleet News
18 fleet news items posted in 2020.
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25 site news items posted in 2020.
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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to comprise 9071/72/83-87VW with regs RK20UZD/E/F/G/H/N/O. Many of the older Mercedes IRUs have been marked up as withdrawn, based on the fact that their licenses were not renewed for May onwards. Also withdrawn are the seven high-roof Ford Transit vans allocated to 'Point Care' at Arnos Grove (8110/11/12/14-17F).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.

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 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.