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7 fleet news items found.
I wanted a JRA-H, not a JRA-H!
Posted on Sunday 24th January 2021 by Thomas Young

This is not really fleet news but it sits here better than under site news. An article I plan to write one day concerns oddities, errors and inconsistencies around the assignment of TOPS codes. The withdrawal of the Bardon JRA-H hoppers reminded me of this but the article is not likely to appear for a while, there being lots of other jobs above it on my 'to-do' list. So here is a quick taster.

TOPS codes were intended to provide a means of distinguishing different types of wagons. To function well it would seem logical that all wagons of a particular type should have the same TOPS code, and no TOPS code should be applied to more than one different type. This applies to 3-letter TOPS codes, but even more so to the 4-letter codes, where the fourth letter should be used to distinguish lesser variations between similar types.

To be honest, this logic has been applied in most cases, but there are a few exceptions....

This Bardon hopper wagon was assigned TOPS code JRA-H

This ex-Tiphook box wagon, though completely different, is also a JRA-H

Going to the other extreme, the three wagons shown below are all essentially similar wagons owned by Network Rail, used for the same role and even carrying the same basic livery. Yet they have radically different TOPS codes of IEA, JNA and MLA respectively. To highlight the irony, I have selected three similar photos all taken at the same location.

No notes have been left yet. ?There may be some notes posted but which have not yet been approved.
Wagon news
Posted on Sunday 24th January 2021 by Thomas Young

New builds
JNA-T box wagons 81.70.5500.769-803 were delivered in September 2020, these being the last of an order for 200 for VTG. As with many of the earlier wagons, they went initially into store at Long Marston.

The only other wagon order believed to be outstanding was that from GB Railfreight for FWA Ecofret2, and there have been no further updates on this since the prototypes were sent to Derby for testing in June 2020. However, in October 2020 Network Rail announced a major order for 570 new wagons. Four companies are in fact involved, with the wagons to be built by Greenbrier Europe (in Poland and Romania), owned by Wascosa (a leasing company based in Switzerland), maintained by GB Railfreight and used by Network Rail. The order includes three distinct types, 260 modular flat wagons, 260 low-sided open wagons and 50 high-sided open wagons and they are expected to be given TOPS codes FEA-W, MLA-W and JNA-W respectively, the W being for the lessor. The flat wagons will be fitted with various body modules for infrastructure work. It seems likely that some will be used for carrying track panels, to replace the elderly Salmon/Osprey types. Delivery of the wagons is due to start in late 2021.

The programme to shorten former Freightliner HHA hopper wagons is ongoing, with at least 25 wagons being completed in autumn 2020. Does anyone know where these are being used?

Disposals have continued apace, with several batches being rendered extinct. Most notably, all of the FNA-B/FNA-C nuclear flask carriers numbered in the 5500xx have gone, having been replaced by new EVN-numbered FNA-D wagons.

All of the JGA hoppers bought by Bardon in the late 1980s have been sent for scrap, along with the 24 JRA hoppers originally used by ECC (English China Clays) but later transferred to Bardon / Aggregates Industries work. These two types have been replaced by 62 HYA 'shorty' hoppers supplied by VTG.

The Bardon JGA hoppers were delivered (as PHAs) in a vivid green and yellow livery but have latterly operated in shabby 'track dirt' brown!

Other types going for the chop include ex-Sheerness Steel JXA opens, ex-British Steel JTA/JUA tipplers and PGA 4-wheel hoppers, examples of each being show below. The latter two types were both large fleets, with several hundred of each, and they must now be nearly all gone. Once I get the database more up-to-date I hope to be able to provide more precise coverage of withdrawals.

No notes have been left yet. ?There may be some notes posted but which have not yet been approved.
Catching up with the new class codes - Part 4: 8xx EMUs
Posted on Wednesday 6th January 2021 by Thomas Young

The previous section of this review ended up rather lengthy, so for this final instalment I will keep it brief. The 8xx class series is for high-speed EMUs, and (so far) all additions have been variants of the Hitachi IEP (Inter-City Express Programme) originally planned in 2012 as a HST replacement. These have been built in Japan, Italy and at the new facility in Newton Aycliffe.

Class 800 are 'bi-mode' (diesel and overhead electric) and are formed into four fleets. 36 x 5-car units are class 800/0 numbers 800001-800036 for Great Western Railway, 13 x 9-car units are class 800/1 numbers 800101-800113 with LNER, 10 x 5-car units are class 800/2 numbers 800201-800210 also with LNER while 21 x 9-car units are 800/3 numbers 800301-800321 with GWR. The 800/3 units were originally intended to be electric-only 801/0 units numbered 801001-801021.

The streamlined design seen on GWR 800/3 800310 near Paddington is common to all Hitachi IEP types.

The class 801 units are all-electric (apart from one diesel engine per unit for emergency use). Following the switch of the GWR 801/0 units to bi-mode 800/3s, all remaining 801s are used by LNER. 801/1 units 801101-801112 are 5-car units while 801/2 units 801201-801230 are 9-car.

Class 802 units are similar to class 800 units but with technical changes to make them suitable for the gradients and sea-wall sections at the western end of the Great Western main line. GWR uses 5-car 802/0 units 802001-802022 and 9-car 802/1 units 802101-802114. Further 5-car units were ordered by TransPennine Express (802/2 numbers 802201-802219, referred to by the operator as 'Nova 1' trains) and Hull Trains (802/3 numbers 802301-802305).

Five 5-car class 803 units are on order for East Coast Trains, a new 'open-acess' operator.

The new operator of the West Coast mainline, Avanti West Coast, ordered two batches of train based on the Hitachi IEP. 13 class 805s will be 5-car bi-mode trains for London to Holyhead services, while 10 class 807s will be 7-car electric units for the Euston to Birmingham/Liverpool/Manchester routes. Numbers 805001-805013 and 807001-807010 have been allocated.

East Midlands Railway ordered 33 x 5-car bi-mode units to replace their HST fleet. Further details are awaited.

No notes have been left yet. ?There may be some notes posted but which have not yet been approved.
Catching up with the new class codes - Part 3: 7xx EMUs
Posted on Wednesday 6th January 2021 by Thomas Young

With the 3xx series of class codes apparently getting rather full (due to the desire to avoid 6-digit EMU numbers conflicting with existing 6-digit wagon numbers), the decision was taken in about 2013 to open the 7xx and 8xx series for use. Class numbers in the 7xx series were assigned to 'normal' EMUs, while the 8xx series was for 'high-speed' EMUs. Now I may be missing something but the use of the 7xx series so far appears to have been rather haphazard, with new numbers seemingly allocated in a random manner. This summary covers all 7xx class numbers, in numerical order.

The Thameslink 2000 programme was eventually completed about fifteen years later than originally envisaged, and with it came a large new fleet of trains. Built by Siemens to their 'Desiro City' design, the trains were delivered between 2015 and 2018 and were to two different lengths. Sixty were 8-car units classified as 700/0 and numbered 700001-700060, while another 55 were 12-car 700/1s numbered 700101-700155. The type entered service in June 2016, with deliveries completed in May 2018.

The expanded Thameslink network now includes services over Great Northern lines to Peterborough and Cambridge, as shown by 12-car 700/1 700152 passing New Southgate in April 2019.

Another fleet destined to be quite large is the Bombardier 'Aventra' class 701. Ordered by South Western Railway for inner and outer suburban duties, the order was divided between 60 x 10-car units (701/0s 701001-701060) and 30 x 5-car units (701/5s 701501-701530). Delivery of the 10-car units commenced in June 2020. The trains are to be referred to by SWR as 'Arterios'.

Ordered by Stagecoach and delivered in South West Trains red livery, the 30 x 5-car 707 units were built by Siemens to the 'Desiro City' design. Numbered as 707001-707030 and delivered between December 2016 and February 2018, the first entered service in August 2017, just three days before Stagecoach lost the SWT franchise. The new operator (a First Group and MTR joint venture which was to subtly rebrand the operation as 'South Western Railway') had already announced a large order for new trains from Bombardier that would replace all existing suburban units, including the youthful 707s. The latter are likely to be transferred to South Eastern.

707017 leads 707003 on a Kingston loop service approaching Wimbledon in November 2019.

London Overground placed orders with Bombardier for their 'Aventra' EMUs, these being intended to work the newly-electrified Gospel Oak to Barking line, and to replace class 315s on the lines from Liverpool Street to Enfield Town, Cheshunt and Chingford. The orders were later expanded to cover usage on the Romford to Upminster line, and to replace some of the class 378 units on the Euston to Watford Junction route. The 30 Liverpool Street units emerged as 4-car, AC-only 710/1s numbered 710101-710130, while the remainder were dual-voltage units comprising 18 x 4-car 710/2 units numbered 710256-710273 and 6 x 5-car 710/3s 710274-710279. The numbering of the dual-voltage units is curious, and I had thought it was to allow the last three digits of the set numbers to follow on from the earlier class 378 units. However, the latter ran up to 378257, so there is an overlap. The first 710 was delivered in December 2017, but there were major delays to testing and commissioning, the first 710/2 not entering service until May 2019. The first 710/1 followed in October, initially also on the Gospel Oak to Barking route before the first workings from Liverpool Street in February 2020. Deliveries of the units was all but complete by the end of 2020.

Another fleet of Siemens 'Desiro City' units, the class 717 were ordered as 25 x 6-car units by Govia Thameslink for use on Great Northern suburban services. 717001-717025 were delivered between July 2018 and January 2019, entering service from March 2019 and fully replacing the elderly class 313 units by the end of September.

Yet another fleet of Bombardier 'Aventra' units to be built at Derby, the 720s are destined to replace most of the suburban units on the Greater Anglia network. Initially planned to include 22 x 10-car units as 720/1s 720101-720122 and 89 x 5-car 720/5s numbered 720501-720589, it was announced in 2020 that the order for 10-car units had been changed to one for further 5-car units. Although not yet confirmed, it is presumed that this will translate to 44 more 720/5s with numbers 720590-720633. Although the first cars were shown to the media in September 2018, deliveries (of 720/5 units) to Ilford did not begin until January 2020, with the first entering service that November.

Bombardier secured more orders for its 'Aventra' design when West Midlands Railway chose to take several batches as class 730 units. 36 x 3-car 730/0s numbered 730001-730036 are to be used around Birmingham with 29 x 5-car 730/1s (730101-730129) for outer suburban services and 16 x 5-car 730/2s (730201-730216) for longer distance work. The first units emerged from Derby during 2020. Class 730 units differ from most other recent EMUs in being fitted with end gangway connections.

As part of the total renewal of the Greater Anglia fleet, orders were placed with Stadler of Switzerland for four batches of unit. Two were to be pure-electric and these were classified as 745s. Both batches were formed into 12-car units made up of pairs of articulated coaches. The ten 745/0s (745001-745010) were for use between Liverpool Street and Norwich, while ten 745/1s (745101-745110) were for Stansted Express services and were standard-class only. Deliveries ran from May 2019 to May 2020, with the type entering service in January 2020.

The other type of train built by Stadler for Greater Anglia were class 755 'bi-mode' (diesel and electric) units. The trains are articulated and uniquely feature a short section which houses the diesel engines (mounted either side of a through-gangway). These 'power-pack' cars are sometimes not counted as coaches, meaning that the two types of train are sometimes quoted as 3-car and 4-car in length, and sometimes as 4-car and 5-car respectively. Taking the latter approach, the 14 x 4-car trains are 755/3 units 755325-755338, while the 24 x 5-car trains are 755/4 units 755401-755424. Note that the last two digits of the 755/3 units follow from those on the 755/4s. Deliveries started in November 2018 and were completed in April 2020, the class having entered service in July 2019.

The class 769 units are not new, having been rebuilt from class 319 4-car EMUs previously used on Thameslink services. New diesel engines were mounted underneath each former driving trailer car, enabling the type to operate both on and off electrified routes. A 'tri-mode' variant was later added, with the capability to work on third-rail electrified routes. Work on the conversions was started in 2018, with the first delivered (to Northern) before the end of that year. Northern had ordered 8 units, Transport for Wales 9 units and Great Western Railway 19 of the tri-mode variant. The type had a lengthy testing period, with the first entering passenger service (with Transport for Wales) in November 2020. Although not yet confirmed, the class 769s are expected to retain their original set numbers (for example, 319002 became 769002).

Merseyrail placed an order for 52 x 4-car units from Stadler in February 2017, to replace their existing fleet of class 507 and 508 EMUs. Class number 777 was assigned, and the first example (777003) was delivered in January 2020. As of the end of that year, none had entered passenger service.

The final class to be mentioned in this section is a one-off experimental unit, converted from a class 319 EMU. 319001 was rebuilt in 2019 with hydrogen fuel cells fitted in the motor car, and renumbered as 799001. It had been due to undergo trials in 2020.

No notes have been left yet. ?There may be some notes posted but which have not yet been approved.
Catching up with the new class codes - Part 2: 3xx and 4xx EMUs
Posted on Wednesday 6th January 2021 by Thomas Young

Continuing my review of new and planned class codes, this time I will cover EMUs given class codes in the 3xx and 4xx series traditionally used for AC and DC EMUs respectively.

For use by Northern Rail, CAF built a fleet of units to their 'Civity' design, these being similar in appearance to the 195 DMUs. Class 331/0 comprises 31 x 3-car units, numbered 331001-331031, while 12 x 4-car 331/0s are 331101-331112.

The Elizabeth Line in London (previously known as Crossrail) will be run using 70 x 9-car units numbered 345001-345070. Although delivery of the trains has been completed, the opening of the line has been delayed and many of the units are being used (some shortened temporarily to 7-car units) between Paddington and Reading and between Liverpool Street and Shenfield. The remainder are mainly in store at Old Oak Common depot.

345017 was in 7-car format when seen working into Liverpool Street in April 2019.

Entering service with Scotrail in mid-2018, this fleet comprises 46 x 3-car 385/0s numbered 385001-385046 and 24 x 4-car 385/1s numbered 385101-385124. Delivery of these Hitachi-built units was completed in late 2019.

TransPennine Express has introduced three new fleets of trains, referred to internally as 'Nova 1', 'Nova 2' and 'Nova 3'. The 'Nova 2' fleet was made up of 12 x 5-car EMUs built by CAF to their 'Civity' design but featuring streamlined ends. Classified as 397, 397001-397012 were delivered between December 2018 and November 2019, and are used on services from Scotland to Liverpool/Manchester.

Class 398 has been allocated to a fleet of 36 x 3-car Stadler 'Citylink' Tram-Trains ordered for use on South Wales Metro services.

The first all-electric versions of Viva-Rail's D-Train concept (using former London Underground stock) are 5 x 2-car 484 units ordered by South Western Railway for use on the Isle of Wight. The first example was delivered in November 2020 and they are scheduled to enter service in April 2021.

No notes have been left yet. ?There may be some notes posted but which have not yet been approved.
Catching up with the new class codes - Part 1: Diesels
Posted on Wednesday 6th January 2021 by Thomas Young

I have got slightly out of touch with developments with new train deliveries over the past few years (while I have had my head stuck in web design mode) and I don't really know my 701s from my 710s. To remedy this, I decided to make a list of all the new class codes that have been introduced or planned, as much for my own benefit as anything else. To start things off, this item looks at the diesel classes added. If you spot any errors or omissions please let me know. Note also that some of the information will not yet be shown in the data pages, though this will be addressed over the coming weeks.

Ten former class 56 locos are being re-engined and modernised by EMD at Longport for use by GB Railfreight. Expected to be numbered 69001-69010, the first was nearing completion in late 2020.

A fleet of 25 x 2-car (195/0 numbers 195001-195025) and 33 x 3-car (195/1 numbers 195101-195133) diesel multiple units built by CAF in Spain and Newport (Wales) for use by Northern Rail. The first entered service in mid-2019 and the last was delivered in November 2020.

Also built by CAF, 12 x 2-car (196/0 numbers 196001-196012) and 14 x 4-car (196/1 numbers 196101-196114) are due for West Midlands Trains. The first was delivered in mid-2020.

More CAF 'Civity' units were ordered by Transport for Wales, comprising 51 x 2-car 197/0s and 26 x 3-car 197/1s. Set numbers are yet to be advised.

The Viva-Rail conversions of former London Underground D-stock trains into diesel or hybrid units have gained a few orders. After two prototypes (diesel 230001 and diesel-battery hybrid 230002), three diesel sets (230003-230005) were delivered to West Midlands Trains in 2018/2019 for use on the Bedford to Bletchley line. A further five battery sets (230006-230010) were ordered for use by Transport for Wales between Wrexham and Bidston, with deliveries starting in mid-2020.

Class code 231 has reportedly been allocated to a fleet of 11 x 4-car Stadler 'Flirt' DMUs ordered by Transport for Wales.

No notes have been left yet. ?There may be some notes posted but which have not yet been approved.
Wagon news catch-up, Autumn 2020
Posted on Saturday 19th September 2020 by Thomas Young

New wagon deliveries over the past few months have been 'more of the same', but there has at least been some variety in the colours carried. Most of the JNAs from VTG's speculative order for 200 wagons have arrived. 81.70.5500.604-633 were delivered in October 2019, followed by 81.70.5500.634-653 in December, both of these batches carrying a silver livery. Also new in December were 81.70.5500.654-668 in a blue livery (a lighter shade than that on the earlier VTG and GBRf wagons) and for use by DC Rail. More blue box arrivals were 81.70.5500.669-703 in January 2020, 81.70.5500.704-733 in April, and 81.70.5500.734-753 in June. Of these, 50 wagons (704-753) have large 'CAPPAGH' branding. Cappagh are the owners of DC Rail and the branded wagons are intended for use from a new terminal at Wembley, although half of the batch initially went into store at Long Marston. Also delivered in June were silver 81.70.5500.754-768, leaving 36 of the batch outstanding.

The wagons owned by Touax for use by Mendip rail started arriving in February 2020, first up being 55 JNA-Ts numbered 81.70.5500.804-858. These carried the Touax corporate red livery with the lessor's name in large yellow lettering, and delivery was completed in March. A batch of 40 HOA-B hoppers followed, carrying the same red livery. 81.70.6774.036-055 arrived in late May 2020, with 81.70.6774.056-075 following a few weeks later.

In use with Mendip Rail but so far only carrying large Touax branding, JNA-T 81.70.5500.856-6 was seen at Eastleigh at the end of June 2020

HOA-B 81.70.6774.074-3 seen at Acton has the same livery.

A new order announced was for 84 3-unit 'Ecofret' container wagons for GB Railfreight. These are being built by W H Davis and the wagons are numbered 83.70.4520.198-365 for the FWA-A outers and 83.70.4521.035-118 for the FWA-B outers. The first set was completed and sent to Derby for testing in June.

Modification news mainly concerns the hopper shortening programmes. Work on the HYA/IIA types continues, with 172 having been reduced in length (almost half of the 368 wagons that were built). Lots of former Freightliner HHA hoppers have also been making their way to W H Davis for the same treatment. The prototype for this conversion was completed in late 2019 but there have been no mentions of any further examples yet. It has been reported that the wagons will retain their existing HHA TOPS code and stock numbers in the 370001-370446 range. A revised design code of HH003A will distinguish the conversions from the HH001- originals.

Also ongoing is the conversion of JSA covered coil carriers to open coil carriers. It is not known how many of the 106 wagons in the ranges VTG4020-4076 and VTG4091-4139 are being done but virtually every surviving covered JSA has been reported at Eastleigh Works.

Another smaller conversion programme, also undertaken at Eastleigh, saw the appearance of the first new 'domestic' wagon numbers in about ten years*. Eight Freightliner FRA-A bogie container flats were modified for use on Railhead Treatment trains by Network Rail. The wagons remain owned by Freightliner and have been repainted in grey livery with the new Freightliner logo in orange. Recoded as FRA-B, wagons 613044/12/42/28/17/25/11/32 were renumbered to 613101-613108, the first being completed in September 2020. * The last 'new' wagon numbers issued in the domestic series appear to be GERS12895-12899 for renumbered Autoballasters in 2010, and the 3004xx and 3006xx blocks used on former National Power hoppers. The latter two sets of numbers were believed to have been allocated in 2002, but application was not completed until 2016.

Modifications of MHA box wagons into MPA have continued, with a total of 257 done by autumn 2020.

Disposals have continued apace, biting into many wagon classes. Two small classes of bogie hopper that have now gone are the Brett Marine JHA-Ls and the Cleveland Potash JGA-Ls, the latter after a lengthy period out of use. Although numbered close together (as ELC17501-17520 and NACO17450-17456 respectively), the batches had very different lifespans. The Brett hoppers were built in 1970-1971, while the Cleveland Potash ones date from 1991. Rather more surprising disposals were of the YXA-R Rail Delivery and Recovery Train wagons numbered 99.70.9551.001-015. These had been converted from YEA long-welded rail wagons in 2015 but had seen very little use.

No notes have been left yet. ?There may be some notes posted but which have not yet been approved.
Site news
15 site news items found.
GWR Castles are not what they used to be!
Posted on Saturday 23rd January 2021 by Thomas Young

I have been adding some data related to the GWR Castle class. Not the steam locos, but the HSTs that have been shortened and fitted with power doors for use in the South West. The 4 coaches in each set have been renumbered (some re-using numbers originally carried by APT-P driving cars), while the fleet is collectively known as Class 255, this being displayed on the Castle-themed nameplates. I'm not sure if 255 is a genuine TOPS class, as the trains do not carry set numbers. They are allocated coach-set numbers GW01 upwards. Class 255 follows on from classes 252, 253 and 254 that were used for HSTs until the late-1980s.

An additional three sets are in the process of being rebuilt, though I can't add these coaches to the database yet as the new number range is not known. I also can't add the formations because somebody hasn't created the formation editing pages yet. I will have a word...

No notes have been left yet. ?There may be some notes posted but which have not yet been approved.
More design codes added and some number corrections
Posted on Friday 22nd January 2021 by Thomas Young

The more detailed 'ABC' type books used to provide TOPS design codes (or at least diagram numbers) for coaches in multiple units, though this seems to have stopped several years ago. As such, I did not have this information for the more recent deliveries. Fortunately a very kind contributor has sent me a bundle of data on this subject, and I have just finished adding it to the database. Included are 142 new design codes and (unsurprisingly) 142 new diagram numbers. I have also added the codes to the relevant batches and photos, although not yet to the data blocks on the photos themselves.

As a by-product of this process, I found a few batches where the data I had was incorrect. This mainly concerned the coach ('side') numbers of some EMUs, so most people will not be too bothered. The entries have now been corrected but, for the record, the errors were:
DMS coaches in 745/1 units are 313101-313110, not 313001-313010
MS coaches in 710/1 units are 431201-431231, not 431401-431431
MS coaches in 710/2 units are 432256-432273, not 432456-432473
PTS-B coaches in 755/4 units are 981401-981424, not 981501-981524
Coaches 421130-421174 in 387/1 units are DMS, not DMC.

No notes have been left yet. ?There may be some notes posted but which have not yet been approved.
User Sightings now enabled
Posted on Thursday 21st January 2021 by Thomas Young

Among a variety of updates just published are new pages that allow users to add their own sightings. The pages are a little bit complex but I have added guidance tips. If anyone would like to try out the process I would be interested in hearing about any problems or suggestions. I am deliberately not going to say any more about how to use (or even find) the pages!

Users can also now add their own listings. These have to be done one at a time so, if you have lots of information, please get in touch and I can look at loading it through the 'back door'.

As user-added sightings and listings are subject to the same approval process as the notes, I have added colour-coded status indicators to various pages. These should be self-explanatory. Finally there is a new page to view the latest additions to various tables, this being 'Additions' in the News menu.

Of course users won't be able to add sightings of items if the numbers are not yet in the database. Over the next week or two I hope to add some of the missing data from the past few years.

No notes have been left yet. ?There may be some notes posted but which have not yet been approved.
More new photos
Posted on Monday 18th January 2021 by Thomas Young

Another 256 photos have just been uploaded, all taken by Derek Everson in the last 3 months of 2020. Lots of boxes and hoppers feature but worthy of note are...

The latest HOA-B hoppers for Mendip Rail are in Touax red. I don't think I can recall any private-owner hoppers being red before...

Believed to be internal user 083646, this wagon seen at Eastleigh Depot had a Freightliner bar coupling adaptor at one end and was loaded with a portable fuel tank.

No notes have been left yet. ?There may be some notes posted but which have not yet been approved.
New Photos, Old Photos and Very Old Photos
Posted on Wednesday 13th January 2021 by Thomas Young

Work on various additional functions is still underway (users should be able to add sightings and listings within a week or two) but today's update features 138 more photos. I received two batches of photos last week, to which I have added some more of my late father's.

First up are 18 taken by Merfyn Jones in and around Llandudno Junction between the mid-1980s and mid-2000s. Some interesting types are featured.

460001 was originally an SAA steel carrier, renumbered when it was rebuilt as a prototype SPA plate wagon. When photographed it had been further rebuilt as an RRA runner wagon.

B787270 was one of many BR Ferry Vans to later see use as RBX barrier wagons.

The second set comprises 102 taken by Derek Everson, mainly at Eastleigh in autumn 2020 (between lockdowns!). There are a lot of 'mundane' types but two highlights are shown below.

The curious 'Rail Adventure' branding is seen on several former Cargowaggon flats used as runners for deliveries of new South Western Railway class 701 EMUs.

99.70.9515.004-8 is one of several 'Railvac' units built on former container wagon underframes. Strangely these retain their KFA TOPS codes.

I still have lots more of Derek's photos to add, both from later in 2020, and some from earlier years.

The final set is 18 photos taken in the early 1960s by Graham Young (my father). The subjects are mainly departmental coaches, most of which were already ancient when photographed. The photos are fairly good quality, having been scanned from negatives a few years ago.

An ex Great Eastern 6-wheel coach (with solid wheels) seen in departmental service.

There are a couple of wagons but the brake van is perhaps not the most interesting aspect of this photo taken in Newcastle in 1965!

No notes have been left yet. ?There may be some notes posted but which have not yet been approved.
Going round in circles
Posted on Wednesday 6th January 2021 by Thomas Young

I was itching to get started on adding data and information to this website (i.e. doing what I originally created the site for) but I soon remembered that some of the admin pages (for adding and editing information) still need to be added, while many others need to be upgraded from the rather basic versions created earlier. So, I did a bit, but it is hard work, pages that change the database records having to be very carefully created and tested to ensure that they don't (for example) overwrite all records in a table rather than just one specific record. I also wanted to do something that users could actually see, not a page that only I would ever use.

So, I decided to spend an hour or two writing a news item about all the various new class codes introduced over the past few years. This was partly to help me to remember the difference between classes 710, 720, 730 etc! Anyway, the task took much longer than expected, mainly because I had to keep referring back to numerous different books and magazines to get information such as delivery dates. And that is precisely why I designed this website in the first place; to gather together bits of information that are currently scattered across various different sources. So, I needed to start adding data, but then I remembered.... RETURN TO TOP!

No notes have been left yet. ?There may be some notes posted but which have not yet been approved.
LTSV-RD now open
Posted on Friday 1st January 2021 by Thomas Young

This website is now open and available for use. There are some gaps but these will be addressed over the coming weeks/months. My thanks go to the volunteers who have helped with testing of the site over the past week.

No notes have been left yet. ?There may be some notes posted but which have not yet been approved.
Ho Ho Ho, new pictures!
Posted on Friday 25th December 2020 by Thomas Young

One thing I have been looking forward to doing is to make use of a bundle of photos sent to me over the past few years by Nathan Stockman. With the Christmas Day TV offerings looking very poor, I decided to spend this evening preparing them.

These photos are rather special for a number of reasons. Firstly, they are of very high quality. The 'high-definition' option I recently added to this website hardly does justice to the amount of detail on the originals. Secondly, they feature many types not shown before (mainly because they never come to London), including lots of my favourite bogie steel carriers. Thirdly, Nathan went the extra mile, tooling himself up to remove vegetation from in front of many of the long-stored wagons at Margam!

There are 54 photos in this set, a few highlights from which are shown below.

A BBA in almost original condition.

The unique prototype CDA china-clay wagon.

A double rarity. CEA covered hoppers did not last long, and there was only one with experimental suspension.

A long-withdrawn former Tilcon PGA hopper.

Some of the odd-looking NACCO china-clay TEAs.

A couple of the VXA generator vans used with the cable-drum carrying train.

Note added Sat 26/12/2020 by Nat37670
Category: Other/General
Merry Christmas Tom. Nice to see the photos 'live'. I still regularly visit the old yards at Margam, most of the stuff I sent from there has met the cutters torch and been replaced by things like WIA car carriers. Not very Welsh!

It Lives!
Posted on Thursday 24th December 2020 by Thomas Young

A large part of this website was finally unleashed onto the internet last night and, apart from a few small glitches, it seems to be working OK. The pages that feature big queries (that have to check through hundreds of thousands of records) have a reasonable response time, and the layouts work on a variety of screen sizes. Some of the pages were uploaded in an incomplete state and I will work on these over the next week, while also dealing with any bugs that are found. All being well, a full launch on 1st January should be possible.

No notes have been left yet. ?There may be some notes posted but which have not yet been approved.
Getting closer...
Posted on Monday 7th December 2020 by Thomas Young

There are various reasons for the continued delay to getting this website to a state in which it can be launched, chief among which are its size and complexity. I was also perhaps somewhat over-ambitious in deciding to create this website at the same time as maintaining an existing one (the original LTSV) AND also developing two other new sites (LTSV-LTA and LTSV-RRV, both of which are admittedly considerably smaller). Still, I hope to be able to finally go on-line around the end of 2020. Having said that, I made the rash decision a couple of days ago to include member registration and log-in from day one. This will allow people to (hopefully) make a start on adding notes and comments, but it does mean that I need to do a lot of testing to ensure that the processes are robust and reliable. It should be an interesting few weeks!

No notes have been left yet. ?There may be some notes posted but which have not yet been approved.
More whinging
Posted on Monday 2nd November 2020 by Thomas Young

Having learnt my lesson the hard way a couple of years ago, I now do fairly comprehensive back-ups once a month. These include all my saved photos, documents, scans, e-mails etc and amount to about 350GB. One of my back-up drives conked out a few months ago so, having bought a new one, I decided to use this for the 1st November back-up. With the new PC I bought in February, the full back-up process had reduced from over 5 hours to about 2. However, yesterday's took a painful 18 hours, for reasons that I can't explain. Ho hum.

On the bright side, I have taken advantage of my recent troubles to make progress in other areas. While my PC was away for repair I did a lot of work on the texts of the background articles for this website. And during yesterday's back-up I could not do any do page design work, but I was able to test the process for adding notes by inputting a few dozen about rolling stock changes in 1986. These were mainly about locos, coaches and units, though I do intend to focus mainly on wagons.

No notes have been left yet. ?There may be some notes posted but which have not yet been approved.
Posted on Saturday 31st October 2020 by Thomas Young

If I was a superstitious person I could well believe that fate does not want me to finish this website. I do seem to have had a string of unconnected problems and setbacks, the latest of which was when my new(ish) PC developed a fault in early October. It had to go away for repair (apparently to Germany), and this meant that most of the month was lost. Still, I will press on until I feel that the first stage is ready to go up.

No notes have been left yet. ?There may be some notes posted but which have not yet been approved.
More photos, bigger photos, still not on-line....
Posted on Saturday 1st August 2020 by Thomas Young

714 more photos have been added over the past week, some of which were taken this summer (once lockdown restrictions were eased a little) and many others from 2018 and 2019. A separate posting will cover the highlights but I would like to highlight a change in policy. Having bought myself a 4K monitor recently, the 1200 pixels wide photographs did look a bit on the small side. I therefore decided to include larger copies, where the source material allowed. The default view will still be of the 1200 pixel photo. In the gallery views, photos which have a high-resolution copy available (normally 2400 pixels wide) will be indicated by the letters HD in the top left corner. By clicking on this, you will be able to view the larger photo directly. A link will also be provided from the photo view page when looking at medium sized photos. It's probably simpler to use than it is to explain!

However, the site is of course still not on-line. I have various excuses for this which I won't bore you with. I have made a list of things which need adding or amending before the launch of the first stage, and I hope to work my through these very soon.

No notes have been left yet. ?There may be some notes posted but which have not yet been approved.
What's in the new photos?
Posted on Saturday 1st August 2020 by Thomas Young

The 714 photos recently added were taken between July 2018 and July 2020. A fair bit of the content is somewhat on the dull side, with types such as JNA box wagons, HRA hoppers and several others that have already featured on LTSV many times before. However, there are some new types featured, and I will highlight below some of the ones I consider to be a little more interesting.

Multiple views of a rake of SSA 2-axle scrap box wagons which have surprisingly turned up on a new London to Doncaster/Scunthorpe aggregates circuit.

Two attempts (neither very successful) at capturing the Castle Cement PCA tanks working to St Pancras.

Various preserved rolling stock at the National Railway Museum in York (July 2018), on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (also July 2018) and on the Bluebell Railway (May 2019).

I like steel carriers, and this long train seen passing the NRM in York in July 2018 contained a variety of BAA, BBA, BDA and BEA types.

Trains seen passing Lewisham in September 2018 included the unique MVA box wagon, and (rare in London) BYA covered steel carriers.

Both batches of the distinctive JGA cement tanks have been seen, the Buxton Lime ones being in both original and revised livery.

Derek found a derailed container train at Eastleigh in January 2020.

No notes have been left yet. ?There may be some notes posted but which have not yet been approved.
So, not launching on 1st January then....?
Posted on Wednesday 4th March 2020 by Thomas Young

As we are now into March and this website is still only available on my own computer, it is fairly obvious that I did not achieve my plan to launch on 1st January. There were still a lot of pages that needed tweaking and checking, and I made some good progress on this during January. However, February was 'lost' due to a couple of external factors. Firstly I caught the flu, which laid me up for almost a fortnight. Then my 'trusty' HP computer developed a fault which didn't seem to be repairable. I had learnt the hard lesson of doing proper back-ups the last time I had IT trouble, so everything was preserved. But it took some time to source a new PC, configure it and install all the software and data. I was back in action by the end of February but I then decided to spend some time working on another web project (which had been in the queue behind this website but which requires a large amount of data preparation). Oh, and the bus was late, and the dog ate my homework, and ....

No notes have been left yet. ?There may be some notes posted but which have not yet been approved.