27/01/2024: On the Buses (AKA Making excuses again)
As the issue is still ongoing, I thought I should write to explain why I have not managed many updates on my LTSV websites over the past few months. The simple fact is that I have been moonlighting as the editor of a monthly (printed) magazine about buses! I have had a small involvement with LOTS (the London Omnibus Traction Society) for several years, including providing proof-reading and IT support to the editor of their magazine. The editor was getting on a bit and, a few months ago, he asked if I would be willing to take on some aspects of his work. I agreed to this and, although it took a while to get things set up, I managed to produce the January 2024 issue without any major problems. At the time, I envisaged this taking up perhaps 3-4 days a month, meaning that I would have plenty of time left over for LTSV.
However, there was then a change when the editor's health took a turn for the worse and he was admitted to hospital, potentially long-term. I now had to cover the whole of his job, or at least find other people to assist with parts, but either way it is proving to be rather time-consuming. The monthly magazine seems to be on-track, then there are a couple of yearly publications due out in the spring and on top of that, I had already been working on a major web project to mark LOTS' 60th anniversary later this year. Just to complicate things, some long-planned building work on my house finally got underway in mid-January, while I have had no fewer than three bouts of illness over the winter - just cold/flu but it knocked me for six each time and seemed to take ages to shift. Plus, of course, the dog ate my homework.
Anyway, there is light at the end of the tunnel (though I have been advised not to go towards the light!) and 'normal service' across all LTSV websites should be restored soon.
13/10/2023: 53 recently-reported vehicles have just been added to the database. Most are current, with just a couple that were seen in the 1990s and 2000s. Work on the functionality upgrades has stalled somewhat but will be resumed shortly, and there should be a small batch of new photos soon.
06/08/2023: A batch of 25 new photos has just been uploaded. Apart from two dating back to 2011, all were taken this year.
31/07/2023: Apologies for the lack of updates recently. I was working on some functionality upgrades for this site back in May but then I got distracted by a new project (related to London buses). Work on the latter is now virtually complete, so normal service will be resuming, starting with the addition of another 44 recently-reported vehicles. A batch of new photos should follow in the next day or two, plus I will try and get the upgrades finished, tested and uploaded.
12/05/2023: I have added exactly 400 vehicles to the database this week. Just over 20 were from sightings reported by various people (many thanks as always), while the remainder were from a list sent to me that is believed to have originated with the Fleet Data Society. This listed a large number of Network Rail Vauxhall Movanos with BD68--- registrations, plus a handful of others. A nice boost to our coverage. (Tom)
06/05/2023: A new batch of photos has just been uploaded. The first 35 are all recent views, from a variety of contributors. To spice things up I have also included 10 older photos, ranging from the 1950s to the 2000s. These are taken from the internet and hence only appear in thumbnail form (300 pixels wide), with a link to where you can view the original.
The vehicle database has also been updated with 21 recently-reported vehicles, following from 44 that were added last week. Many thanks to everyone who has supplied photos and/or sightings. (Tom)
21/03/2023: The database has been updated with 39 vehicles reported over the past month (thanks as always to the reporters). I have also added 4,388 vehicles that were operated by the LNER and its constituents, using data collated over a long period by Merf. This brings the number of vehicles in the database up to 48,626 and I still have the GWR to do, plus some other bits and pieces. (Tom)
18/02/2023: A batch of 41 new photos has just been uploaded. Most are of current Network Rail vehicles, but there are also four from the 2008-2010 period, plus a handful of vehicles with other companies. I have some ideas for small improvements to the website but I suppose my first priority should be to complete the addition of historical records from Merf's spreadsheets. These will cover vehicles operated by the GWR and LNER (the pre-1948 incarnations of course!) and the post-privatisation passenger and freight operators.
It might be worth mentioning that LTSV-RRV has now been on-line for just over a year. The number of people registering for an account has been quite low (just 26 so far). I appreciate that this is a rather niche subject but, if we are to ever achieve a decent coverage of the current fleets, we really need more eyes on the street. Network Rail and the other companies do not release any detailed information about their vehicles, so everything we know has to come from reported observations. London is now well covered, with several correspondents making regular reports. But the situation in the rest of the country is not so good. I estimate that we have details of only about 10% of the almost 10,000 vehicles operated by Network Rail. You don't need to register to report a vehicle. An e-mail (using the Contact Us page, link at the bottom) will be fine.
17/02/2023: Time for a catch-up. 40 newly-reported vehicles have been added to the database, mostly Network Rail ones seen in or around London. I have also received over 40 photos over the past couple of months, and a selection will be published in the next few days.
03/01/2023: With thanks to a number of people who have reported them, I have just added 68 current vehicles to the database, most of them with Network Rail. (Tom)
10/11/2022: With the addition of vehicle records getting closer to completion, I figured it was high-time I added functionality to enable the data to be downloaded. On each of the two vehicle list pages, there is now a link to a PDF version of the page, located in the pale pink navigation box. Clicking on this will open a new window containing a PDF version of the data in your results. Any filtering or sorting will also be applied, and the document will contain all matching records (not just the first 100). Note that the PDF file can take up to a minute to generate if the dataset is very large. Once generated, the PDF can be printed, or saved to your computer. If you have an interest in this subject, I would recommend you save a copy of the main list every now and then. This will help ensure that the data is 'preserved' even if something happens to me or to this website. (Tom)
31/10/2022: A batch of 50 photos has just been uploaded. All but two were taken over the past few months and, although the subjects are mainly Network Rail vehicles, a wide variety of locations are covered. (Tom)
28/09/2022: The next batch of vehicles has just been added, these being 3,856 new to BR in the 1980s and 1990s. Most have prefix registrations, from A-prefix in 1983 up to M/N/P prefixes in the mid-1990s when BR was being broken up. The total number of vehicles in the database now stands at 43,939. (Tom)
16/09/2022: Another 2,359 vehicles have been added to the database today, comprising 8 recently-reported Network Rail vehicles and 2,351 BR vehicles from the 1970s and early-1980s (K to Y suffix). The number of vehicles in the database now stands at 40,083. There are still a fair few to add, but the end is almost in sight - for the older vehicles at least! (Tom)
01/09/2022: I am at present adding some detail to vehicles of the North Eastern Region. This region existed from 1948 to 1968, when it was absorbed by the Eastern.
A mistake by me was made in the fleet numbers, and is slowly being corrected. The LNER fleet was renumbered by B R from 1948 to add suffix letters to all remaining LNER vehicles along with new vehicles for the Scottish Region (Sc) and North Eastern (N). These should be shown as B R ER series of numbers. Successor to the LNER series.
During 1965 a new numbering was introduced using part of the registration number, and this is shown as the B R series. It lasted till the early 70s.
29/08/2022: A large batch of 55 photos has just been uploaded. Most are recent, with about a dozen from the 1980s-2010s period. I have also included several photos of vehicles used by Manchester Metrolink. These vehicles have not yet been added to the database and I am still debating as to whether they should be included. Get in touch if you have any thoughts. (Tom)
27/08/2022: Another 23 vehicles reported over the past couple of weeks have been added to the database. Notably these included a second new Ford Transit Mk8. Since the changeover from the Mk7 in 2014/2015, Network Rail has seemed to eschew the type in favour of the Vauxhall Movano. Both the new Mk8s are all-wheel-drive variants and marked as Rail Incident Officer - Incident Response Units. Photos of these - and many other recent sightings - will be added shortly. I also need to press on with Merf's spreadsheets... (Tom)
03/08/2022: I am at present slowly working through vehicles from 1968-69 attempting to clarify the known ownership of many of them. During that period a lot of parcel vans and artic tractor units were ordered by B R.
These were issued with registration numbers by the appropriate local authorities, along with B R giving them their future fleet numbers.
However in November 1968 Freightliner Ltd. was created and acquired those vehicles working for the business. Then in January 1969, National Carriers was formed and the bulk of vehicles working in parcels and goods distribution were also transferred to that business.
Of the many new vehicles on order we have no firm delivery/registration date so are unaware to whom they went when new.
I have not made assumptions, and therefore only show the new owner where we have reports or photographic evidence. Any known help would be apreciated.
31/07/2022: Another batch of older vehicle records has been added to the database, comprising 5,290 vehicles new to BR in the 1962-1971 period. The total number of vehicles in the database is now 37,571, with a few more batches still to be added. (Tom)
28/07/2022: Progress is steady but slow, mainly because I am also working on the other two LTSV websites. A further 62 current or recent vehicles have just been added. These came from a variety of people, either e-mailing details (and sometimes photos), or using the form on this website. I am very grateful to everyone who has reported vehicles. Work on the next chunk of older vehicle data is currently underway, and this should push the number of vehicles listed to almost 40,000. There are still quite a few more to come after that, so my estimate of this being the eventual total was a bit off. There will hopefully be a new batch of photos some time in the next few days. (Tom)
17/06/2022: I'm taking a break from processing 'old' vehicle records (though Merf is continuing to plough through them making lots of tweaks and improvements). My job for tonight has been to add another 20 current vehicles. Most of these have been reported by our small gang of contributors, and I am very grateful for their inputs. The 20 vehicles are all Network Rail ones and mostly of the usual types. One contributor mentioned some vehicles used by Manchester Metrolink (the tram operator). It has been decided not to include these at this stage, and to focus just on vehicles connected with 'main-line' railways. (Tom)
27/05/2022: A productive evening! Firstly, I have added another batch of old records, comprising 3,219 BR vehicles registered between SEE640 and 800PRO and new in the 1956-1964 period. There are now 32,461 vehicle records in the database. Secondly, I have revised the Fleetnumbers page so that it now loads much faster (2 seconds instead of 14 seconds, though some sorting options have had to be removed). Thirdly, I corrected a glitch on the same page where the page jump indicators were showing the wrong field. Finally I have added ten more old photos (all are external links so are only shown at thumbnail size). (Tom)
25/05/2022: Another 2,910 vehicles (with 3,679 fleetnumbers) have just been added to the database, bringing the total to 29,239. Today's additions are all BR vehicles from the 1950s, with registration numbers between LCE788 and RYY211.
More good news is that I have been able to improve the loading time of the main vehicle list page. It was averaging about 12 seconds but is now down to just 2 seconds. To achieve this I had to sacrifice the ability to sort by quantities of notes, photos and sightings. The quantities are still shown in the table but you cannot sort on these columns. Note that the Fleetnumbers list page has not yet been dealt with and as a result will still be rather slow to load. (Tom)
22/05/2022: A couple of developments today. Firstly I have added the next chunk of vehicles, comprising 3,644 that were mainly new in the late-1940s and early-1950s. This takes the total to 26,311, with many more still to come. The second change is that the main vehicle list page now includes tiny photographs (where available). If you hover your mouse over any of these photos, a larger copy will appear, giving an idea of how the vehicle looked. Mind you, fewer than 1 in 200 vehicles in the database actually have a photo at present, so these won't appear all that often, especially for older vehicles.
I am aware that the vehicle list page is becoming a bit slow, with quite a pause before it fully loads. This is caused by the (growing) number of vehicles and the complexity of the queries, but I am looking at ways to make it work faster. (Tom)
19/05/2022: Another set of 30 photos has just been uploaded, all taken over the past 6 weeks. I haven't used every photo received, so don't worry if yours does not appear - it may well be used later on. Thanks to everyone who has contributed. (Tom)
11/05/2022: To allow some of the many older types of vehicle to be illustrated, I have borrowed (from one of my other web projects) a method for including photos from external websites. Such photos will only be shown at thumbnail size (300 pixels wide), and will be clearly marked EXT (for external). The viewing page for each of these photos will include a link to the external website. 10 external photos have just been added and any feedback on this approach would be welcomed. If successful, I will periodically add more old photos.
Work on the database records is still ongoing but there should be another large 'dump' fairly soon. (Tom)
09/05/2022: Some 'new' data has been added in the form of 39 vehicles that have recently been reported. Most are Network Rail but there are also 5 with Colas Rail. A couple of small changes to the website are as follows. On the main Vehicle List page, you can now filter the results by registration type (for example, prefix registrations, 'revised' registrations etc). This will be of use if you are only interested in seeing newer vehicles. Pick 'Revised' from the drop-down and click on apply, then you will only see vehicles new since 2001. Some will already have gone of course, but at least you won't need to wade through thousands of much older vehicles to see them. Secondly, on the same page, you can now click on a vehicle's registration number or description to go to the detail page for that vehicle. The links are not displayed in the normal way (blue text with underline) as that made the table look messy! However, when you hover over the text, your pointer will change and a tool-tip will appear. You can also still use the 'View' button at the far right of each row. (Tom)
27/04/2022: It is time to get on with adding the rest of Merf's data. I've started with the smallest group, covering the Southern Railway (and its predecessors) and the BR Southern Region. Nevertheless this has added 2,838 more vehicles to the database, which now contains a total of 22,567. More companies/regions will be added soon. (Tom)
08/04/2022: Another set of 25 photos has just been added. They are again dominated by vehicles involved in work at Stanford-le-Hope Station (with just a couple of repeat showings), with 8 others taken at various locations in and around London. (Tom)
06/04/2022: Taking my own advice, I had a look at the two separate Network Rail depots in Wimbledon yesterday. Fifteen vehicles were identified, only two of which were already listed (the rest have now been added). At least as many again were visible but not identifiable, so a return visit might be worthwhile. (Tom)
04/04/2022: With thanks to Andrew, Bob, John and Paul (the Fab Four?!), I have just added another 42 current vehicles to the database. Mind you, I see that Merf has also added over 100 older vehicles in recent weeks. A batch of photos will be uploaded later in the week, and users who have submitted New Vehicle Reports can now go in and add their sightings if they so wish. I know it is a bit of a faff having to effectively do it twice - At the next update I will be looking at adding a function to automatically turn New Vehicle Reports into Sightings.
The thing is, there are still tens of thousands of vehicles to be added. For the older vehicles, I need to get my Data Mangle out and put some more of Merf's massive spreadsheets through it (if only it was that simple!). For the newer vehicles, we need you to let us know of any that you see. There are various ways to report vehicles, as covered in the User Guide. (Tom)
02/04/2022: Sorry for the lack of updates recently - I have had to prioritise work on another web project. That work was completed yesterday and I will now be focusing on content across all the LTSV websites. In terms of RRV, this will mean getting on with adding the masses of historical vehicle records (LNER, GWR, SR and early BR), plus adding lots more photos.(Tom)
15/02/2022: Another batch of photos has been added, this time totaling 40 and covering the period from the late-1980s to last weekend! Many thanks to everyone who has contributed photos. (Tom)
31/01/2022: A set of 34 photos has just been added, most of which were taken yesterday or today. Paul Nicholls set out yesterday to photograph a Network Rail car that parks in his area. As a bonus, he found about two dozen more vehicles attending engineering work at the local station, and he very kindly photographed them all. He returned today and caught another three. Adding to the set are an Emergency Response Unit van seen at Cricklewood by Robin Morel, and a couple of vans at Eltham by Ray Monk. (Tom)
30/01/2022: I am at present making additions to the London Midland Region listings. It comprises of new information found since the site was commenced a few months ago.
It consists of extra vehicles found along with a large amount of allocations to existing records. This should take a little time.
27/01/2022: The remaining sections of this website have now been completed and it is fully functional. You can now register for an account, log-in, and add your own sightings, notes and new vehicle reports. The site has been tested but please let me know if you encounter any errors or oddities.
24/12/2021: We are on-line! Now to do some testing...
24/12/2021: Having made a few last-minute tweaks, it is now time to see if I can get the site working on-line. See you on the other side!
20/12/2021: Right, I reckon the main display pages are now complete. The most difficult task was to create links to the previous and next vehicles when looking at the details of a particular vehicle. These links take into account any filtering and sorting that have been applied. The complications were that users could have come from either of the two vehicle list pages, and that they could have got to a vehicle that was not in their last vehicle list selection (for example by clicking on the vehicle detail link on a photo page). It all seems to work! The plan is to upload the site to the internet in the next few days and get some volunteers to do a bit of testing. If all goes well, I will then create the editing pages (registration, log-in, adding sightings etc) ahead of a full launch probably in early January 2022.
17/12/2021: Work on the display pages is ongoing. The plan is to complete these and put them on-line to allow user testing. The functions for adding and editing data will then be created.
16/12/2021: I think I have finally found a workable solution to the problem of showing vehicles that could have had both multiple operators and multiple (or no) fleetnumbers! As such, I am now building the pages to display the data. Things should now speed up.
BN19WRO Vauxhall Movano Van
YS62VOT Ford Transit VII L3H3 Van
YS67LVD Ford Ranger XLT 4d Pick up
at Sreatham High Street - passing on 13th Feb 2024
at Romford Victoria Road AP on 25th Feb 2024
at Goodmayes AP on 22nd Feb 2024
at Sittingbourne on 24th Sep 2022
at Sleaford on 29th Oct 2022
at Sittingbourne on 24th Sep 2022
at Exeter Central on 8th Jun 2022
at Marylebone Station on 21st Feb 2024
at Marylebone Station on 21st Feb 2024
at Weston-super-Mare NR compund on 2nd Feb 2024
Ref vehicle BXR760 Morris
Photo at https://www.flickr.com/photos/rw3-497alh/51310708400/
Ref vehicle NK57CFZ Mitsubishi
May have been a demonstrator. Later operated by Elmec Solutions and AB2000, now with Quattro Group and re-registered R41LFE. Carries safety advertising for MADMESS.
Ref photo ID 360
A nicely presented replica carrying the 1963 experimental livery which was not adopted.
Ref photo ID 331
Similar liveried vehicles used by "Land Sheriffs" security who have various contracts in South East
Ref vehicle CC1087 Leyland
In LT Museum collection (Acton Depot)
Ref vehicle 5260DN Scammell
Re Registered as XMW 219 A on 01.09.2022.
Ref vehicle 5260DN Scammell
Preserved and currently under restoration to red/cream livery by owner Peter Smeaton.
Ref vehicle YO19LFK Ford
White E livery
Ref vehicle BK69SJV Vauxhall
White E livery.
Ref company Stena Lines
Bought Sealink business from Sea Containers Ltd in 1991
Edits and other changes will also be listed here, once there have been some!