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CommentsDate added
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
Arriva London Fleetlist
Ray has noted a lot of vehicles that no longer appear on the Arriva London fleetlist for period 11 2009. The fleetlist can be found at I am hesitant to mark all the missing vehicles as withdrawn since the fleetlist does not seem to include crew ferry vehicles (none of the new Corsa cars are included for example). On the other hand, as I mentioned elsewhere, it does seem likely that all the Combo vans used as crew ferries have now been replaced. I will review the list for allocation updates, then consider the withdrawals. By the way, the list includes the police Dennis Dart at Enfield (N752OYR) with a fleetnumber of MPS001.

As an aside, I have been passed official fleetlists for a couple of bus companies recently. Unfortunately, although the bus information was bang up to date, in both cases the SV info had evidently not been updated since early 2008!
Wed 13/01/2010, 14:15
Garage sweeper goes on holiday
A surprise yesterday was to find Cobham Bus Museum's Reliance garage sweeper RL92 at Twyford Water Works in Hampshire. We visisted the running day in Winchester and took a bus ride up to the waterworks which was open to the public - an interesting day out if you fancy going to one of their open days. RL92 is there for restoration and under the care of a very enthusiastic and knowledgeable chap by the name of Matthew (reminded me a bit of Tom). He also has a Lister auto-truck on site and seems to collect such vehicles. It appears that RL92 will get a good going over and have all its non-working bits restored to working order. Matthew was also able to explain what all those levers do! Interesting stuff and surely good news to see another obscure vehicle being restored.
Sat 02/01/2010, 19:41
Micro summary of 2009
The stats for 2009 show a slight increase over 2008. 410 vehicles were added to the database (387 last year), along with 406 photos (357) and 6,740 sightings (5,757). Only 18 new members joined compared to 1,196 last year but this is a reflection of the anti-spam measures introduced.

CDS fleet intake is certainly down a bit, with the highest number at present being 6874 instead of the predicted mid-6900s. There are also lots of gaps still in the lower 6800s.

As always, a big thank you to everyone who contributes to LTSVplus, and may I wish all visitors a very Happy New Year.
Thu 31/12/2009, 15:18
Go-Ahead LDP35 P735RYL
Somebody suggested that I should add this bus to the database. I remember reading that it was some sort of special purpose vehicle. To save me trawling through a load of TLBs, can anyone state what it is used for and since when? Thanks, Lazy Tom.
Thu 24/12/2009, 01:31
Issues with logging-in using IE8
A member has been in touch to say that he is unable to log-in since upgrading to Internet Explorer 8. I have looked into this but not found anything that might be able to help. Could I ask whether anyone here is using IE8? If so, can you log-in OK? Obviously if you can't, you won't be able to reply to this posting, so an e-mail would be appreciated. Cheers, Tom.
Sun 13/12/2009, 00:48
Metrobus SVs Listing
EX59XTS Ford Transit flatbed, shows on the Metrobus Fleetlist dated 24th October 2009, as 9104 - Stores Van, based at Lagoon Road.
Sat 14/11/2009, 15:22
Capital LTSV book CHEAP
Take note that the rather splendid 2003 Capital Transport book by Kim Rennie and Bill Alrdridge is now going cheap in the cheapy bookshops. Can be had for about £9.99 (published price £22). Seen in ''Book Warehouse'' on Waterloo Road recently. Oxford, Corgi/Vanguard etc. - please buy yourselves a copy.
Note: Posting edited by Damon, 09/11/09, 11:58.
Mon 09/11/2009, 11:55
It seems to me that Vauxhalls are not being taken on at present. This could be because of the change of lessor (from RBS), the problems at Vauxhall or a change of policy - such as this from TfL: ''While all of the major schemes to deliver increases in transport capacity and reliability go ahead, the Mayor also set out further steps which are included in TfL's Business Plan, which is to be considered by the TfL Board next week. These include the deferral by three years of all remaining former Metronet Tube station renewals''
Note: Posting edited by Ray, 29/11/09, 20:17.
Thu 15/10/2009, 20:18
Worra lorra sightings
We should pass the 30,000 sightings mark in the next day or two.
Thu 15/10/2009, 09:52
Tube Lines vehicle catalogue
The Tube Lines Distribution Services vehicle brochure has been drastically improved recently, and is now a 33 page document that will be of interest to most visitors to this site. It details (with colour photos including many interior views) 44 types within the fleet, including some of the police vehicles and many of the Transit varieties. Some pages include vehicle floor plans, those for the welfare facility vans being notable. Also of note is the inclusion of the Modec electric van. You can download the file from (the file is just under 1MB).

What I am not clear about is who this smartly designed document is intended for. It reads like a sales brochure, but who would buy/lease a Vauxhall Astra van from Tube Lines rather than direct? The inclusion of the more specialised vehicles makes sense in this respect, and it is notable that there are no bog-standard Transits included.
Tue 13/10/2009, 22:50
Sperry Rail Land Rover
Thanks to MC for pointing me to a photo of a Land Rover road-railer operated by Sperry Rail. It is of interest in that it carries the logos of both Tube Lines and Metronet. Now I might be (and usually am) wrong, but is this the only vehicle to do so?
Thu 01/10/2009, 22:47
What will 7000 be?
Right, just for fun, what do you reckon fleetnumber 7000 will appear on, and when? Given that 3000, 4000, 5000 and 6000 were all Ford Transits, I'm going to go for..... a Volkswagen Caddy.... delivered in Feb 2010? Five LTSV points (exchangeable for pints on demand) for the nearest answers on type and date.
Sat 26/09/2009, 00:34
Feedback wanted
I have lots of ideas for ways to improve this website, but very little free time in which to implement them. However, before making any changes I should really conduct some 'market research'. The sort of information I am looking for includes...
How often do you visit?
What do you look at most, photos or data?
What annoys you most about the site?
What do you like best about the site?
Do you look at each new photo as it is added?
Would it be useful to see the captions for the photos without loading the full-size photo?
Should the 'Photos added in month' page just show each thumbnail once (instead of once per subject and location)?

Any responses (e-mailed to tom at will be welcomed. Cheers, Tom.
Wed 16/09/2009, 22:51
Cricklewood Garage Open Day, 19th September 2009
The title says it all really. Anyway, it should be good, and I hope to meet a couple of contributors there.
Sun 13/09/2009, 15:49
Funny place to find an IRU
Unidentified IRU seen from a passing train at the premises of International Coaches near Thornton Heath today.
Sat 05/09/2009, 20:58
Card Garage Kits
John Howe, who makes the marvellous card bus garage kits that have been shown on this site in the past, now has a smart new website to showcase his models. The range has increased considerably over the past few years and the website includes an online shop feature. Take a look at
Sat 05/09/2009, 19:47
hi everyone i am new to this website and i wanted to know how can i put photos on the site as i have lots
Sat 29/08/2009, 18:21
Noted at Haywards Heath last week, Countryliner are using an ex-Dial-a-Ride Mercedes (''bread van'') minibus as service vehicle. It appears to park up in Perrymount Road by the station during the day and be used a a crew-room/crew ferry. Presumed based at Burgess Hill. I shall attempt to get a snap one day.
Fri 31/07/2009, 10:40
East Thames Buses
For anyone who hasn't read it elsewhere yet, East Thames Buses has been bought by the Go-Ahead group.
Fri 31/07/2009, 10:35
New SUP24D From LOTS
Newly updated and (apparently) accurate from May 2009. Now available direct from LOTS or also from Ian Allan bookshops priced at £3.50
Mon 27/07/2009, 19:35
Was disposal to E Pearce & Son of Chesterfield (hauliers)?
Sun 21/06/2009, 19:21
Another Cortina model!
Yes folks, there's yet another model of a Cortina coming out! (the fourth by my reckoning). This time it's part of Corgi's Vanguards range, number is VA07308. It's 1:43 scale due in October and £14.99. Corgi have done some nice stuff in the Vaguards range with the two previous Ford vans which have been pretty accurate so watch out for this one if, like me, you have to have them all. There's a nice picture in the latest issue of Model Collector, page 33. Now, how about somebody having some imagination and NOT doing a Cortina?
Wed 17/06/2009, 17:59
Have any service vehicles been allocated to West Bromwich?
Sun 07/06/2009, 19:31
New Oxford Diecast Cortina
Picked up this afternoon in ModelZone (£3.25) is the new LT Cortina from Oxford Diecast. An odd choice for Oxford as Base Toys have already done it. This version is also 2-door which is incorrect and carries the registration JLA82D which makes it 1463F (number not carried). There is gold ''RADIO CONTROL'' lettering on the doors and a nice tiny ''Cortina'' name on the boot lid. The front end has quarter bumpers which is incorrect for this vehicle. So not very accurate but if you have to have them all like me then you'd best get out and buy one. Also encouraging to see more model producers turning out service vehicles. How about tractor 463X next then Oxford?
Thu 21/05/2009, 17:00
Potters Bar Open Day
A list of forthcoming running days appears in the May TLB but one worth mentioning is in conjunction with another open day at Potters Bar Garage on Saturday 4th July 2009.
Sun 10/05/2009, 17:22
Upminster Depot
There is a proposed open day at Upminster Depot on 31st August 2009.
Note: Posting edited by Ray, 31/07/09, 18:14.
Sun 03/05/2009, 17:08
NSL Services Group
The new name for NCP Challenger! Time to photograph vehicles before the names are changed...
Fri 24/04/2009, 14:53
Central fleet growth charted
I haven't had time to work this up into an article so I thought I would post it here. The chart below shows the size of the central fleet over the past 15 years (showing the breakdown between owned, leased, un-numbered and miscellaneous components). The figures for 2006 and 2008 are probably distorted upwards by a lack of official information, ie we had reports of new vehicles coming in but no data on vehicles leaving the fleets. As such, it can be seen that there has been fairly steady growth since about 1999, with the fleet now twice the size it was then.

Figures are for April each year. Click the chart to see a larger version.

Fri 17/04/2009, 00:42
Unstoppable Ray
I would like to extend a big thank-you to Ray, who has been steadily looking up licensing information for a huge number of vehicles. In the past two months (since the feature was introduced) he has added information on more than 3600 vehicles. Anyone who has used the DVLA website will appreciate that this is a remarkable achievement. The data obtained is often our best indication of when vehicles entered (and/or left) service.
Thu 16/04/2009, 15:01
Baker Base
I believe the first call sign for radio control was 'Baker Base' and messages could be picked up on your trannie! Since then we have moved on a great deal and have CentreComm and the latest technology. Alas, the poor Gold Badge inspectors who drove around in the radio cars are a thing of the past but I have now checked all the mobiles on DVLA and find that very few of these still exist. We have 1464F and 2054F plus a couple in the 3000's, one of which (3478) is 'off road' Obviously this type of vehicle would make an ideal exhibit so keep your eyes peeled for any lying about.
Note: Posting edited by Ray, 16/04/09, 15:02.
Thu 16/04/2009, 15:00
33 LUG
This former bus (AV33?) was first registered 15/9/1998 and is currently licensed (as red) to 31/8/2009. It took the registration from M151 when the latter was taken off following the introduction of the low emission zone
Note: Posting edited by Ray, 16/04/09, 15:01.
Thu 16/04/2009, 14:37
Farewell Metronet
An article in last night's Evening Standard states that the Metronet name is to disappear this week. Metronet branding is to be removed from buildings, stationery, computers (screensavers and wallpapers!), mousemats, pens, toilet paper etc. Staff are to say that they work for London Underground and answer the telephone as such. Thus there should be someone busy this week peeling the lettering off hundreds of service vehicles! Goodbye Metrodebt. Time to amend the database Tommy!
Thu 16/04/2009, 11:46
Unhalfbricking 6
1282F was replaced by 2086F (converted late 1982/early 1983). This vehicle is registered on DVLA as grey whereas it should be red. Sister 2088F is registered as red whereas it was grey, staying with LT until May 1983 when it seems to have been sold for scrap (licence expired 30/5/83). It seems that either somebody read the number wrong (6 for 8) and registered the wrong vehicle as red, but this would not have been the case as 2088 had last been licensed 12 months earlier, or could it be that 2088 provided parts for 2086 or vice-versa or indeed having converted 2088 the body was put on 2086 at the last moment as having a better chassis?
Thu 02/04/2009, 20:59
Why do some fleetnumbers have an asterisk after them?
I have started adding an asterisk to fleetnumbers that are either incorrectly displayed on the vehicle, or not displayed at all.
Tue 31/03/2009, 18:22
I have some also
My website has a service vehicle gallery with many vehicles dating from pre 1939
There are more to come including ex LS and other oddities, and there is what I think may be a K or S type open lorry photo taken during WWII Fleet no 17.
If anyone can shed any further light I would be most interested to hear from you

Note: Posting edited by Roy Vandersteen, 22/03/09, 13:24.
Sun 22/03/2009, 13:21
Photographer's rights
It is unfortunate that in the current climate, taking photographs of things like service vehicles can draw unwanted attention. There is a link from this page to a downloadable PDF giving an overview of the rights of photographers.
Sun 15/03/2009, 13:04
Were these used as post vans as some were seen in garages etc?
Sun 01/03/2009, 19:52
British Transport Police vehicles
I know that they aren't listed on here in the fleet data section, but I understand that Distribution Services deal with some of the vehicles supplied to the the Underground (L) Area of the BTP. Check out my fotopic site with lots of pictures at Cheers, R1.
Mon 23/02/2009, 20:12
Roundels on LBSL IRUs
The roundels on the first batch of LBSL IRU vans originally had Buses in sentence case. It would appear that these have since been replaced with ones with BUSES in upper case. Compare the photos of 6348M taken in March and May 2008. Thanks to Ray for drawing my attention (indirectly) to this.
Tue 17/02/2009, 20:21
NEW Vanguards 1439F
Picked up at Modelzone today (3 hours after delivery!!) a 1/43rd scale Ford van representing 1439F. Has correct registration and in on loan to LCBS. Carries green LCBS labels on the doors and L plates front and rear. A nice little model although not everyone likes 1/43rd and I expect the rivet-counters will find something wrong with it that I haven't spotted. Get yours now - £13.99. Well done to Vanguards for paying better attention to detail of late.
Note: Posting edited by Damon, 16/02/09, 16:04.
Mon 16/02/2009, 16:04

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Tue 27/01/2009, 15:28
Acton and Ealing Common
I have recently added some new codes for locations at Acton (ACB for Bollo House, ACF for Frank Pick House and ACM for Maxwell House). I now want to add a code for the location behind the Museum Depot. Looking at Google Earth etc, there is no road link from there into the main Ealing Common depot. The sign opposite Acton Town Station lists 'Maxwell House', 'Museum Depot' and 'Test House' or something like that. It looks like 5519F is based there, as may be the silver DESU vans. Anyone got any thoughts or inside info?
Sun 25/01/2009, 12:55

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Wed 21/01/2009, 21:14
Not on DVLA - is it any relation to K534AOM?
Wed 21/01/2009, 21:14

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Sat 17/01/2009, 14:26
Fleet data queries running slowly
Sometimes when you click on 'Show Matching Records' (or one of the other buttons that kicks off a query), it can take a long time to run. I have found that (sometimes) clicking the button a second time during this will cause the results to be delivered more quickly. Shouldn't work but it does...
Wed 14/01/2009, 10:34
Micro summary of 2008
2008 saw the following additions to LTSVplus: 357 photos, 387 vehicle records, 5757 sightings and 1196 new registered members (sadly most of the latter are spurious!).

Highest reported SV fleetnumbers rose from 6427V at the end of 2007 to 6695M at the end of 2008. If this rate continues, we should be in the mid-6900s by this time next year, with the possibility of the first 7xxx soon afterwards.
Thu 08/01/2009, 09:26
A note to photograph contributors.
Following some recent e-mails, I thought I should clarify a couple of points. Firstly, there is no means for visitors to add photos to the site themselves. Any submissions should be sent by e-mail to Secondly, I do not publish every photograph that I recieve, so please do not be offended if I do not use some/all/any of your images! Deciding factors are mainly to do with the rarity of the vehicle, whether it has been published before, and the quality of the submitted image. However, all contributions get added to the central repository and may eventually be used somewhere. Finally, can I once again thank everyone who takes the time to submit photographs, sightings and information. I look forward to many more in 2009. Cheers, Tom.
Tue 06/01/2009, 22:57
Trip or Visit Reports
A place where anyone can post their notes on specific 'spotting' trips or visits, or notes on locations of interest which might assist others in their future perambulations
Note: Posting edited by John Lloyd-Martin, 13/12/08, 13:04.
Sat 13/12/2008, 12:47

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Thu 11/12/2008, 19:36

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Thu 11/12/2008, 19:29
This Peugeot Boxer van (first registered 31/3/2005 and currently licensed to 31/3/2009) has never been reported. A similar van was at the back of MB garage today, does anyone know if this is still with the company?
Tue 02/12/2008, 14:25
New Model from VANGUARDS
I picked up a new model from Vanguards in ModelZone yesterday. It's a Ford 300E van in 1/43 scale done as 1054F. They've got the right registration (TXV887) and a little 1054F fleetnumber on the wings. There's a representation of a slip-in plate on the doors with ''WHITECHAPEL'' on it. It appears that they've copied all this from the picture of this van on page 118 of the Capital Transport Service Vehicle book. Not sure the green paint is the right shade but it's a nice little model. Is this the first time that Corgi have got the detail right on a service vehicle model? Anyway, I like it although I'm sure the rivet-counters will find something wrong with it. Limited edition of 1100 with certificate - get yours now.
Wed 19/11/2008, 16:56

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Sun 16/11/2008, 21:24
London Dial-a-Ride vehicles
I have been asked if I can help with compiling a fleetlist of the new Dial-a-Ride buses. These are red VW minibuses numbered in the D70xx range, with a reported 300 on order. I would also appreciate any info on the earlier D5xx series of silver Mercedes minibuses. Cheers.
Tue 11/11/2008, 08:13
First crew ferries
As has been noted here recently, the crew ferry vehicles for First London seem to no longer be lettered for Door to Door. Most are now unlettered, but often have paper signs in the windows. At Edmonton Green on Saturday were a white LDV Maxus minibus (BX55RYC) and a silver Berlingo (LX57WUE), while another silver Berlingo was seen at Crooked Billet (WR03FFG). I would appreciate any other reports and/or views on whether they should be added to the database.
Tue 11/11/2008, 08:11

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Sun 12/10/2008, 21:49
Modelling Millys
I found a page about building a model LT AEC Militant recovery truck, which may be of interest. It is at
Sun 12/10/2008, 15:53

Note: Posting edited by Ray, 07/03/09, 13:18.
Thu 09/10/2008, 19:58
F686FMA was first registered 8/9/1988 and de-licensed 7/7/2002. No trace of F686FWA!
Note: Posting edited by Ray, 07/03/09, 13:18.
Thu 09/10/2008, 19:55

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