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Wagon news
Posted on Wednesday 31st March 2021 by Thomas Young

A couple of bits of news today. Two of the IDA 'Super Low 45' container wagons have been deleted from TOPS (39.70.4901.022-6 and 39.70.4901.030-9). Both wagons were less than 10 years old, and 022 had been stored since being damaged in a shunting accident at Daventry back in January 2012, when it had been in service for less than 3 months.

BYA number 966050 has been seen at Stoke in a modified condition. The sliding covers have been removed, along with their runners, and what was the interior has been fitted with some large cradle structures. The wagon was freshly repainted in DB red, though it is not yet known if this is a one-off.

Thanks to Llamafish for these and numerous other bits of info.

No notes have been left yet. ?There may be some notes posted but which have not yet been approved.
Putting 2 and 2 together (and hopefully not getting 5)
Posted on Tuesday 16th March 2021 by Thomas Young

Looking at the batch of photos published on 11th February in conjunction with the information in the database has enabled me to learn a bit more about several codes. For instance, the FQA triple-set container wagons converted from FCAs have the same yellow stripe along their decks as carried by the earlier FXA conversions. The FXA modifications were to allow the carriage of 'hi-cube' containers and the deck markings were to highlight this. By deduction, the FQA conversions must also have received the deck-height modifications. Similarly I learned that the HHA-D variant of Freightliner coal hopper is for those converted into EMU adaptor/barrier wagons. HHA-C was for a one-off biomass conversion while HHA-B seems to have been introduced for changes to the braking system mid-way through the build. Staying with Freightliner hoppers, it appears that code HXA-B was introduced for the 4 wagons built with SCT Barber bogies instead of ELH ones, since joined by many conversions from HXA-A.

The yellow deck stripe is clearly visible on this FQA-I wagon.

The brake wheel on HHA-B hoppers is body-mounted, whereas on HHA-As it was fitted to the bogie.

All of this may be old-hat to the wagon experts out there, but I don't think the information has been published before, and certainly not all in one place.

No notes have been left yet. ?There may be some notes posted but which have not yet been approved.
Wagons news update
Posted on Tuesday 16th March 2021 by Thomas Young

A couple of news items from the latest issue of Rail Express magazine. Firstly, there was an update on the FWA Ecofret container flat triple-sets being built by W H Davis for GB Railfreight. The prototype set (formed of 83.70.4520.198-0 + 83.70.4521.035-3 + 83.70.4520.199-8) is apparently still undergoing testing at the Railway Technical Centre in Derby. Production of the batch has continued and 16 sets were moved to Gascoigne Wood (near Selby) for storage in February 2021. These comprised outer wagons 83.70.4520.200-231 and inners 83.70.4521.036-051. The wagons were said to be to new TOPS code FWA-C, though the design codes are not yet known.

The other news concerns the withdrawal of all but two wagons from the batch 33.87.4767.000-047. Only built in 1998, these French-registered bogie steel carriers (with sliding canvas hoods) were coded IHA-F, and they are being scrapped by Sims at Newport (South Wales).

Seen in 2013, this IHA-F was sent for scrap in February 2021.

No notes have been left yet. ?There may be some notes posted but which have not yet been approved.
More new TOPS codes
Posted on Sunday 21st February 2021 by Thomas Young

A couple more new TOPS codes have been added to the database. BTA-Z has been applied to disc-braked BTA pipe wagons, presumably at the same time as the BDA, BEA, BFA and YVA wagons mentioned last time.

Perhaps more interesting is the recoding of some FKA Megafret low-deck container twins as FOAs, following modifications to the spigots. Eleven wagons have been reported so far, all changing from FKA-A design code FKE878 to FOA-A design code FO003A (Design codes FO001A/B and FO002A were used for the earlier incarnation of FOA which was a pair of former BAA bogie steel wagons modified as FOA-G Nuclear Flask Carriers). Note that the new design code for the Megafrets is in the domestic series. Does this mean that these wagons will not be working to the continent, or could it be perhaps that the separate 'E-series' of designs is no longer being used.

I don't have any photos of new type FOA yet, but 81.70.4908.024-2 is one of the FKA-A wagons recently recoded thus.

No notes have been left yet. ?There may be some notes posted but which have not yet been approved.
New TOPS codes for BDAs and derivatives
Posted on Monday 8th February 2021 by Thomas Young

A fact that I just discovered almost by accident was that several new TOPS codes (or at least new AARKNDs) were issued during 2019 for BDA bogie bolsters and wagons rebuilt from them. These were to distinguish the wagons with clasp brakes (and brake levers) from those with disc brakes (and brake wheels). This had been tried quite a few years ago with new codes BDA-D and BDA-H but those changes seem to have never been implemented. The new codes are all for disc braked wagons and are BDA-S (with clasp brake wagons staying as BDA-R), BEA-B (others staying as BEA-A), BFA-U (remainder BFA-S), MXA-B (remainder MXA-A) and YVA-S (remainder YVA-Q). I need to do a bit more checking before adding these to the database.

Another change is that some seemingly erroneous design codes have been tidied-up. There were some MXA wagons that initially got design codes that seemed wrong based on the type of brakes fitted. For example, most MX005A wagons were clasp braked, but a couple weren't. Likewise with MX007A for disc-braked wagons. A new list suggests that these anomalies have now been rectified.

MXA 950821 was initially coded as an MXA-A to design code MX005A. It has now been given new TOPS code MXA-B and the design code has been revised to the more appropriate MX007A.

Note added Sat 20/02/2021 by Nat37670
Category: Classification/Coding
Also appears the same with the BTA fleet, 950862 and 950984 have been recoded BTA-Z with the rest of the fleet (950736 downwards) remaining as BTA-A.
Source: TOPS
Note added Thu 11/02/2021 by Thomas Young
Category: Other/General
The new TOPS codes (and some related new design codes) have now been added to the database, along with some listings which show which wagons they apply to. I'm still not sure how to deal with the MXAs dual-numbering though...!
Source: n/a

Dual-voltage Class 701s?
Posted on Monday 1st February 2021 by Thomas Young

The ORR documents mentioned in Site News on Saturday (30th January) have yielded some useful information about the design codes, formations and EVNs for some recent batches of DMUs and EMUs. The document covering South Western Railway's class 701 units seems to suggest that 3 of the units (10-car 701001 and 5-car 701501 and 701502) will be fitted out for dual-voltage use, perhaps only temporarily for testing. The driving cars of these units have different design codes to the remainder, and the 'Operator Code' is shown as DM(DV) instead of DM(DC). More tellingly, the adjacent coaches in the 10-car unit also have changed design codes and an operator code of PM(DV1) instead of (P)M(DC1). This suggests that a pantograph will be fitted, whereas the (P) on the others usually indicates a coach with a pantograph well but no pantograph. The two 5-car units are similar, except that there is only one PM(DV1) car.

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

Note added Sun 21/02/2021 by Thomas Young
Category: Classification/Coding
The East Midlands Railway units are to be class 810 with numbers 810001-810033, and they will have a slightly revised front end design. EMR will be branding these trains as 'Auroras'.
Source: Wikipedia

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.

720/5 720543 calls at Stratford in April 2021.

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.

745/0 745008 at Stratford in April 2021.

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
29 site news items found.
40 more photos, old and new
Posted on Thursday 8th April 2021 by Thomas Young

Another 40 photos have just been uploaded, comprising a very mixed bunch.

The first 15 were taken by my father in the early 1980s and are all of diesel locos.

Next are a couple of rolling stock photos by Derek Everson from the same era.

New contributor Malcolm Conway has sent some photos taken at Stratford this week.

Also taken this week, an interesting coach conversion seen by Nathan.

Finally there are a dozen photos from Dan Adkin's Flickr site, covering types not previously shown.

No notes have been left yet. ?There may be some notes posted but which have not yet been approved.
More data added and another correction
Posted on Wednesday 31st March 2021 by Thomas Young

Several new batches and over 700 more numbers have been added to the database today. Apart from 300 Clayhood wagons built over 60 years ago, and five Class 66 locos bought second-hand in the past two years, the rest are all RIV-numbered wagons. I have had some help in identifying numbers that are not yet included, and it is hoped that today's changes mean that virtually all of the current wagons are now shown.

The main correction is that the second batch of MWA box wagons for Freightliner were originally shown here as 81.70.5891.501-576 but were in fact 81.70.5891.500-575.

Looking at the press releases about the recent GBRf order for Ecofret container wagons, I am not convinced that the order was actually for 84 sets. The wording used could equally mean that 84 wagons (i.e. 28 triple sets) are being built. I have added the numbers for 28 sets, and the remainder will be added if it turns out that the order was indeed for 84 sets (252 wagons).

No notes have been left yet. ?There may be some notes posted but which have not yet been approved.
Dealing with dates - Part 1 (detail and accuracy)
Posted on Wednesday 31st March 2021 by Thomas Young

There are two distinct areas of work that are planned for this website. The first is to complete the design and functionality of the site itself. Although this is not yet complete, work is now underway on the second stage, namely adding masses of data. For no particular reason I have chosen to start with changes to rolling stock in 2011, while user Nat37670 has been bringing things up to date by adding recent TOPS data for wagons and also disposal details for numerous units and coaching stock. Most of this data is dated (so to speak), so I wanted to say a bit about how this is being dealt with. This first part covers the level of detail and the accuracy of the dates.

The database that runs this site has been designed to store dates with variable levels of detail. For example, if a loco is known to have transferred on a particular date, that date will be stored in full. Similarly, if only the month (or accounting period) is known, that will be shown. For many items (particularly wagons) only the year - or even range of years - is known.

Where it is provided, the 'official' date of each event is used, this being the date recorded by the RSL (Rolling Stock Library). If it is known that the actual date differs from this, a note will be added.

For new or renumbered stock, where the RSL date is not known, the date that the stock was delivered will be used. For imported stock, this will be the date that the stock entered the UK.

For stock being scrapped, the date of scrapping will be shown (if known), otherwise the date of arrival at the scrapyard will be used. Obviously the latter is less accurate since stock can remain intact for some time (e.g. Woodhams of Barry), or can even be rescued for preservation.

No notes have been left yet. ?There may be some notes posted but which have not yet been approved.
Some minor tweaks
Posted on Tuesday 16th March 2021 by Thomas Young

A couple of changes have been implemented today. Firstly, the version 2a of the All Numbers list page has been selected as the standard, and the other two variants have been removed. The page has also been changed slightly so that the Batch drop-down filter will only show batches that relate to the selection in the Number Series drop-down filter. For example, if you select 'Coaching Stock - SR' in the Number Series filter and then click on Apply Filters, the Batch drop-down will only show batches of numbers from the SR Coaching Stock number series. I hope that makes sense!

Another change is on the Listings list page, which now shows the date that each listing was added. You can sort on this column, allowing you to see which listings have been most recently added.

The final change for today is on the Add New Listing page. At the bottom of this there is now a check-box marked 'Remember'. If you tick this box, the next listing that you create will automatically be pre-filled with the same values (date, TOPS code, source, notes etc). You can still change the values if required. This feature uses session variables, so they will be cleared when you log-out or close your browser. It has already proved to make it much faster to enter multiple listings with similar attributes.

As always, please get in touch if you find anything that doesn't work.

No notes have been left yet. ?There may be some notes posted but which have not yet been approved.
Coaches that never existed and other silly errors
Posted on Sunday 14th March 2021 by Thomas Young

Thanks to AB for spotting a couple of mistykes. Perhaps the most important was that I had listed some Mk1 TSO coaches that never actually existed. Lot 30690 of 1961/1962 was for coaches numbered 4918-5044, but it seems that numbers 4967-4972 and 5011-5022 were never actually built. I have amended the database records (along with correcting some other errors), though this required me to go in through the 'back door' as I have not (as yet) added a facility to delete numbers! By the way, does anyone know why these numbers were missed?

No notes have been left yet. ?There may be some notes posted but which have not yet been approved.
A few new photos
Posted on Thursday 25th February 2021 by Thomas Young

I have just uploaded 26 photos, all taken locally yesterday. Among them are some of the recently shortened HYA hoppers that have replaced the Bardon wagons.

Shortened HYA-B 37.70.6955.279-4 shows the patch painting to cover old graffiti, and the remnants of the original First/GBRf/VTG lettering.

No notes have been left yet. ?There may be some notes posted but which have not yet been approved.
Links page now available
Posted on Wednesday 24th February 2021 by Thomas Young

The Links page that I mentioned recently has now been uploaded. It can be found here or in the Articles menu.

No notes have been left yet. ?There may be some notes posted but which have not yet been approved.
Listings for January 2019 added
Posted on Sunday 21st February 2021 by Thomas Young

I have been working on a big dump for the past few days, and I have finally been able to do it! The data is mainly a set of listings for all locos, coaches and units current at January 2019, with a total of 23,725 new records added (note that this includes one for each coach in each unit, as well as one for each unit itself). The data is not hugely detailed, lacking design codes for example, while pool codes are only included for locos. However, it does give us status, allocation, livery, unit formations etc. Also added to the database are a few batches that had not previously been recorded, plus another 1,199 actual stock numbers.

Since I now have datasets for 1982, 1989, 2000 and 2019, it would make sense to do another one for about 2009/2010 to give a good spread of coverage. A lot of the gaps in between will later be filled when I start inputting transfers and other dated changes.

No notes have been left yet. ?There may be some notes posted but which have not yet been approved.
New article and update on downloadable content
Posted on Friday 12th February 2021 by Thomas Young

Released today is another of my 'background' articles, this being Article 12: Stock Classification - Wagons. Covering the different methods of classifying wagons used by BR both before and after the introduction of TOPS, it is quite lengthy. Because of this I have also made a PDF version of the article, so it can be downloaded and read off-line. A link to the PDF file has been placed at the top of the article page.

The PDF version of the article was 'custom-made', in that un-needed items such as menus and links were removed, the photos were switched to larger ones and the layout was tweaked to suit the pages. I do intend to make similar downloadable files based on many other pages on this website (including some of the data lists), but for the interim, I have just discovered a way that almost any website content can be successfully downloaded.

When I started working on the internet, browsers would have a file menu, and you could 'save' a webpage. The results were usually fairly unusable! But things have changed. In modern browsers, you can find the print menu and there will usually be options, including which device to print to. Selecting 'Save as PDF' here will do just that, putting the entire webpage into a single PDF. There are some issues, and it is not as good as having custom-made PDFs, but it is still useful.

No notes have been left yet. ?There may be some notes posted but which have not yet been approved.
More new photos
Posted on Thursday 11th February 2021 by Thomas Young

Twenty new photos have just been published, these being from Dan Adkins' huge collection. He has kindly agreed to me using a few of his excellent images to fill some gaps in our coverage of recent wagon types. I have also taken the opportunity to update the data on some of the TOPS and design codes that are featured.

This HXA coal hopper is one of several types that don't come 'down south' very much, and which I have consequently not been able to show on LTSV-RD before.

No notes have been left yet. ?There may be some notes posted but which have not yet been approved.
Other websites are available
Posted on Monday 8th February 2021 by Thomas Young

I recently decided to add a 'links' page to this website, and this meant that I had to actually look at some other websites! The majority of the sites that I am initially adding are photo galleries, most of which are on Flickr or SmugMug. The way that some of these galleries were organised slightly annoyed me, for example where a gallery contains some wagon photos but there is no easy way to isolate them from other railway photos (and non-railway photos too, in many cases). But that is not what I wanted to rant about today!

Unless I am missing something, there are no websites that give details of the current railway fleets. I am not including paid-for web services, nor apps and downloadable software. I just mean a straightforward, on-line database of current stock. There was ABrail for locos, coaches and units, but that sadly seems to have closed down. Is there anything else? It was never my intention for LTSV-RD to serve as an on-line 'ABC', but it certainly could do so, at least when the data is brought up to date...

My other beef is (or was) to do with design. I found a few sites with what you might call 'rolling stock data', but they nearly all had issues for me. Some had lots of adverts, some required you to read a manual to work out how to view the data, some required you to register and log-in to even view the data, some were incomplete or out-of-date, and some just looked horrible. But then I realised that I was viewing these for the first time, and making snap impressions. I have been working on LTSV-RD for so long that it is impossible for me to view this website from a new user's perspective. I understand why certain things have been done in certain ways, but would anyone else? So I decided to be a bit less critical, and not to judge other sites until I had spent a bit of time using them (or trying to use them!). The links page will be available in the next few days.

No notes have been left yet. ?There may be some notes posted but which have not yet been approved.
Testing of back-ups and downloadable content
Posted on Monday 1st February 2021 by Thomas Young

Two important tests were undertaken today. The first was to download a copy of the database from the live website. Although this included 666,881 records across 53 different tables, the process only took a few minutes. The second test was to restore a database from a backup. I chose to restore my local database rather than the live one, this having the benefit of meaning the two are now synchronised. As I expected, this took a little longer, but still not much more than an hour.

I will be making most of the content of this website available for download in due course, so that users can view the data off-line, and so that (hopefully) not all will be lost if something happens to me. The plan is to use PDFs for as much as possible, but also to provide CSV data files, particularly for the largest data sets. I undertook some tests today of the process of making PDF versions of the list pages, and I hope to have at least one available (as a prototype) fairly soon. For the others, I will probably leave it for a couple of months, as there are still a lot of gaps in the data.

No notes have been left yet. ?There may be some notes posted but which have not yet been approved.
Today I have mostly been.... in data entry mode
Posted on Sunday 31st January 2021 by Thomas Young

Some recent data has been added to the database, including the new design codes and EVNs for recent MUs. With the EVNs (European Vehicle Numbers), I have added the batches but not each individual number. The updates include 60 new batches, 90 new diagram/design codes, 1038 new numbers and 8 new renumberings.

No notes have been left yet. ?There may be some notes posted but which have not yet been approved.
Getting side-tracked with side numbers
Posted on Saturday 30th January 2021 by Thomas Young

There is an awful lot of data-entry to be done on this site over the next few months/years, and I have made a small start. To avoid this becoming tedious, I tend to flit around from one subject to another. So, having entered a load of historical notes about early BR wagon lot numbers, I thought I would come right up to date and add some more of the DMU/EMU design codes obtained recently. The first of these were for the West Midlands class 196 DMUs, and these weren't in the database yet. So I started adding the details, but I had to resort to Google to find confirmation of the side numbers. The most useful result was a document on the ORR (Office of Rail and Road) website about the granting of interoperability authorisation (!). What I found interesting was that this also showed the EVNs (European Vehicle Numbers) assigned to each coach.

You can read more about this in the last paragraph of my article on Stock Numbering - Coaches, but in short, new trains now have to carry the full EVN on the side of each coach. The EVN is (so far) always based on the 'domestic' number, with a few extra digits before and after, and the application to coaches is usually done in such a way that the domestic number is highlighted. All ABC-type books that I have seen only list the domestic numbers, so I was quite pleased to find this information. But was it worth adding the EVNs to the database in addition to the domestic numbers?

I decided to add the batches of the EVNs, but not to add each individual number. Notes will be added to each batch to cross-reference the alternative numbers. If anyone has any views on this approach I would be interested to hear from them.

There are some other groups of rolling stock that also have two numbers each, most notably the HKA hopper and MXA box wagons, and various items of OTP (On-Track Plant). A different method is going to be needed to handle those and this is something I am still working on.

No notes have been left yet. ?There may be some notes posted but which have not yet been approved.
Additions and changes
Posted on Friday 29th January 2021 by Thomas Young

A couple of users have been active in adding sightings, listings and notes over the past week, for which I am grateful. As well as adding content, this has allowed testing of the processes. I have just uploaded another bundle of new and updated pages. These are mainly for editing purposes, so most users shouldn't notice any changes. However, there is always the possibility that changing one thing has mucked up something else, so please get in touch if you encounter anything strange!

I can now enter unit formations in bundles rather than individually, and I have just added some for classes 139 (start with an easy one!), 175/0, 360/1, 700/0, 700/1 and 350/1-4.

Finally for today, registered users will now find that they can edit any listings that they have posted. Pages for editing notes and sightings will be added/enhanced next.

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