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CommentsDate added
New ERU fleet
The twitter site run by British Transport Police and the joint BTP/LU 'Network Incident Response Managers' has posted a little tease of the new eru fleet @BTPNetworkResp with promises of more pics this week
Sun 08/01/2017, 17:32
London Bus Museum
Worth noting that the London Bus Museum at Brooklands have designated their October 2017 event as having a Service Vehicle theme. So plenty of time to stir up the owners of preserved sv's to come along and make it a show. Plenty on site at Brooklands plus a good examples tucked away in Acton. Maybe we can have some others too? And how about the bus companies and LUL bringing out some of their more interesting vehicles? Could be quite a show. That's on Sunday 23rd October with other events at the LBM being 9th April and 25th June.
Wed 28/12/2016, 19:49
Picture of 392W
Can anyone help please so that I can make an accurate model of this vehicle as it was at Catford in 1959? Many of these Regal stores lorries were modified in later years by replacing the torpedo sidelights with front mounted, the removal of their valances, and even the cutting back of the tilt.
Sun 18/09/2016, 20:16
Trade plates
Until 1970 General Trade Plates (GTP) had white letters/numerals on a red background and could be used for all purposes whilst Limited Trade Plates (LTP) were reversed (red on white) and were restricted in use in that vehicles could not carry passengers.
Sat 17/09/2016, 17:58
What next for LTSV?
Besides keeping the database up to date with reported changes (and adding photos every month or so) there are several other pieces of work to improve the LTSV website. Some are already underway, some are only planned. I thought it might be useful to provide a list of these. Feel free to let me know which you think would be the most useful, or about any other suggestions you may have.

1. Continue with inputting of vehicle histories
Over 32,000 vehicle history records have been added over the past few years, and together they give complete coverage for a lot of the vehicles, particularly those from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Earlier events can be covered now that vehicle record cards are to hand for the oldest vehicles, but the newer stuff is a bit harder. Some fleetlists from the 1980s and 1990s are currently being combed through and these will provide at least partial histories for the central fleet in those decades. More recent vehicles, and all the bus company vehicles, will have to be covered using reported sightings and licensing data.

2. Add more archive documents
In June 2016 I started adding downloadable copies of historical LT documents relating to service vehicles, mainly fleetlists at given dates. There are still quite a lot to do, though the information they contain has (in general) already been used to update the vehicle database.

3. Add more downloadable documents
In March 2015 I provided a set of documents that enabled the bulk of the content of the LTSV website to be downloaded, the main aim being to provide a back-up of sorts. The documents containing the first 1500 photos have still not been completed, while the basic fleetlist was to be updated regularly (perhaps annually) but has not yet been done.

4. Add leased unmarked cars to the database
This is a recent idea, which could potentially add another thousand or more vehicles to the database. It has been covered in another forum posting added today.

5. Upgrade the forum
The forum is perhaps the weakest part of this website, and it was not dealt with in the upgrade last year. Perhaps as a result, the forum does not get much use. But would it do so if it were to be improved?

6. Fix the registration process
I am aware that there are some minor problems with the process of registering as a member of this website. It evidently does not stop people joining but it should probably be addressed.

7. Add more external photos
A couple of years ago I started work on a facility whereby external photographs (ie ones on other websites and in books) could be added as thumbnails. This could be especially useful for increasing the coverage of older vehicles. Just five photos were added and the work to enable visitors to upload images was never completed. The LTSV photopool on Flickr (which I am not connected with by the way) currently has over 1500 photos, many of vehicles not shown here.

8. Do something about 'changeable' information
By this I mean the details of a vehicle that can change during its lifespan and which may be useful for sorting and filtering purposes. The problem is that each vehicle entry in the database can only have one value for the operator, livery, registration number etc. In most cases this is sufficient but, to give an example, a van that started in white livery with South London but was later repainted red with Arriva London can only be listed under one of these states. If put under South London, a search for Arriva London vehicles will not return it. A similar situation applies to trade plates. I did create a solution for this ('LTSV3') a couple of years ago but the amount of work entailed meant that what eventually appeared ('LTSV2.5') did not incorporate the ideas.

9. Improve the home page and general site design
Despite major behind the scenes changes, the appearance of LTSV has not really changed in over ten years. The site works, but it could hardly be described as attractive, and it may be off-putting to new visitors (see also point 12).

10. Add sightings from photographs
The sightings reported on LTSV are very useful for determining the allocations of current and recent vehicles. However, not everyone is interested in adding sightings. There are a large number of photographs (most of which have not been published) which could be used to 'generate' sightings, thus helping with allocations.

11. Improve the sightings report process
Starting in 2014, sightings can either be linked to existing service vehicle locations or entered as plain text for other places. The benefit of this is that you can see all sightings at a given location, this again helping to determine allocations. The process is not quite fool-proof and could probably be improved.

12. Add more background information/guidance for 'newbies'
I am sure that a lot of the content of this website would be meaningless to a first-time visitor, and this may deter people from signing-up and contributing. Some guidance and explainations are needed, covering such basics as 'what is a service vehicle', 'what is the central fleet' and so on.

13. Add an annual review for 2015
In recent years I have provided an annual summary of changes to the service vehicle fleets and to the LTSV website, but that for 2015 has not yet been done. The reason for this is that, in the absence of official information, vehicles added during the year are still being reported. As such, any statistics that I produce (for example on the quantity of vehicles added to each fleet) may not be accurate. I will provide the report sometime over the next couple of months anyway.

14. Replacement follow-through links
A lot of service vehicle additions can be seen to be direct replacements for existing vehicles, either through observations or data on official documents. This information is now being included in the vehicle histories or notes (where available), but how about making them links? For example, a single-click could take you from one vehicle to the one that replaced it. The trouble with this idea is where there is not a one-to-one relationship. For example, where two vans (A and B) were replaced by two new vans (C and D), it would not be strictly accurate to say that van A was replaced by van C.

15. More devolution
A small number of members contribute by far the majority of content to LTSV, and a couple of years ago I started work on granting these people greater editing rights. The only aspects enabled so far are vehicle licensing data and history entries. More rights could be granted, allowing new information to appear slightly more quickly.

16. Links in notes
Members can add notes, which can contain the URLs of (for example) photos of particular vehicles. At present there is no method by which these URLs can be turned into clickable links, other than by my manually editing them. Would such a function be useful?

I must not forget of course to also keep the other LTSV website up to date (the one covering UK railway wagons), and I do have some long-standing plans to upgrade that site with a database, log-in, sightings etc. I am curious as to whether anyone else has interests in both of these disparate topics, although I do have at least one contributor who provides photographs to both. Right, that is enough from me. Any feedback will be welcomed, carefully considered and then ignored!
Thu 15/09/2016, 14:13
Consultation - Adding post-1981 pool cars to the database
A few years ago I added the unmarked cars owned by London Transport to the database. These were a regular feature until 1980, after which such vehicles were leased instead. At the time I did not intend to add the leased vehicles since a) not a lot of information was to hand and b) the cars were not generally registered in batches. Since then, more documents have been obtained and I feel I am now in a position to add these vehicles if it would be of benefit or interest.

Reasons for adding the leased cars to the database
There were quite a few instances of unmarked cars replacing (or being replaced by) marked and/or numbered vehicles.
There were several instances of vehicles being transferred between the car and numbered fleets.
Many of the leased cars were in fact registered in batches, or in the same series as numbered vehicles, sometimes filling gaps.
The allocation and department information could be useful for determining the function and lifespan of service vehicle locations.

Reasons against adding the leased cars to the database
The information may not be complete.
The livery details are not known for any of the cars (as with the owned cars).
There are unlikely to be any sightings or photographs of most of the cars.
A cut-off date will have to be applied since details of current vehicles and functions cannot be made available. I would propose the changeover from Y-prefix to 51-reg in 2001.

I would welcome any comments on this, either here or by e-mail to tom@ltsv.com.
Thu 15/09/2016, 14:12
Another thing I hate is...
...web forums where people make postings that have nothing to do with the subject of the website....
Thu 15/09/2016, 14:08
I know I am getting old because....
...when I get up from playing Lego on the floor, my knees creak.
Thu 15/09/2016, 14:05
Contractor vehicles removed from database
A total of 313 entries in the vehicle database are in the process of being deleted. These include un-used fleetnumbers (except where information is available as to what the number would have been used on), vehicles belonging to recovery contractors (apart from Sovereign and C and S) and vehicles belonging to Almex.

The entries removed are as follows:
256 un-used fleetnumbers between 3053 and 5833
8 recovery vehicles
- B6TSR Telstar Scania 112M
- D9FAT Cedars Volvo FH
- F102UFV Lantern Mercedes
- T1REC Spearing Volvo FH12
- V8REC Ontime Kenfield Scania 144G
- V8TOW Ontime Kenfield Scania 144G
- X485YBR Telstar Ford Transit Van
- EO51THZ Ontime Kenfield DAF XF

49 vehicles accredited to Almex
- Ford Focus estates AV52ZXT/ZYA, AV03UNF/XYW/XZY, AY03XCS/XCX, OE03GXY/GYB/GYX, OV03AWU, BN53WUB, BW53BCX/BOH, FV04XYD/XZT/YBZ and FV54PFN/PTZ
- Ford Focus hatchbacks RE07CHL and VN58OVY
- Ford Mondeo KH56KHY
- Vauxhall Astra estates FV54PTV, AP06EYY, AU06UGK/UPS and WP56HZF
- Vauxhall Astra hatchbacks BL55AOU/APF/JSV, BT55HNW/HNX/HNZ, KM55OBG/ODR/OFD, AP06EZE, AU06UHP/UHX/ULA/UPJ/UPZ/URD, WR56RZK, KV07DMU/DNE and AF58KYV
- Vauxhall Vectra estate EX07LWN
- Vauxhall Zafira KP55LNW

This exercise will reduce the total amount of entries in the vehicle database from (currently) 12,712 to 12,399.
Tue 31/05/2016, 13:51
Garage Open Days 2016
The following London bus garage open days have been advised:
21st May - Shepherd's Bush
9th July - Holloway
30th July - Croydon (TC)
13th August - Bromley
1st October - Potters Bar

There is also to be another event on Regent Street on 3rd July, no further details yet.
Wed 18/05/2016, 10:43
Croydon Tram Depot
A tram depot taken over by LPTB in 1933 and not mentioned in the Locations list is the ex-SMET depot in Aurelia Road also referred to as Mitcham depot because of access to the Mitcham Road. It was non-operational at the time but in 1935 the junction direction was changed and the building reopened to transfer Cohen's tram scrapping activities from Brixton Hill so it could become fully operational whilst Streatham depot was being rebuilt for taking the longer Felthams. LPTB now gave the building the formal title of ''Croydon depot'' as the Mitcham title would confuse Cohen's hands as they had to pass through Mitcham and then Mitcham Common to enter Croydon to get there!!! Following Cohen's request in the autumn of 1937 for the roof to be made watertight, LPTB decided to transfer the scrapping operation to the now closed Purley depot. The importance of Croydon depot for service vehicles is that it was used as a base for the overhead wire conversion to trolleybus in 1937 and photos exist of the tower wagons stationed there. It is a coincidence, that today's ''Croydon Tram Depot'' is in Therapia Lane which joins Mitcham Road almost opposite Aurelia Road. I wonder if anyone has listed the road service vehicles belonging to Croydon/London Tramlink?
Wed 11/05/2016, 15:52
Purley Tram Depot
Thanks, Ray, for the response. I will write the dates in my copy of ''Tramways of Croydon'' (second edition.
Note: Posting edited by Colin Withey, 10/02/17, 15:14.
Wed 11/05/2016, 15:33
Purley Tram Depot
I have registered to provide a token of thanks for this freely available list which I have resorted to whilst away from home and my books on the subject. It is in respect of your description of Purley being a permanent way depot. No, but temporary overnight security use by p.w. staff would have been made to save vehicle journeys. Opened in 1901 as an operating depot, it was closed by LPTB in September, 1937. It was reopened in November, 1937, when LPTB transferred Cohen's scrapping operation at Croydon depot (aka Aurelia Road - another story) to there. Scrapping continued until 1939 when the depot became a wartime storage facility (except for one week when reopened as an operating depot for a 16/18 'skeleton' shuttle service!!!). Scrapping resumed in 1945 but this operation was transferred to Brixton Hill in 1947 allowing the building to be renovated as an Annex to Charlton Works hence the transfer of the tractors to work there. This use ended in 1949 followed by scrapping five Felthams! From January, 1950, to April, 1951, it reopened as an operational depot taking over from Thornton Heath for its conversion. Purley depot nearly became a bus maintenance facility to permit the reconstructed TC and, the then to be, TH garages being purely bus parks. I have seen the drawings for the bus maintenance bays within the existing buildings and appreciated why this scheme did not materialise leading to its sale to Henry Streeter as a heavy commercial vehicle maintenance garage. So I do recommend that the title of this entry be changed to ''Purley Tram Depot''.
Wed 11/05/2016, 15:07
Garage Open Days 2015
The following have been announced:Epsom 20th June, Potters Bar 11th July, Camberwell 5th September, Willesden 19th September and Westbourne Park 10th October . Barking is also stated to be holding an open day - date awaited
Note: Posting edited by Ray, 21/07/15, 16:37.
Wed 27/05/2015, 18:34
London Transport Museum Acton Depot Open weekend 25/26 April 2015
Just a reminder that the LTM open weekend at Acton Depot is close and happens on 25/26 April 2015. There's supposed to be an Emergency Response Unit display this time. I shall be there all weekend and doing a bit of ''hold tight!, ding ding'' on RM1 on Saturday. They seem to have me down as Blakey on the Sunday so it'll be ''I 'ate you Butler'' instead. Mind the doors!..DC.
Fri 17/04/2015, 21:07
Emergency Incident Vehicle
Noted a LU livery medium wheelbase Ford Transit at Camden Town (Sunday 29/03/15) with ''Emergency Incident Vehicle'' lettering on both sides and red/yellow chevrons on rear doors, Standard blue skirt. Not in any way similar to ERU marked vehicles, didn't get reg or fleet no when passing sadly and not seen similar marked before - any one have more??
Mon 30/03/2015, 00:05
New 1/43 scale models
New from Radley Models this year will be a Leyland Cub trolleybus breakdown tender,and possibly a catering van as well. To complete a scene in this scale will come a kit of a K3 trolleybus plus extra sidelamps to allow conversion to a K2.
Mon 16/03/2015, 17:44
New 1/43 scale models
New from Radley Models this year will be a Leyland Cub trolleybus breakdown tender,and possibly a catering van as well. To complete a scene in this scale will come a kit of a K3 trolleybus plus extra sidelamps to allow conversion to a K2.
Mon 16/03/2015, 17:44
Review of 2014
2014 was the 'Year of the Bus'. I'm not really sure who decided this, or the underlying objectives, but it did lead to an interesting year. The main events were a string of open days at London bus garages, perhaps the greatest quantity since the Golden Jubilee celebrations of 1983.

As usual there were a few changes to the ownership of London bus operators. In March the small London Sovereign operation was sold by (French company) Transdev to (French company) RATP, thus bringing it back into common ownership with London United. Later in the year, RATP also bought the London Tour operations latterly run by Arriva from Wandsworth garage. Within the Go-Ahead group, Metrobus ceased to operate London bus services during the year, Orpington and Croydon garages now being run under the London General licence. In reality the changeover was gradual, with the Metrobus name still commonly visible at the end of the year.

A rather fundamental change that took place in July was when buses in London stopped accepting cash payment for fares. Given the high usage of Oyster and other pre-payment cards, and also the significant administration savings enabled, the change was perhaps logical, and it seems to have passed off without too much adverse publicity.

Most of the new buses delivered for service in London were 'green', although they were of course nearly all red. Exceptions to the latter were some of the Wright New Bus for London (NBfL) vehicles, delivered in black livery and given dramatic graphics to mark the 2014 World Cup. Over 200 NBfLs entered service during the year, and the type is now a common sight around inner London.

In terms of service vehicles, the most notable aspect of 2014 was the relatively small quantity of vehicles added to the central fleet (LUL/LBSL/TfL). Although a few more may still remain to be reported, just 81 additions were made, the lowest for many years. I think there are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, the intake does vary from year to year. 2010 was something of a 'dip' year, with 160 additions. This would result in fewer vehicles coming up for replacement in 2014. Secondly, there may be economies being made by re-merging of functions that were latterly covered by both Tube Lines and Metronet. Thirdly is the Ford issue, of which more anon.

The 81 vehicles included 59 with numbers in the 'leased' series. In the first half of the year these were slowly filling the gaps in the 7760 to 7820 range. In the autumn the numbers jumped ahead into the 79xx range, suggesting that some large orders had been placed. The remaining 22 vehicles were un-numbered, although this will no doubt include a few for which numbers are allocated but not carried (or not yet reported). Three full-sized lorries were among the un-numbered additions, comprising two MAN dropsides and one Mercedes dustcart.

Actually, the number of new central fleet vehicles should perhaps be 81 and a half! In a resurrection of a practice not seen for many years, one of the lorries was given a new body. Mercedes-Benz Axor WX08KUY was new in 2008 with a fairly standard dropside body. In the spring this was removed and replaced with a custom-built box body containing a toilet, kitchen and meeting/dining area. It is now used as a mobile office at rail engineering work sites, replacing one of the demountable bodies previously used. It was also the first lorry to carry the new LUL white/blue/red livery.

Despite the reduction in intake, variety is still present. The 81 vehicles added in 2014 came from 10 different manufacturers. By co-incidence the 2013 intake of 230 vehicles also covered 10 makes, though not the same 10. The biggest surprise in 2014 was the fall of Ford, the dominant supplier for the past 50-odd years. Just 8 of the intake were Fords, and they were all in the first half of the year. Among them were the last 3 examples of the Mk7 Transit van, 1 Focus car, 1 new Transit Connect and 3 of the new Transit Custom model. The new Mk8 Transit became a common sight on UK streets during the year but we have yet to see any in use as service vehicles. It could be that the new models are still being evaluated, or that some technical or financial aspect of them is not ideal. It will be interesting to see if 2015 sees Ford make a comeback.

Another surprise was the reappearance of Vauxhall. They had been the main alternate to Ford since the early 1980s but the quantities tailed off dramatically around 2011. 2014 saw 2 Movano minibuses added to the LBSL fleet, due apparently to the unsuitability of the Ford Transit Custom minibus. These were the first Vauxhalls in almost 2 years.

In the absence of Ford, the main supplier of central fleet vehicles in 2014 was Volkswagen, with 27 added (up from 3rd place in 2013). Renault supplied 20 (also in 2nd place in 2013), while the remainder came from Toyota (10), Ford (8), Nissan (4), Peugeot (4), Mitsubishi (3), MAN (2), Vauxhall (2) and Mercedes-Benz (1).

Developments with environmentally-friendly propulsion systems continued slowly through the year, and the adoption of 'green' technologies as standard still seems some way off. Three pure electric vans were added (one each from Nissan, Peugeot and Renault) along with 4 cars (3 Nissan Leaf and 1 Renault Zoe). Hybrid vehicles are more well established, and 10 Toyota Yaris cars were added in 2014, mainly replacing Toyota Prius cars in the TfL fleet.

Liveries provided some interest during 2014. Right at the beginning of the year, several vehicles in London Overground livery (white with blue skirt and orange stripe) were delivered. This livery had first been seen the year before on a pair of VW Golf estate cars. The new vehicles comprised 8 Renault Kangoo Maxi vans and 5 VW Transporters, and presumably were added due to some support function being brought back 'in-house'. Most of the vehicles were based at the new Silwood Depot or at nearby Oldfield Grove, and it does seem that they are only used on the sections of the Overground that were previously part of the LUL system. As an aside, the Overground network is due to expand in 2015 when some of the routes out of Liverpool Street are taken over from Abellio.

The second livery development also took place early in the year, and will affect a large number of vehicles. From this point the primary lettering on all new central fleet vehicles was changed to be 'Transport for London', with a strapline of 'Every Journey Matters'. The lettering is blue (on white vehicles) or white (on red ones). Roundels next to this lettering, and on the front, show the actual operator (eg Underground, Buses, etc).

In April three new vehicles were delivered in the Tramlink livery of white with blue skirt and a green stripe. This had previously only been carried by a Transit dropside new in 2013. Towards the end of 2014 the livery was also applied to two of the Ford Transits latterly operated in plain white. Two of the other plain white vehicles were given LUL livery as well, rather surprising given that they will probably go off lease in the next year or two. Conversely the lorry fleet, most of which is likely to remain in use for some time, continued to carry the defunct Tube Lines livery, the only exception being the rebodied Mercedes-Benz Axor. LUL livery with TfL lettering was applied to the three new lorries delivered during the year.

The final livery development came in the summer when the first of a new batch of Toyota Yaris hybrid cars was delivered. These carried white/blue livery with no stripe, had blue TfL lettering and a solid blue roundel alongside and on the front. Thus no specific department was mentioned, perhaps to enable the cars to be switched between users. They replaced most of the Toyota Prius cars latterly used by TfL Streets (in white/orange livery) and TfL Public Carriage Office (all white).

Quantifying the service vehicles operated by the various bus companies is much harder. There is no official information, and some of the operators are actually outside the TfL area. Many of the vehicles are acquired second-hand and it is also almost impossible to use DVLA and vehicle auction data to track disposals. Based on our best information, 105 vehicles were added to the bus company fleets during 2014. 61 of these were second-hand and 44 new. Ford and Vauxhall were the dominant makes with 42 and 38 vehicles respectively. Another 8 makes were represented by the remaining 25 additions.

Early in the year, Arriva Southern Counties received a number of Ford minibuses from co-owned TGM. Most were used to replace the last of the former London taxis used as crew ferry vehicles from Dartford. Arriva London re-opened its Edmonton Garage in March and took a batch of 14 new Vauxhall Corsa cars. Arriva the Shires was now the main user of ex-London taxis, and several more were added during the year. These featured both the traditional FX4 design and the newer TX1 model. Most were reliveried into Arriva corporate or Green Line advertising colours, but many did not last very long. The change of management of the Metrobus London fleet saw new support vehicles being delivered in un-marked red. This is almost standard livery for Go-Ahead London service vehicles, whilst Metrobus ones used to carry white livery with full lettering and fleetnumbers. The process was accelerated when five plain red Vauxhall crew vans were moved from Northumberland Park to Croydon in exchange for 5 Mercedes-Benz minibuses. A side effect of this is that the Metrobus name can now be seen at places such as Edmonton! Notable departures from the bus company fleets were Arriva London's emergency fuel tanker and the three Honda motorcycles used by Stagecoach London.

The LTSV website saw two main developments during 2014. In the first half of the year the inputting of vehicle history records continued, with over 13,000 entries added. The period 1948 to 1981 was completed, and a start was made on 1939 to 1947. The plan had been to complete the inputting by the end of 2014 but a couple of factors saw this fall by the wayside. Firstly, the official information now to hand seemed to cover the period up to about 1982 quite comprehensively. However, there are evidently some events that were missed (for example when a vehicle is shown moving from A to B and later from C to D) and there are lots of aspects that are vague (for example when a vehicle is allocated to 'Hammersmith' or 'Works'). The post-1982 period will be much harder to cover. Apart from a few Registers from the 1980s and 1990s, most of the data will have to come from observations. This also applies to the bus company fleets.

The second development was that most of the pages on LTSV were completely rewritten. This was a major piece of work but far less visible, since the overall 'look' of the pages was kept the same. A few new functions were added, while the security and 'tidiness' of the coding was greatly improved. The new pages were also designed to eventually enable other members to have greater editing rights (for example, adding vehicles), and guidance notes and help were incorporated where appropriate. A couple of sections have not yet been upgraded, notably the forum (which I have never been happy with) and the member registration pages. Also still on my 'to-do' list is to improve the home page. I must have the only website that still looks pretty much the same as it did 10 years ago!

One of the changes introduced with the new pages was the ability to relate vehicle sightings to particular locations. This has obvious benefits but it also added a problem I am not happy with. When adding a sighting, you now have a choice of three places in which to record the location, and it is far too easy to pick the wrong one. The changes have also not achieved the goal of preventing people adding locations such as 'Near Clapham at 7am'. No-one has commented/complained about the changes but that is because feedback is generally non-existent. Come on people, tell me what you want. It may be different to what I think you want!

One other change I ought to mention is the inclusion of 'external' photographs. There are a lot of service vehicle photographs in books and on other websites, and my plan was to improve the way these could be referenced on LTSV, primarily by allowing members to upload thumbnails of the photographs. I am still not clear on the legality of this, and therefore the facility has not yet been enabled.

Finally some site statistics for 2014. 10 new members joined, about average but perhaps surprising given that the joining pages don't work very well! Membership is now at 185, although of course a very large proportion of the site 'activity' is by a very small number of members. The recording of vehicle sightings was down by about a third to just under 6,400. I published 313 photographs, up a bit on 2013's 295 but lower than average. 1,311 photographs were received during the year (also lower than average), which means that about 1 in 4 were used. The site now has 4,852 photographs, while my full collection is at an amazing 18,217.

Looking ahead, I don't foresee any major changes to LTSV in the coming year. Hopefully I will be able to complete the site upgrades and improve some of the less-than-ideal features. A major piece of work that remains on hold is the production of a new service vehicle book. This was intended to be more-or-less a follow on to the SUP15B I produced for LOTS in 2005, and it would use the archive documents to provide full allocation histories for all vehicles. It would also serve as a means of 'preserving' the masses of information that has been accumulated by the website over the years. Rather obviously, this book would almost certainly have to be in a digital format. It would be just too large to produce a printed version economically. I do still intend to proceed with this work at some stage (either under the LOTS banner or independently) but the aforementioned difficulties with the archives means it is presently on the back burner. I would also like to spend some time this year on improving my two other websites.

Before I go I must acknowledge the support of the membership in supplying the photographs and information that makes LTSV possible. Even a single sighting report can be useful to determine a vehicle's allocation, and all submissions are appreciated. Thanks go especially to Ray, Steve and Derek for their numerous contributions.
Tue 27/01/2015, 13:51
New 1/76 service vehicle kits
Some news provided by Clive Greedus:

.
Thanks to Tony Asquith his Little Bus Company are now taking advance orders for new 1/76 scale service vehicle kits that should be ready 2015/6.(Reserve now, pay later). The models above are scratchbuilt but the kits will be similar. On the left, LT's standard stores and towing lorries from 1939 till the mid sixties on ex AEC Regal (T) and Regent (STL) bus chassis, will be represented by 447W. In the centre is 1018J, the shelter carrier converted from an STL, served 1954-61. On the right, railway breakdown tender 110J is older than the kit model which will be 832J, one of those on ex STL chassis that served buses as well as railways. The van roof will be lower and there'll be no cab top sign. IMHO this is the best LTSV modelling news in years!
Wed 08/10/2014, 11:01
Docklands light railway support vehicles
Do these vehicles come within the LTSV grouping? I have a small list of 4 that I saw recently and was wondering if a complete list of Docklands service vehicles is available?
Tue 27/05/2014, 10:37
HCVS London-Brighton 2014
A quick look at the programme for this year's London to Brighton run on Sunday 4th May 2014 reveals that elusive ambulance 1532B is entered. This vehicle changed hands a while ago and seems to be having a period of activity. Where are all the other ''preserved'' service vehicles?? The LTM have Red Arrow MBA582 and Scooter LT1076 entered. Neither has been out and about for a good while. Seeya there on Brighton seafront!
Thu 17/04/2014, 21:11
Preserved Service Vehilces
Does anybody know of a list of known preserved service vehicles
Mon 14/04/2014, 11:20
Garage open days in London in 2014
There are currently no fewer than seven garage open days proposed for this summer, list below.
10/05/2014 Catford
07/06/2014 Alperton
21/06/2014 Stockwell
28/06/2014 Fulwell
05/07/2014 Potters Bar
19/07/2014 Walworth
07/09/2014 Dartford (Arriva KT)

One other imminent event that may be of interest is the RT75 event this weekend. On Saturday 12th April RT buses will work over old route 22 between Piccadilly Circus and Homerton. There will also be a display of RT buses at Ash Grove Garage. On the Sunday (13th) the buses will feature in the London Bus Museum Spring Gathering at Brooklands. While on the subject of anniversary events, RM60 will be held in Finsbury Park on 12th and 13th July 2014.
Note: Posting edited by Tom Young, 10/06/14, 00:12.
Wed 09/04/2014, 21:50
Acton LT Museum Depot Open weekend 15/16 March 2014
The Depot will be staging an open day again this weekend. Saturday and Sunday 15th and 16th March 2014. It has the usual model theme plus a Year of the Bus theme and you should see some of the buses moved out of their usual confines and find them a little bit more acccessible this time. All good fun. I'll be working on the LTM Friends stall all weekend if anyone is about. Seeya there. Damon.
Thu 13/03/2014, 23:18
Tram Depot
I have today started work on the 1939-1948 Advice Book, and almost straight away hit another location query. Various vehicles are shown as being at 'Tram Depot', most of them elderly lorries marked as Reserve. Transfers are mainly between there and 'Chiswick'. I am going to assume that 'Tram Depot' is the location now known as Stamford Brook Garage.
Sat 01/03/2014, 23:36
London Buses Cherry Picker
Noted a white Ford Transit chassis cab with cherry picker bodywork (yellow boom) on Cricklewood Broadway this Morning carrying Red roundels 'buses' on cab doors and bonnet, no sign of fleet number,Tree lopper perhaps??
Wed 19/02/2014, 19:56
York Trailers
Having just completed the Radley Models 1/43rd scale kit of the 3ton Mk 1 Ford Thames Trader in its 1129F guise, I'm inclined to do a conversion of the vehicle into one of the prime movers in the 1139F-1143F series. Ideally I'd like to produce one of the York trailers fitted with the Scammell mechanical horse coupling to go with it. There's photographs of YT7 and YT12 in the Rennie and Aldridge book but I really need to know what the length of the trailer was. Anyone have any ideas? Many Thanks Arun
Sun 02/02/2014, 02:34
Replaced By and Replacement For
If you look at the vehicle history entries you will see that a lot of them contain the above information, showing which vehicles were replaced by new vehicles entering service, and what the replacement for vehicles going out of service was. I should point out that this information is not actually shown in the source documents (mainly LT Variation Sheets). However, if a vehicle enters service at location X with department Y on date Z, then a similar one leaves service from the same at around the same date, then it is safe to assume that there was a direct replacement. I am considering making this information into hyperlinks (so that you can 'click through' chains of vehicles) but the problem is that there is often not a one-for-one relationship.
Sat 01/02/2014, 17:04
Scania Prime Mover LPJ564K
Variation sheets list this as taken on hire from Dorada Commercial Vehicles on 03/04/1973 (to Works).
Fri 31/01/2014, 14:27
Location codes (or 'I like to be consistent, sometimes')
I had been meaning to say a bit about the codes used as abbreviations for locations on this website, and why they differ from those used in some other publications. Obviously bus garages have always had official one- or two-letter codes which are well known. At first there were relatively few other locations at which service vehicles were kept, and both LOTS and the PSV Circle assigned them two-letter codes (unfortunately not always the same, for example LOTS used LE for Lillie Bridge while the PSVC used LB). With the huge amount of garage codes that have been used over the years, plus the increase related to tendered bus operation, it was becoming hard to find meaningful codes for SV locations that did not conflict with these. There was also a growing number of SV locations being added or identified.

LOTS had already been using 3-letter codes for some non-garage locations, notably ALD for Aldenham and AEC for AEC Southall. Whilst I was putting together SUP15B for LOTS, I argued that 3-letter codes should become standard for non-garage locations, and these were duly used. In devising the codes I tried to make them as meaningful and straightforward as possible, for example Effra Road was given code EFR. However, I also applied a few rules, albeit not completely consistently. To avoid confusion with bus allocations combined with status codes (for example ACt would be used for a trainer bus allocated to Willesden), I tried not to use any codes that ended in T, U or W. A bit of a slip-up was my recent addition of EWT for Edgware Track Depot, where EWt is a potential current bus code. For bus stations, most were given codes ending in B, with D the last letter for most depots and S for Stations. Offices were generally given either H (for House) or O, while Emergency Response Unit locations ended in E. The result is some codes that may appear odd (for example MMO for Mitcham Offices) but also a clear relationship between groups of codes (for example SDB, SDD and SDS are the bus station, depot and railway station at Stratford). There are a few anomalies (such as Acton, Bollo House being ACB but not being a bus station) but hopefully the codes are fairly easy to either guess or remember.

Now, whilst it is quite easy to change the codes on the website (which I recently did when I discovered that 'Dollis Hill' was an office at Cricklewood Bus Garage rather than the Station - DHS was changed to DHO) it occured to me that this might not be sensible. The codes have been used in SUP15B, in numerous editions of The London Bus, and also in the newer TLB Extras published by LOTS. Changing them could lead to confusion for future readers. So, whilst I now know (for example) that neither AGS and SSS are actually at their respective stations, I won't be changing them.

What has brought all this to mind today is the discovery of yet another probable SV location. Silwood Triangle is a patch of open ground south of Surrey Quays Station and bounded by two branches of the East London Line and the Southeastern lines from London Bridge. Assuming it does become a long-term allocation, I am a bit stuck for a code. SWD would imply a depot, SWT would confuse with SWt, SQ-something (for Surrey Quays) would be OK but I can't decide what the something letter should be. Ah, SQY might suit. The Y relates to it being a yard and also fits in with the name Surrey Quays. Shame it isn't really at Surrey Quays....

Anyhow, enough of my rambling. I should really get to bed. Or maybe I'll just do a bit more history inputting first!

Tom
Sun 26/01/2014, 01:40
DASM (Distribution & Advertising Service Manager)
This department name first appeared on 13/06/1967, when a large number of publicity vans were listed as being transferred to it from the Publicity Officer. I have entered these as changes of department name, rather than transfers. However, the DASM acronym then appears against various other vehicles, including several tippers delicensed in spring 1968. Perhaps (as its name implies) DASM was a merging of CDS and Publicity. Hopefully things will become clear as I progress.
Mon 20/01/2014, 01:55
Where is 'Works'?
Up to about mid-1960, the Variation Sheets and Advice Books explicitly named Aldenham as the place where most new SVs were delivered to, and where a lot of them went prior to disposal. However, from then on, most entries in both documents annoyingly show only 'Works'. In some cases, later entries for a particular vehicle show that Works was in fact Aldenham, but for the rest I am playing it safe and putting the allocation as 'Works'. Does anyone know for certain whether 'Works' relates to just Aldenham? Or for that matter, why the change was made?

A related question that may yet be answered as I work through the documents is this: When did new SV deliveries stop going to Aldenham?
Sun 05/01/2014, 18:26
Review of 2013
Here is a review of SVs and LTSV in 2013.

A significant event early in the year was the phasing out of the Tube Lines identity. Launched in 2003 as one of two infrastructure maintenence consortia (the other being the ill-fated Metronet), Tube Lines was brought back under LUL control in May 2010 but retained its separate identity until early in 2013. New support vehicles delivered since then have carried the standard LUL livery of white with a blue skirt and red stripe. Given that most vehicles are leased for about 3 years, there seem to be no plans to rebrand the existing fleet, although one or two examples have been noted. The heavy lorry fleet (which have rather longer lives) would seem better candidates for re-liverying but none had been reported by the end of the year.

Two new ''standard'' liveries were first seen during the year. London Overground has two VW Golf estate cars in the orange-striped variant of the white/blue livery. Although new in 2010, they were first seen in early 2013 and may have initially operated anonymously. The green-stripe livery worn by Tramlink trams was applied to a new Ford Transit dropside truck in mid-year.

A rare case of a contracted service being brought back in-house was the termination of the Powerlink contract in August 2013. The maintenance of LUL's electrical power network is now undertaken using LUL-liveried vehicles, most of which were new deliveries. At least one existing van was retained and repainted, providing a very rare example of a second-hand vehicle joining the leased fleet.

There were plenty of interesting happenings across the London bus companies, including the division of First London between Metroline and new-entrant Tower Transit, and also the entry into service of the first production ''New Bus for London'' vehicles. However, these had little impact on the support vehicle fleets.

It was another slightly disappointing year for public access ''behind the scenes'', despite the celebrations for 150 years of underground railways. There were the usual handful of bus garage open days, but a planned event at Neasden railway depot was cancelled. Stratford Market depot did have an ''open house'', and though the pre-booked, guided tours were excellent, they bypassed the area where the many service vehicles are kept.

369 vehicles were added to the LTSV database during the year, compared with 2,258 in 2012. However, the latter figure included 1,683 London Transport cars from the period 1927 to 1980. Similarly the 2013 total included 31 vehicles from the 1980s and 1990s. Considering just the vehicles taken into stock during the year (or a bit before), the figures are as follows (2012 totals in brackets):
Additions: 338 (539), of which 239 (366) were central fleet vehicles, including 193 (342) numbered vehicles in the range 7310 to 7790 (7053 to 7609). The 239 (366) central fleet vehicles were from 13 (17) different manufacturers. The order of the top 3 makes was Ford, Renault, Volkswagen in both years. Rather surprisingly, Ford delivered slightly more vehicles in 2013 than in 2012, meaning it went from supplying a third of the fleet additions to just over half. The totals for Renault and Volkswagen both dropped in 2013, roughly halving their share of deliveries. Most significantly, we are not aware of any Vauxhall vehicles being added during 2013, the first time this has happened for many years. The size of the central fleet (not including unmarked cars) remained roughly the same at a little over 1,000.

Additions to the bus company fleets amounted to 99 (173), with Ford slipping into 2nd place thanks to a large delivery of Mercedes minibuses for the Go-Ahead group. In 2012 Ford had supplied over a third of the additions; in 2013 it was nearer a quarter. Vauxhall remained in the top 3 with about a fifth share.

The above figures do need to be taken as approximate. Since we received no official fleet information during the year, everything is based on observations. The stats for the bus companies are also skewed by the fact that many additions are second-hand. Despite this, it does seem clear that most operators are cutting back on fleet renewal, the reductions being about a third across the board. Some of the reduction for the central fleet may have resulted from economies made by recombining functions latterly split between Tube Lines and Metronet.

Staying with statistics, here are some on the website in general. 6 new members joined LTSV in 2013 (8 in 2012), while the whole membership logged 9,002 vehicle sightings (9,104). I uploaded 295 (474) new photographs to the website but the main activity came late in the year when over 9,000 ''history'' records were added. This followed a decision to postpone the development of a whole new database structure (LTSV3) and instead incorporate some of the proposed changes into the existing site. The main improvement was to be the inclusion of data from the many LT archive documents which have become available over the past few years.
Sat 04/01/2014, 02:07
Difference between Withdrawn and Delicensed
Documents up to May 1955 listed any vehicles taken out of service as being Withdrawn. After that date, the term Delicensed was introduced for vehicles that were likely to re-enter service later. For the history inputting exercise, I will initially be using the terms as they appeared in the original documents.
Sat 14/12/2013, 16:33
Why are the department names so varied?
In inputting the records, I am currently doing it as near to verbatim as possible. Hence operating departments that are abbreviated in the original documents will be abreviated in the database, for now at least. There seems to be a degree of confusion about some of the abbreviations. For example, Dist Eng when related to TnT (Trams and Trolleybuses) vehicles usually means (electrical power) Distribution Engineer. However, at least one entry has this transcribed as District Engineer on the variations sheets.
Sat 07/12/2013, 03:26
What happened at Wood Lane in 1949
On 28/09/1949, a total of 21 varied vehicles were transferred into Wood Lane, 8 from a variety of bus garages, the remainder from Chiswick. Many then lost their trade plates, being licensed as goods vehicles. This seems to coincide with the completion of modernisation work at the adjoining White City Central Line Depot.
Sun 01/12/2013, 17:16
Rye Lane PW closure date
I have a closure date for Rye Lane Permanent Way Depot of October 1948, the site being used for Rye Lane Bus Garage (opened in 1952). It is reported that the PW vehicles moved to Bowles Road (close to Old Kent Road Garage). However, the LT documents show vehicles still being allocated to Rye Lane into 1949, for example ticket vans 809B/810B in April/May, and car JXN484 in late June.
Sun 01/12/2013, 17:11
Early uses of Aldenham
Aldenham Works was first intended to be a train depot for an extension to the Northern Line. During WW2 it was requisitioned for use as an aircraft manufacturing factory. It eventually reopened as a bus overhaul works in 1955. However, there is evidence it was at least partly used by LT before this. I haven't yet looked at pre-1948 records, but the following have come up:

Leyland Cub 182C was transferred there for the Works Manager on 05/05/1948.
Ford lorry 479F was transferred there upon withdrawal from Lillie Bridge on 14/02/1949. Many other redundant vehicles followed, many spending a few days here prior to moving to Walthamstow (Ferry Lane) for storage pending disposal.
New vehicles seem to first appear in 1949. AEC Regent 741J was here when first converted from STL42 on 30/03/1949. Was the work perhaps done here? Later that year a few new vehicles were first delivered to Aldenham (such as 789F on 16/08/1949), though most continued to go to Chiswick.
Sun 01/12/2013, 17:05
Firemans van at West Green?
Morris van 241M is listed as being transferred on 25/11/1948 from the Chiswick RSI to West Green as a ''Firemen's van''. It has been suggested this is an error for ''Foreman's'', but the latter title has not been seen on any other entries.
Sun 01/12/2013, 16:58
Conversion of ex WD AEC Matadors
Three queries in one here. 8 ex War Department AEC Matadors were bought by LT in late 1947/early 1948. They eventually entered service as Master Breakdown Tenders.

1. Six of the vehicles were stored for a while (not concurrently) at ''Slough''. I have entered this as the (later) LCBS garage, but it has been pointed out that this did not open until the 1980s. LT had three garages in Slough. Alpha Street closed in 1933, Bath Road in 1936 and Langley Road in 1937. So where were the Matadors?

2. Most of the Matadors went to Metro Coach Building at Hayes for conversion, usually after a spell at Slough. Indeed 749P was recording as visiting Metro three times. However, 750P and 754P seem to have entered service directly from Chiswick, without going to Metro.

3. Why did these conversions take so long? 747P entered service in 1948 but the rest took until 1949. In particular, 753P only went to Metro in May 1949, over a year after acquisition.
Sun 01/12/2013, 16:55
Introduction
I have now started inputting the vehicle history information from the London Transport variation sheets and advice books that were obtained a couple of years ago. As I do this, I keep coming across events that appear unusual or inexplicable, plus others that require clarification (especially given the frequent vagueness of quoted locations). Many of these will no doubt be resolved as I move onwards through the records. However, I have created this topic on the forum to keep a track of them, and to enable visitors to add their own comments where relevant.
Sun 01/12/2013, 16:42
LOTS ATS EVENT AT THE RAF MUSEUM HENDON
This years LOTS ATS Event is at a new venue, the RAF Museum at Hendon, nearest tube station Colindale. Or Mill Hill Broadway, First Capital Connect, then a bus. The date is Saturday 30th November 2013. Full details please LOTS Website.
Mon 14/10/2013, 21:15
London Transport Museum Depot Open Weekend
The London Transport Museum Depot Open Weekend is from the 1st to the 3rd November 2013, for details please see LT Museum Website.
Mon 14/10/2013, 21:10
LTSV is 10 years old
LTSV is 10 years old today. However, it has not significantly changed since the database was added in October 2005. I have lots of plans for an upgraded version of the site but I would also like to know what visitors would like to see. Is there much interest in the allocation histories of LT vehicles? Should the design of the site be updated (getting rid of those grey pages)? Would maps of locations be of any use? What don't you like about the site? What is missing? Have your say, either by replying to this posting, or by e-mailing me at tom@ltsv.com.
Tue 01/10/2013, 20:01
New Ford Transits (Mk8, Custom, etc)
The appearance of several new Ford Transit Custom minibuses in the Stagecoach fleet in September has prompted me to look at the new Transit range with a view to deciding how they will be described on LTSV. The new range comprises four all-new models that will replace all existing Transit variants over the next year or so. Each model has a distinct yet related styling and can be summarised as follows:

Transit Courier - A new compact van, with just one standard size option
Transit Connect - The revised (and slightly enlarged) Connect comes in two lengths but now with just one height option
Transit Custom - This replaces the low-roof Transit van and comes in two lengths. It is slightly longer and narrower
Transit - This replaces the mid-height and high-roof Transit and comes with 2 wheelbases, 2 or 3 heights and 3 body lengths. The wheelbases are the same as the Mk7 Transits but the bodies on the new vans are longer, wider and taller

A nice photograph showing a line-up of all four models can be found at http://probuildermag.co.uk/news/all-new-ford-transit-courier.

Full specifications for the range (such as dimensions) do not seem to be available yet. However, based on what I have been able to find out, I intend to apply the following descriptions on LTSV:

Transit Courier - Will be described as 'Transit Courier'
Transit Connect - Will be described as 'Transit Connect Mk2' with either SWB or LWB
Transit Custom - Will be described as 'Transit Custom' with either SWB or MWB
Transit - Will be described as 'Transit Mk8' with either MWB, LWB or LWB EL and Low-Roof, Mid-Height or High-Roof

Note that the 'Mk8' designation is not official but appears to be widely used. The Mk8 is sometimes referred to as the 6th generation, since the broadly similar Mk3, Mk4 and Mk5 were sensibly grouped as the 3rd generation. My intention is that the longest Transit Custom and the shortest Transit will both be described as MWB since they have the same 3.3m wheelbase as the MWB Mk7 Transit (although they all have different body lengths). As such, there will not be a 'Transit Custom LWB' nor a 'Transit SWB'.

If the Transit Courier and Transit Custom models are significantly revised in the future, then 'Mk1' designators will be retrospectively applied to the initial designs.

Once some photographs and/or diagrams are available I will update the Ford Transit article on this site.
Sun 29/09/2013, 01:21
Stratford Market Depot open house
This year's Openhouse events include tours of the Jubilee Line depot at Stratford Market. Tours are on Saturday 21st September and must be prebooked at www.tflevents.co.uk/lu150stratfordmarketdepot. Stratford Market is of course home to a large number of service vehicles so this will no doubt be of interest to visitors to this site. However, it is not yet clear which areas of the depot will be covered. Also, rather unfortunately, the event falls on the same day as the triple garage open day at Metrobus.
Note: Posting edited by Thomas Young, 30/08/13, 09:54.
Fri 30/08/2013, 09:53
A new tree-lopper?
Anyone who watched the BBC doumentary 'The Route Masters' last week may have noticed a modern open-top bus being used as a tree lopper at night. The vehicle appeared to be TfL's X173FBB, a Volvo B7TL/Plaxton President new to Durham Travel (trading as London Easylink), later passing to London Buses (trading as East Thames Buses). When that operation was sold to Go-Ahead, X173FBB was retained by TfL, although I can't recall if it had already been open-topped by then. The staff seen in the short clip were working for Ringway Jacobs and the vehicle may have been on hire to them. It presumably had had its upper deck seats removed for the job. Since the vehicle is not a dedicated tree-lopper, I will not be adding it to the database.
Tue 02/07/2013, 23:10
More garage open days 2013
On 21st September, Metrobus garages at Orpington (MB), Croydon (C) & Crawley (CY) will be open to the public to celebrate 30 years of Metrobus. On 17th November there will be an open day at Merton (AL) whilst a smaller event - tours of the garage - was to have taken place at Stockwell (SW) on 8th December but has been cancelled.
Note: Posting edited by Ray, 19/10/13, 13:20.
Fri 26/04/2013, 13:52
London Transport Museum Depot Open Weekend
The London Transport Museum Depot Open Weekend, Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th April 2013, from 11.00 to 17.00. Nearest Tube Acton Town. Admission 10, LT Museum Friends Free. Note There will be no District Line Service all Weekend Turnham Green to Ealing Broadway, and no Piccadilly Line service all weekend Acton Town to Uxbridge, buses will run on both lines, see Transport for London web-site for more information.
Sat 30/03/2013, 16:46
Garage open days 2013
Potters Bar open day is planned for 8th June whilst Willesden is planned for 5th October (was to be 14th September). Another open day at Holloway has been booked for 10th August
Note: Posting edited by Ray, 15/09/13, 12:45.
Fri 29/03/2013, 17:18
Bus and Railway data
It's a bit off-topic but I would like to mention 2 impressive websites that may be of interest. Both use live data feeds from transport providers but in way which makes them very useful for enthusiasts. I should also add that neither site works in Internet Explorer 8. Mozilla seems to be OK.

The London Vehicle Finder (http://londonvf.co.uk/) is a very simple-looking site. You can type in a location, a bus route number or a bus registration number and it will give you a load of current and recent information. LOTS are evidently making good use of this source.

OpenTrainTimes (http://opentraintimes.com/) combines railway Working Timetable data with live train-running information. Most interesting are the route diagrams, which show real-time train locations and signal states in much the same way as a signaller would see them. The North London line is my favourite. For stations not yet covered by these, you can select a date/time for any location and see what trains run. What sets this apart from sites like National Rail Enquiries is that non-passenger train paths are included. Be aware that the information is based on timing points. So, for example, several freight trains run through Abbey Wood but this is not a timing point for them. Selecting a train you can view a map showing its timing points. Some are interesting, such as the Westbourne Park to Northfleet Crossrail spoil trains, which cross over themselves twice.
Fri 15/02/2013, 00:08
Tree Loppers
I had the opportunity today to have a close look at the preserved 971J [ex-1/10/STL/6 1470]. What intruiged me was that I was sure I had read somewhere that in LT days the upper deck floor had had a large hole cut in in and the tree bits fell through this into the lower deck saloon whence they were eventually removed through the rear emergency exit. Interestingly, the windows on the vehicle are painted glass rather than plated over and it would be surprising if the windows would survive having small branches continually falling on/against them.
Does anyone know, or have a picture of, what the upper deck floor looked like on these vehicles in tree lopping days? or how they were used?
I should have added that currently, the upper deck floor shows no evidence of ever having had such a hole cut into it.
Note: Posting edited by Arun, 30/01/13, 00:37.
Wed 30/01/2013, 00:06
Neasden Open Day
An open day (Underground 150) is planned for 31st August 2013
Thu 24/01/2013, 17:37
The end of LT service vehicle body numbers
The LT variation sheets always listed the body numbers of service vehicles taken into stock (and usually when the vehicle was sold as well). However, deliveries from December 1964 do not show the body numbers, suggesting that this is when the use of body numbers ceased. SUP15 shows 1373B, delivered on 14/12/1964 as being body number M103, and adds that this was the last body number allocated. This number is not shown on the variation sheets. Body numbers M1 to M102 were evidently planned to be allocated in order to vehicles 1265F-1272F, 1278LD-1291LR and 1293AS-1310KB and 1312F-1372F. I would surmise that the body numbers for vehicles delivered after the end of November 1964 were not in fact used. These were M55-M59, M66, M68, M69, M72, M80-M84 and M86-M88.
Wed 28/11/2012, 13:38
Kerby Motors Limited
The above took a number of vehicles in the years after the war. A history of the business can be found at http://www.kerbeymotors.com/History.htm I am not aware of any former LT vehicles being shown. (As an aside I went to a school in Kerby Street in the fifties - just too late!)
Thu 04/10/2012, 17:25
London Transport Variations in Rolling Stock (Variation Sheets)
A huge number (well over 20,000) of London Transport documents from the 1940s through to the early 1990s are available on the internet. These were all scanned and uploaded by John Marshall. Perhaps the most interesting are the sheets entitled Variations in Rolling Stock, which show all movements and changes affecting LT buses and service vehicles each day. The documents are spread across four websites, the links for which are below. Users should note the following:
The scans are fairly low resolution and are almost illegible in places.
You sometimes need to scroll down past various photo galleries (or click on More) to see all the documents.
The pages are often very slow to load.

http://picasaweb.google.com/103109420540420338437
Here are the Variation Sheets for September 1944 to August 1963 (with some gaps).

https://picasaweb.google.com/107128559835522255960
This collection includes Variation Sheets for the period August 1963 to October 1973 plus lots of photos.

https://picasaweb.google.com/104734698688735396562
This collection includes Variation Sheets for the period November 1973 to December 1990 plus some other contemporary documents (including some service vehicle specific ones).

https://picasaweb.google.com/100765472585824042460
This collection contains Variation Sheets (or equivalents) for the period January 1991 to 1997, plus lots of other LT and LCBS documents from the 1930s to the 1980s.

I spent quite some time downloading copies of all the Variation Sheets and any other documents that relate to service vehicles, and the information contained within is gradually being applied to the vehicle database.
Fri 28/09/2012, 21:45
LOTS ATS Event 2012.
The LOTS ATS event this year 2012 will be Saturday October 13th 2012, earlier than usual, held at the Harrow Leisure Centre,further details see LOTS website.
Tue 03/07/2012, 15:44
Open Weekend London Transport Museum Depot Acton
The London Transport Museum Website informs that the next Family Open Weekend of the London Transport Museum Depot will be Saturday 6th October 2012 and Sunday 7th October 2012. LT Museum Friends have free entry to this event. For further details LT Museum website.
Sat 30/06/2012, 12:21
2012 London bus garage open days
Sat 12th May. Event at Fulwell Garage to mark the 50th anniversary of the trolleybus closure. Not an 'open-day' as such.
Sat 7th July. Potters Bar Garage open day
Sat 29th Sept. Willesden Garage open day CANCELLED
Note: Posting edited by Thomas Young, 10/09/12, 00:30.
Mon 07/05/2012, 23:30
1416LD resin kit
SV modellers may be interested to know that Radley Models have produced a 1/76 scale resin kit of breakdown tender 1416LD, details of which can be found at http://www.radleymodels.com/page/service_stock An O gauge version and a tower wagon in the same scale are also shown at http://www.radleymodels.com/page/_o_gauge_road_vehicles
Wed 28/03/2012, 17:35
LT Private Cars (pre-1985) added to the database
No fewer than 1,683 vehicles have been added to the database today, these comprising the 'Private Cars' operated by London Transport. Up until 1980, regular batches of cars were bought for use by individual members of staff (or positions). Although unmarked, they could often be recognised by their registration numbers, these being in batches either similar to, contiguous to, or intermingled with those on buses and numbered service vehicles. After 1981 such vehicles were leased and hence were no longer in distinct bacthes. The last owned cars appear to have been sold in 1985.

The information on these vehicles has been added to the database since it is now obtainable from London Transport 'Variations in Rolling Stock' sheets that have been published on the internet. The next stage will be to use these variation sheets to capture the allocation histories of the cars, as well as of other LT service vehicles. This may take some time!

Fairly comprehensive details are included of cars bought between 1944 and 1981. Some information on earlier vehicles has also been added, having been collated from lists in the LOTS SUP1C (1977) and SUP22 (1981) publications plus various other LT documents.

The following vehicles were listed in SUP22 but have been omitted as they don't appear to have actually existed: KYV700D, SMK790F and WYU171T. Likewise FJJ583 from SUP1C. FJJ569 and JXC361 have been included, although they do not appear on the variation sheets.

Many of the registration numbers used would command high prices these days, examples being SLT1, SLT2 etc, TJJ1M and THV1S. The 'special' plates were often applied to the more upmarket cars (such as Jaguars and Daimlers) that were assigned to senior board members. The bulk of the intake was of fairly basic cars, such as Austins, Hillmans and Ford Anglias, Escorts and Prefects. The Ford Escort accounted for 417 of the cars, though this does include a quantity of the rather different 1950s design that used the name.

The service life of the cars varied quite a bit. The onset of World War 2 resulted in many of the 1930s cars being kept on longer than expected, while a life of 5-7 years was normal afterwards. Cars bought in the 1950s often lasted a lot less, with about 80 being sold before their first birthday. Record holder appears to be Ford Anglia WYL728, new in October 1959 and sold in the following July. 2-3 years was the average.

The livery of most of the cars is not known. Early examples were often black, while white and red are known to have featured on 1970s deliveries. Very few photographs of these cars have been seen.

At least 34 of the cars were given fleetnumbers in the Tram and Trolleybus service vehicle series (in the range 44 to 233), although these were probably not carried.

To see the full list, select 'LT Car' from the 'Range' drop-down on the Fleet Data page. By the way, I have set the 'date added' entries to be 01/01/2012, this to avoid cluttering up the 'latest data' lists! I should also mention that some of the entries for chassis numbers may in fact be engine numbers. The variation sheets are not always clear on the distinction, and it would appear that a lot of the chassis numbers of service vehicles in the original SUP15 book (and hence also on this site) are also in fact engine numbers.
Fri 16/03/2012, 19:29
Feb 22nd Aldwych Emergency Exercise
Huge emergency service exercise centred on (closed) Aldwych Tube today from 7am-7pm vehicles parking in (specially closed) Surrey Street WC2R all main emergency services sending ''specials'' anyone in the area able to deploy camera!?
Wed 22/02/2012, 04:56
ERU and blue lights
A brief report from the BBC Local News can be found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-16961185
Note: Posting edited by Damon, 12/02/12, 19:44.
Sun 12/02/2012, 19:42
Summary of 2011 (not so micro)
2011 was another interesting year for the service vehicle fleets. The first 7xxx fleetnumbers appeared early on (the first was 7037F which may have arrived in late 2010), with 7246VW being the highest reported by the end of the year. There are of course lots of gaps as usual. While the Transit remained the most popular model, there was a noticeable shift away from Ford for smaller vehicles. As far as we know, only two Transit Connects joined the central fleet during the year while no Focus cars were reported at all. In their place were several batches of cars and light vans from Peugeot, Renault and Volkswagen. I am told this does not reflect an overall vehicle policy but is merely the result of deals available at the time orders were placed. A nine-month break in deliveries for Tube Lines was ended early in the year, with deliveries since then concentrated in distinct blocks of fleetnumbers. However, only 30 new vehicles for Tube Lines were reported during the year, compared to 139 for LUL.

Although exact figures are not available (due to the lack of official information), 236 central fleet vehicles were added to the database during the year. These comprised 85 mid-sized vans, 65 cars, 61 light vans, 17 mid-sized trucks, 6 minibuses and 2 buses. 83 of the additions were Fords, 36 Volkswagens, 31 Peugeots, 24 Mercedes, 22 Renaults, 17 Vauxhalls and 23 from other makes (Citroen, Dennis, Mitsubishi, Optare, Smart and Toyota). The decline of Vauxhall (traditionally the main alternate supplier) to sixth place is notable. There were no additions to the owned (lorry) fleet, while leased fleet numbers were applied to 183 vehicles. Of the remaining 53, 21 were leased vehicles for which fleetnumbers were not yet known, with the other 32 being genuine un-numbered vehicles.

Vehicles returned off lease were mainly from the 6200-6600 range although many lower numbers continued in use longer than expected. Withdrawals included most of the remaining vehicles in Metronet livery (perhaps as few as three survived into 2012) and many of the LUL rebranded ones.

London Buses Operations replaced its first batch of Incident Response vans with a broadly identical set of Mercedes vans, but also added a pair of hybrid Ford Transit vans. Most of the LBSL Honda Civic hybrid cars went off lease during the year. Although there had been 16 of them, the only replacements we are aware of are four each of Toyota Prius and Ford Fiesta cars, the latter notable in being the first such since 2003. London Buses Infrastructure also took some 'green' Transits, four electric vans joining their fleet of VW Transporters.

125 bus company service vehicles were added to the database during the year, although some would have been in use for a while, while others were no doubt missed. 46 of the additions were Vauxhalls, narrowly beating the 44 Fords. The only other make to see double-figure additions was Carbodies, due to Arriva Southern Counties apparently insatiable appetite for former taxis to use as crew ferries. There were more cars (48) added than mid-sized vans (35) or light vans (25). Apart from the Arriva SC taxis, the only companies taking notable quantities of vehicles during the year were Arriva London (yet more Vauxhall Corsa cars), Go-Ahead London (a variety of anonymous crew ferry vehicles following successes with bus route tendering) and Stagecoach (who totally renewed their SV fleet with Transit vans and minibuses). The largest vehicle added to stock was a second-hand Volvo tow-truck bought by Ensign. This proved to be in poor condition however and was sold a few weeks later.

Four vehicles operated by Sovereign Recovery were also added to the database during the year, giving a grand total of 365.

8450 SV sightings were logged in 2011.


In terms of the website itself, a fairly fundamental but largely invisible change was a switch of hosting supplier in mid-year. The hosting service was having increasingly regular reliability problems, and this co-incided with my other provider introducing some of the features that the LTSV site needed. A switch seemed the obvious choice and although the only outward change was the web address reverting to the original ltsv.com, there was a lot of behind the scenes work involved. Other changes to the site were minimal. Slightly larger thumbnails were introduced in March (another long-winded process), while a few small page tweaks were brought in. The number of registered members increased by a modest 11 (to 159), while several new photographic contributors came on board. The site does remain reliant on a small number of very active members and my thanks as always goes to them.

458 photographs were added to the website during the year, mainly covering topical developments but with a few historical and non-London shots included for interest. A total of 3770 photographs is now on the site, of which almost 45% include a Ford vehicle! The main LTSV photo collection is kept on my PC and currently amounts to over 14,500 photographs, taking up 22GB. 1,433 were added during the year, meaning that I am publishing about 32% of receipts.

I had a new service vehicle fleetlist booklet published by LOTS, as their SUP24E. Sales of the earlier editions had evidently been sufficient to warrant continuation. By the way, there is no prospect of LOTS doing an updated SUP15 (complete SV fleetlist) for the foreseeable future. When the time does eventually come, the main issue will be whether it can fit in a single book!

As I seem to have been saying for the past few years, I have many ideas for a revamped version of the LTSV site. This would be incremental rather than fundamental, although a cosmetic overhaul would be included. I am keeping a log of my ideas for now, including allowing more editing rights to key contributors, including maps of locations and sightings, and capturing the large amount of historical information (primarily allocations) that is still out there. Luckily, the site seems to work quite well as it is so there is no great urgency. My free time is distinctly limited at present and my two other (rail-related) websites are more overdue some attention.
Tue 17/01/2012, 01:47
LT Corps (St Johns Ambulance) 502FJJ
I found this pic of an ambulance that appears to have LT Corps lettering (as per former GS47). The registration (502FJJ) suggests it was supplied by LT. https://picasaweb.google.com/107128559835522255960/1972slides#5264920713372672834
Sun 11/12/2011, 23:09
Ford Transit LS10YMO ''cancelled fleet order''
Here's a funny thing. I found online a picture of the new Ford Transit van model by Oxford Diecast. The van was plain white but it carried reg LS10YMO, which sounded familiar. So I googled the reg and found a page on the Hartwell website, complete with pictures of LS10YMO in white/blue livery and for sale. The details say it was a cancelled fleet order. The van was a high-roof LWB Mk7 Ford Transit. It might not be there for long but the webpage can be viewed at http://www.hartwell.co.uk/vans/used/?lnk=922&make=ford&perpage=4®no=LS10YMO.
Sat 03/12/2011, 00:05
Oxford diecast 1/76 Transit
This should be in the shops before Christmas. It is of the 'medium' wheelbase version rather than the short wheelbase illustrated.
Mon 14/11/2011, 18:56
NEW from Oxford Diecast
Newley announced by Oxford is a 1/43 scale model of 1164F a Ford 400E minibus type thing. Expected for release ''quarter 1 2012'' They also have some AEC Matador wreckers in the offing, one from Southdown which should sell well (everybody loves Southdown!!), one from Devon General and one from Bradford, all 1/76. Start saving yer pocket money..
Mon 07/11/2011, 12:35
Fictional LTSVs!
While researching something else entirely, I came across the Flickr website belonging to northernblue109 (Garry Luck). This has many brilliantly photoshopped pictures, mainly of buses and trains in unauthentic liveries. He has also done a couple of 'might-have-been' LT service vehicles, a Leyland TS8 Railway Emergency Control Vehicle (http://www.flickr.com/photos/northernblue109/5582478700/in/photostream/) and a Leyland Comet Breakdown Tender (http://www.flickr.com/photos/northernblue109/5581893737/in/photostream/).
Sun 30/10/2011, 00:44
Night trip report - 200 SVs in one outing!
Ray and I joined Steve on one of his regular night outings earlier this week. The aim was to see as many vehicles as possible, so we decided to target the three biggest locations first, starting at Acton at 21:30. This was a bit early for the main run-out from the works, but 41 vehicles were seen over the next hour anyway. You really need to stand near the works entrance here, as vehicles come and go both ways on Bollo Lane. As the vehicles are seen on the move, photography is not possible. Departures included three dustcarts starting their rounds (along with the recently added Ford Transit BN07YAV) and 7 lorries, many of which we were to see again. More interesting were the vehicles going into the works, most likely to sign-in and/or load-up before heading out later. Among them were many vans and cars that are only seen at night, including a variety of Ford Transits and Vauxhall Combos, and two thirds of the Peugeot Partners delivered earlier this year. A further six vehicles were identifiable in the staff car park, although I did have to return the next day to confirm one of particular interest (new Combo LN11RKO). Three or four LBSL Honda Civic cars were there, although the only one identified was the one from Eltham that we already knew about. Getting the others would have been helpful to suggest where the latest delivery of red Toyota Prius cars have been allocated.

We then drove down to Griffith House and got out to walk the surrounding streets. Griffith House is perhaps unique in having an 'allocation' of about 50 vehicles yet having space on-site to park only 5 or 6. The rest only visit briefly at night, parking wherever they can find space, before heading out to work sites. Old Marylebone Road, Homer Street and Harcourt Street all had many vans parked amongst the resident's cars, while Seymour Place was notable for an un-broken line of 8 vans. We were on a tight schedule so I didn't get my camera and tri-pod out this time, but this location is perhaps the best for night photography of service vehicles. The short-wheelbase Ford Transit crew van is king here, with most of the recent batches being seen, along with a variety of other vans and just two cars (a further Partner and a Ford Focus). 42 vehicles were recorded in a visit of perhaps 15 minutes.

Back in the car we circuited Baker Street station (6 vehicles) before heading to Lillie Bridge. Arriving shortly before midnight, we stood at the bus stand on Lillie Road for the next hour and a half and recorded a further 69 vehicles, mostly coming out of the depot. You get a long view down the depot road here, so you can see when something is coming. However, the vehicles often came out in clumps of three or more. I was using my Blackberry to furiously tap in the numbers but perhaps an old-fashioned notebook might have been easier, or even a voice recorder. Contractor's vehicles have always been a common sight here, but I would say their numbers have reduced. The only ones seen in quantity were white Transit dropsides and vans belonging to Cleshar. Among the proper SVs seen, five were lorries that we had already noted leaving Acton. One of the former LBSL Honda Civic cars was a surprise sight, 6298H operating in anonymous maroon. Also still anonymous were several of the Renault and Peugeot vans in the 6627 to 6646 number range. No fewer than seven vehicles were seen still carrying Metronet branding, the newest being silver/blue 6261F. Representing more recent developments, the two Ford Transits converted into generator carriers both came out, sadly without their trailers, as did a total of seven brand-new VW Caddy crew vans. I was quite pleased to see three of the seven newish Smart cars as well.

When the Lillie Bridge run-out petered out we headed back to the car for a bit of a drive around. Naturally a proportion of the vehicles seen during the rest of the night were ones that had already been noted at Acton, Lillie Bridge or (particularly) Griffith House.

Central Line vehicles are often the most elusive so we headed first to White City Station. Seven vehicles were found here, including a lorry with crane, which appeared to be lowering or lifting something from the track below. Tracking back inwards, there was nothing much at the Central Line stations so we diverted to Paddington (5 vehicles) then along the route 205 passing Edgware Road, Baker Street, Regents Park and Euston stations to Kings Cross. At each of these, deviations were required to check the back-roads where SVs are often parked, and about a dozen SVs were found. We then back-tracked again, via Warren Street, Regents Park, Baker Street and Marylebone, picking up another dozen or so, then down to Marble Arch. The work at Green Park station is virtually complete but five SVs were among a larger number of contractors vehicles still present. Onwards via Trafalgar Square and Charing Cross to Embankment, then over the river to Waterloo, Lambeth North, Elephant and Kennington. There was not so much down this way quantity-wise but some of the vehicles seen were still rather interesting.

It was by now about 03:30 and I think we had all had enough. On the way home we called in at Mandela Way and Eltham Bus Station, adding 9 LBSL vehicles to the total.

When I got home (and had some sleep), I went through my notes and found that we had recorded a total of 208 different service vehicles. This represents just over a fifth of the current fleet, not bad for one night's 'work'.

I would like to thank Steve for driving us around all night, and Ray for remembering numbers until I had a chance to tap them in!
Sun 25/09/2011, 20:16
Grey borders on photo thumbnails
Visitors may have noticed the rounded borders applied to thumbnails on photo selection pages. I didn't mean to upload this variant but it snuck on when I switched domains recently! However, I would be interested to know if anyone has a preference for these, or for the plain square-cornered thumbnails (as used on the select by date added page). Cheers, Tom.
Tue 30/08/2011, 03:12
Stagecoach and First UK-wide fleetlists
Nathan Thorn's UK-buses website includes up-to-date fleetlists for Stagecoach and First (as well as East Yorkshire Motor Services). The Stagecoach one (http://www.uk-buses.co.uk/stagecoach.php) is almost comprehensive with around 8,100 vehicles listed, although it does not include the re-acquired London operations. Visitors to LTSV may be interested in the fact that service vehicles (from cars upwards) are included. The last few pages of the list show about 330 SVs at garages around the UK. The First group list (http://www.uk-buses.co.uk/first.php is far less comprehensive (around 4,100 vehicles out of about 8,000 operated) and does not include SVs.
Mon 15/08/2011, 01:23
London Spotter
Hi, could you correct the date of your sighting of Stagecoach 95250 please?
Sat 13/08/2011, 12:34
NTBO
Can you tell me what NTBO stands for in the vehicle notes section ?
Wed 06/07/2011, 22:43
SORN
SORN applies to all tax classes including those where no duty is payable, such as historic and disabled tax classes. A SORN is required if one of the following applies: The vehicle tax is not renewed (or is being refunded) and the vehicle is kept off the road or every 12 months if the vehicle is kept off the road. Therefore, in theory, any vehicle shown on the website as 'unlicenced' has probably been scrapped, hidden away in bits or dumped in the sea!
Note: Posting edited by Ray, 03/07/11, 21:56.
Sun 03/07/2011, 21:53
Siku Mercedes Sprinter van 1/76 scale
I have just obtained two examples of the above, a van and a minibus. They are to exact 1/76 scale and will stand alongside the CMNL version without any noticeable differences except that they do however represent the SWB variant. In some areas it is cruder than the CMNL model, the interior and wheels in particular but these can be upgraded/replaced. The Mercedes star does not appear on the grill neither does any indication of the prototype manufacturer probably due to not obtaining permission from Mercedes. In fact it is possibly a copy of the CMNL modified to the shorter version.
Sun 19/06/2011, 13:50
Nice time?
To assist with night visits you may have noticed that the website now works one hour ahead of BST. Please adjust your bus timetables accordingly.
Thu 09/06/2011, 14:13
Reliance Redshaw-Lister Garage Sweeper
Hello LTSV2 members. My name is Gav Redshaw. I have just registered to this site after having found it through researching my families business, Reliance Trucks co. I got onto this site through the Reliance Sweeper at Cobham and was astonished to find the data sheet on here that tells me that there were upto 97 road sweepers in service with LT. It was my great uncle who founded and owned the business and I've other family members whom also worked for a long time within the company. Including my Great Grandad who was factory engineer and my Grandad who was in sales. The genes of the family have carried through both my and my dad as we're interested in Horticultural, Industrial and Agricultural machinery and own a couple of restored vintage tractors. Myself and my dad are both interested in finding original examples of Reliance Trucks. I've been in touch with Matthew over at the Auto Truck website who has provided me with useful information and what he knows to exsist. I'm here with a request as to the source of the data about Reliance Trucks that's on this site and any other information anybody has on them. We've all the family history behind the company which I hope to at some point post publicly on the net to which I will link on here if anybody would be interested? Thanks very much to all the members who've posted their sightings and information. It'd be great if someone could possibly tell me the origins of the data provided on here about the 97 which were in Service. Please don't hesitate to contact me either repling to this post or via my email bluesbeaten-redshaw@hotmail.co.uk Gav Redshaw
Thu 12/05/2011, 09:26
uploading photos.
a vehicle i use to own is on this database. I would like to upload a photo i have of it .. But cant seem to find out how.. is this because im a new memebr ??? also would like to know where it was last sited, as its been used since i sold it as a scrapper. Sorry if im asking stupid questions. Dave.
Thu 05/05/2011, 21:44
Free old magazines
I am having a clear-out and have some things that I would be happy to give away to a good home. The first items are some books and magazines as listed below. If you want any of these (and can collect them from south east London), drop me an e-mail.
347 issues of Buses magazine, complete years 1975 to 1977 inclusive, and 1980-2005 inclusive (apart from the November 1990 issue which I seem to have lost).
176 PSV Circle G-list fleetbooks. Complete 1st series (1993-1996, 51 books), 2nd series (1997-2000, 53 books), 3rd series (2000-2003, 56 books) and part of 4th series (2003-2004, 18 books).
Sat 16/04/2011, 17:48
Red & Cream Liveried Vehicles
Before about 1964 Railway Breakdown Vehicles such as 110J; 111J; 416M; 418J; 832J etc carried a Red and Cream Livery. Could anyone tell me exactly what shade of red was used, and if there are any paint codes for this? The Cream is assumed to be Chiswick Cream.
Tue 22/03/2011, 13:01
6987/6988 (?)
With Modec going into administration on 4th March 2011 the possibility of these, or any other numbers (if allocated to the Modec vehicles supposedly on order), appearing is reduced.
Tue 15/03/2011, 09:13
Matador from Oxford diecast
Oxford diecast are to produce a 1/76 AEC Matador model. While it has not been stated that any service vehicles will be produced there must be plenty of scope!
Fri 25/02/2011, 11:10
LBSL IRUs up for replacement?
The initial batch of London Buses Incident Response Units are now around three years old, which is the usual life-span for leased vehicles (including the Mercedes Vans that these replaced). However, given the economic situation, and the fact that hybrid vehicles are still only just being evaluated, I would imagine they may stick around for a while yet.
Mon 17/01/2011, 15:14
Model Collector Magazine
The new edition of Model Collector Magazine contains an article on service vehicle diecast models.
Thu 06/01/2011, 02:39
Query regarding 189C, 203C-208C
This is my first post - I'm looking for information on the dimensions of the Leyland Cub trolleybus breakdown tenders based on the Leyland SKZ1 chassis - with a view to making a 1/43rd scale model. Does anyone know what their wheelbase was [or cab width] or any other useful dimensions. The small LT Cub buses were 15'6'' WB but I doubt whether that would apply to these small trucks. [in fact they are probably much shrter than the bus -perhaps nearer 9'WB?]
Note: Posting edited by Arun, 03/11/10, 10:46.
Tue 02/11/2010, 19:26
VANGUARDS Ford Transit
Looks like Vanguards are doing a Mk 1 Ford Transit with a diesel front. Ripe for some service vehicle applications and just what the Doctor ordered. Should please our Master, Transit-Tommy methinks.
Thu 30/09/2010, 16:21
TfL Cycle Hire support vehicles
Although I don't plan to add them to the database, the vehicles operated in support of the TfL/Barclays Cycle Hire scheme may be of interest to some people. All have fleetnumbers in the same position as central fleet SVs, while the Nissan and Alke vehicles have a white and two-tone blue livery somewhat similar to LUL's. I will list those that I have noted below. If you have any additions, please post as a reply and I will update the list.

Alke ATX electric flatbed mini-truck
A01 MX10GWC
A02 MX10GVN
A03 MX10GVZ
A04 ?
A05 MX10GVO
A06 MX10NHA
A07 MX10GVY
A08 MX10GVW
A09 MX10GWA
A10 MX10NGZ
A11+ ?
anon MX10LVT

Ford Focus (hatchback unless noted)
F01 ?
F02 ?
F03 ?
F04 MF59AEW black
F05 MV59MXZ black
F06 ?
F07 ?
F08 MV59MUW silver
F09 LG08NXS silver estate
F10 MV59NDK black
F11+ ?

Ford Mondeo saloon (silver with blue skirt)
M01 BJ60GKX
M02 BJ60GKO
M03 BJ60GXZ
M04 BJ60GFK
M05 BJ60GVA
M06 BJ60GKY
M07+ ?

Nissan NV200 van
N01 BJ10KPV
N02 BJ10FPE
N03 BK10EBV
N04 BK10WAO
N05 BG10FPN
N06 BK10ECX
N07
N08 BJ10FTE
N09 BJ10FPP
N10+ ?

Bicycle trailers
VT1-VT16 +?

Ford Transit 'standard' vans
BD61TFU
BD61YAG
BD61YBJ
BD61YBN
BD61YBY
BD61YFA
BT61KHP

Ford Transit Box Vans
BG61KDU
BG61KPK
BF12TYD
BF12UAK
BF12UEC
BF12UEE
BF12UFW
BF12UFZ
BF12ZZM
BN12AEA
BN12AEC
BN12AEY
BN12AKF
BN12AMV
BN12ANF
BN12HZH
BN12JDF
BN12JTX
BF63LYR

Fiat Ducato Box Vans
LJ14FTP
LJ14FUT
LJ14FUU

The bicycles themselves have 5 digit 'fleetnumbers'

Note: Posting edited by Tom Young, 02/09/14, 10:45.

Note: Posting edited by Tom Young, 02/09/14, 21:36. BF63LYR added

Note: Posting edited by Thomas Young, 05/09/14, 11:10. More Ducatos (LJ14FTP and LJ14FUT) added.
Note: Posting edited by Tom Young, 17/09/14, 11:35. BD61YFA added (curiously seen outside Barclays in Woolwich!)
Note: Posting edited by Tom Young, 12/10/14, 10:53. BD61YBY added.
Wed 25/08/2010, 15:38
Error with 828J
My Ian Allan books for 2/60 (edition 17) and 10/60 (edition 18) both refer to 828J as an AEC Regent 7-ton Lorry converted from STL43 in 1950. There is no mention of the vehicle in edition 19 (7/61)*******Ian's Bus Stop refers to STL43 as STL 43 JJ 4349 3/33 new to LGOC, 1STL1: AEC Regent 6612113 6cyl petrol AEC A162, body: LGOC H34/26R #13496, red/white/black/silver, ''General'' 3/33 CL new, for 8, 160 (Clay Hall) 7/33 CL transfer to LPTB c9/33 transfer (to AC or ED) 2/45 overhauled at Elmers End 5/48 X used on 7A (Middle Row) 6/48 X repainted, red/white/black/brown 1949 X used on 7 12/49 TB (Bromley) 1/50 TB used on 138 1/50 TB withdrawn from service, body 13593 1/50 body scrapped 828J 4/50 converted to towing lorry 828J by Kenex 7/50 RG (Reigate) (Bowles Road, SE1) 57-9 CS (Chiswick) 3/60 CS withdrawn into store 6/60 bought by S.Higgins & Co Ltd, London SE1******* Kim's book (p.72) refers to 828B (specifically as a Bedford!)
Note: Posting edited by Ray, 25/07/10, 11:02.
Thu 22/07/2010, 22:58
Potters Bar and Uxbridge - 10th July 2010
Despite the blistering heat, Ray and I decided to combine a visit to the Potters Bar Garage open day with a hunt for SVs in north and west London. Having met at London Bridge, we took the tube to Moorgate, then a 153 through some of the (suspension bashing) back roads of Islington to Finsbury Park. We suspected that a new Infrastructure van might be here, and we were right. Although it tried to drive off (when it saw us coming?!), we caught it at the traffic lights around the corner. The other side (Wells Terrace) had the normal IRU van. Onwards by tube to Arnos Grove, we didn't bother with the depot as it had been visited recently. We took a 298, unusually a double-decker, for the pleasant ride up to PB.

The third annual open day at Potters Bar was, as usual, a low-key affair. Inside the garage was a line up of 6 or 7 preserved buses (mainly Routemasters), all with sales stands plonked in front of them! There was nothing else on display but interest was provided by a steady stream of 'vintage' buses arriving and departing on running day services. In terms of service vehicles, PB's new Transit Connect was visible in the far corner, presumably having replaced the Mitsubishi pick-up, while two unmarked Zafira crew ferry cars were hiding in the front park. When we arrived there was also a Uno Transit Connect van out front but this left soon afterwards.

We boarded an RF heading for New Barnet, and got off at High Barnet to take the tube down to Finchley Central. Somebody had mentioned an interesting SV seen there recently, and luckily it was still around. 6710V is one of only two Corsas to have featured in the central fleet. I neglected to notice at the time that two of the other SVs present had never been photographed. Ho hum. Onto a 266 bus next for a ride to Cricklewood. At Childs Hill we passed a new VW Crafter van of First London (although not marked as such), while visible in Cricklewood garage were the new Transit Connect and the Ford Escort this was thought to have replaced. Onwards to Willesden Green for the tube to Uxbridge. Various SVs seen at Neasden and Wembley were predictable.

The visit to Uxbridge was to follow up a discovery made by Kim Rennie during the week. He sent a photo of four LBSL Infrastructure vans parked in front of a glass office building, which turned out to be right next to Uxbridge Station but on the south side. We walked up the alley beside the Chimes shopping centre and there they were, including two not yet on the database. The car park had an old LTE sign so has presumably been in use for some time, but the Infrastructure tenure may only date back to the closure of Olympic Way in about 2009. Although some of the vehicles moved to Isleworth it did seem there must be another base, and presumably Uxbridge is it. It is slightly annoying to think of the number of times I have visited the bus station barely 20 yards away and not realised there was more!

First London's local VW Crafter van arrived when we returned to the bus station, and there were also four LBSL IRUs and a Honda Civic. Back on the tube, we stopped at Alperton on the offchance that they had also gained a new VW van. The engineers van was still the Vauxhall Vivaro as it turned out, but we did get a result with a previously unreported Vauxhall Corsa van parked at the back. Back on the tube again, past Ealing Common and Acton (nothing special noted) to West Kensington. We did the usual walk to the Lillie Bridge entrance and ID'd a few SVs, the most interesting being a newish pair of Transits in the West Kensington yard. Then round and over the flyover to ID a few more but nothing special. We ended the day by having a ride on the new E200 buses on the C1 to Victoria.
Wed 14/07/2010, 01:33
Bespoke model of L99 up for grabs!
Renowned modeller Dave Lowery has painted and detailed a ''OO'' gauge pannier to create a unique re-creation of LT loco L99 in miniature. If you would like to own it, contact Steam Railway magazine at steam.railway@bauermdeia.co.uk with an offer of £125 or over. All the money will go towards restoring the Spa Valley Railway's collection of LT vehicles. Offers by 21st June 2010 please.
Sun 30/05/2010, 19:00
Oxford Trannys
I see Oxford diecast are to do a Transit van. Plenty of scope for SVs there methinks.
Fri 21/05/2010, 18:33
West London 15th May 2010
Ray and I had a pleasant Saturday meandering around West London looking for service vehicles and new buses. The District line was out from Earls Court westwards so we had a look at Earls Court Gardens first. Playing the usual game of trying to peer through the gaps in the wooden hoardings without drawing too much unwanted attention, we could see three or perhaps four Renault Kangoos inside. Only one could be identified though. Going west on the replacement bus we kept an eye out for any service vehicles. Although there were some railway wagons visible on the bridge near Stamford Brook, nothing else turned up. The bus called at Gunnersbury so we got off and took the short cut through the business park, walking across what was once the lorry yard of Chiswick Works. The Staff Briefing Facility Ford Transit was parked between the two level crossings on Bollo Lane, while the works car park was packed with contractor vehicles (and just one liveried SV). There was a lot of work going on, seemingly to reinforce the embankment between the car park and the track. The vegetation had been removed and various road-rail machines were working above. There was also a large Emerson crane doing something in the lorry yard, but only the jib was visible. Continuing to Acton Town Station then up to the old Tram Depot, we took a 427 for the lengthy ride to Uxbridge. The replacement buses were starting at Ealing Broadway and were supplied by variously First London, London General (MECs), Arriva, Metroline, East London (including some from Rainham) and Ensign. Quite a mix.

At Hayes bypass an unmarked Vauxhall Astra was seen doing crew ferries for the 207, another case of a vehicle that might be a real SV but might not. Uxbridge Bus Station was host to five LBSL SVs, four IRUs (including one parked on the nearby side road) and a Honda, while a new VW Crafter was found inside the garage. This was parked near the back (where the Transit used to be kept) and was visible by poking my camera through the air bricks beside the path between the garage and the station. No sign of the small red van glimpsed there last month. Onwards by U4 and 195 to Hayes, we then made the long walk to the Abellio garage. But it was worth it, with no fewer than 12 SVs visible (and just 6 buses!). Six were out of use, dumped in the small rear yard, while four of the others were recent additions with Abellio lettering. One old Courier and a Transit Connect visiting from Fulwell made up the numbers. We also had a look at the nearby Volvo facility but there was just one of the route 237 VW buses (For those that are confused by this, the Volvo/Wright deckers for Metroline route 237 are coded VW!).

Onwards to Bulls Bridge for a H28 to Hounslow. Man, that is a circuitous route! Just one Escort van at AV so we carried on by H20 to the London Buses offices off Worton Road in Isleworth. This was host to four of the Honda Civic cars and a silver Touran. No sign of any new VW vans yet. Next stop was Fulwell, reached by a 267. Four Transdev SVs were visible (two in the yard and two in the depths of the garage), while more were seen at the Abellio end, including another newly acquired van and the rarely seen engineers Ford Transit. It was time to be heading homewards so we took a 33 to Richmond then a train. Last call of the day was at Eltham Bus Station, with the usual collection of LBSL IRUs and Hondas plus a couple of Metrobus minibuses.
Mon 17/05/2010, 23:24
Trip reports?
I keep meaning to write up a report of trips out looking for SVs. As well as giving some ideas for people that may also be going out, I thought it would provide some interesting background to the sightings and photographs listed elsewhere. I've just written up a trip last weekend and will try and post it in a minute (not sure if the field length will be OK). Please feel free to add your own.
Mon 17/05/2010, 23:23
Edgware service vehicles....
Noted today at Edgware bus stn was response vehicle 6613M,with reg WR58VYU. THis seems to contradict the main vehicle listing....
Sat 01/05/2010, 21:03
1:16 scale MB Actros artic
A few years ago I built up quite a collection of (mainly 1:43) die-cast models that were suitable for repainting as service vehicles. These are still languishing on my shelves, although the more durable ones have been transferred to my 2-year old daughter's fleet! Anyway, last week she took delivery of a very impressive 1:16 scale Mercedes-Benz Actros articulated lorry with step-frame trailer and a JCB as a load. This model/toy by Bruder is amazing. Although made almost entirely of plastic (I can't even see any screwheads) and rather expensive, it is highly detailed yet robust enough for young hands. Apart from the missing crane, the lorry is an almost perfect match for Tube Lines 2591, as which it may be repainted when (if) Mimi ever tires of it! Bruder also do a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter truck and various other lorries. You'd need a pretty big display cabinet for them though....
Fri 16/04/2010, 00:31
Suitable conversions
Looking at the latest picture gallery there are several modelling possibilities presented.(04/04/2010) 1) Half cab Matador. Convert from Airfix kit. 2) Atkinson. Convert from EFE diecast. 3) Scammell. Convert from Trackside diecast.
Wed 07/04/2010, 18:29
Spa Valley Railway - LT day
The splendid Spa Valley Railway will be holding an LT themed day on the 24th April as part of two day steam gala. Take a look at Steam Railway magazine for more details - you'll need s copy of the next issue to get all the benefits out of the day. There are plans to have rides available on the T stock (former ESL118) and pannier tank L99 will be in steam. L99 is currently being painted into LT livery and was looking nice in the shed when I was up there yesterday. LT flat wagon F375 is also being done up for the event and there's a fully restored LT brake van too. Other LT-themed things are also possible. Highly recommended as this is a charming and friendly little railway with a slight LT influence.
Note: Posting edited by Damon, 19/03/10, 23:54.
Fri 19/03/2010, 22:52
Sovereign Volvo
Word reaches me that Oxford Diecast are to produce a Volvo FH recovery in Sovereign livery. Another one for those of us who just have to have 'em all.
Sun 14/02/2010, 15:46

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