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Fleet news
11 fleet news items found.
Posted on Sunday 26th May 2024

Deliveries of new Ford Transit Connect vans in TfL white livery have continued. Ten more arrived this week (photos to follow), meaning that at least 37 have been delivered over the past two months. The fleet numbers on the latest batch are interesting, being spread across a wide range from 9272F to 9376F. This suggests that a large quantity of vehicles are on order.

Transport UK has been adding a variety of second-hand cars for use as crew ferries, moving away from the standardised fleet of mainly Ford Fiestas used by Abellio. The examples added today include three makes not previously featured in the LTSV database (Alfa Romeo, Mazda and Ssongyang), while I have also updated the operator name (from Abellio to Transport UK) for all the older vehicles that have been noted still in use since March. This has left 18 vehicles that are still listed as Abellio, none of which have been reported recently. Any sightings of these vehicles would be welcomed.

Two more of Metroline's Ford Puma cars have gained advert liveries, formed of all-over vinyl wraps with graphics and lettering for bus driver recruitment. AY23KUE has a yellow base while AY23KWO is green (photos to follow). All three examples (including AY23KVM in light blue) are working from Brentford, while the Pumas at other locations appear to still be in unmarked red.

Posted on Sunday 28th April 2024

Fleetnumbers for central fleet vehicles are romping ahead. Four new Ford Transit Connect vans seen at Acton Works recently carried 9254F to 9257F, these being more than 30 higher than the batch of Connect crew vans delivered over Easter. So presumably lots more vehicles have been ordered. The four new vans (plus one further crew van numbered 9216F) all have the basic TfL white livery. Taking the places in the Acton lorry yard recently occupied by new Ford vans have been a variety of older LUL vehicles, such as Renault Kangoo Maxi vans 8357R, 8358R, 8360R, 8365R, 8367R, 8369R and 8372R. This would suggest that the new TfL Fords are indeed for LUL use, backed-up by the fact that examples have been noted at Frank Pick House and at Stratford Market Depot.

Posted on Saturday 30th March 2024

Finally, we have some new central fleet vehicles to report, after a hiatus in deliveries of over 3 years. Seen at Acton Works today were 19 Ford Transit Connect crew vans that had arrived over the past couple of days. They had a new livery of plain white with blue roundels and TfL lettering, but they have gained fleetnumbers in the traditional series. The range was 9191F to 9219F, suggesting that more are on the way, and hopefully we will now be getting back into the way of regular additions.

9213F (LD24OSB) and eight of its sisters at Acton Works today

Posted on Saturday 16th March 2024

With nothing much to report on the central fleet (apart from the withdrawal of accident-damaged van 9043VW), most news is about the bus company fleets. Stagecoach now has five Vauxhall Vivaro electric minibuses at Rainham and it looks like these might have replaced the Hyundai I800 minibuses. Also new, or newly reported, are a few more Nissan NV250 vans with Go-Ahead London. These Renault Kangoo clones are all in anonymous white and a total of seven with HG21xxx registrations have now been seen. Needless to say, Arriva London's Dartford garage has had a couple of new hired cars, with one of Norwood's Seats also seen working from there recently.

Abellio (or Transport UK as we now have to call it) appears to have had a clear out of older service vehicles recently, with at least 20 leaving the fleet. It doesn't look as though these have been replaced by much, with just one addition reported. This was a Ford Focus in white with Transport UK lettering and the fleetnumber 6859 (photo to follow). This shows that the main numbering series is still in use, although the highest we had known about was 6811. Presumably the intervening numbers were allocated to the various cars that have been added but which have not carried external fleetnumbers. By the way, I will shortly be changing the operator of vehicles still in use as of this February from Abellio to Transport UK. Sighting reports, particularly of any cars with new fleetnames, would be helpful for this.

Posted on Tuesday 26th September 2023

The highlight of this week's news is the delivery of yet another new lorry to Acton Works, with a 73-reg to boot.

KY73JXF has a dropside body, tail-lift and low-profile cab.

The latest Ford for Metroline is a restyled Ford Tourneo Connect.

Plough Lane Garage has not completely closed, with a small yard still in use.

The Mitsubishi Fuso Canter truck with RATP at Fulwell can now be shown, at least partly!

Other additions to the Metroline fleet include a 23-reg minibus and an 18-reg Ford Transit Connect van that seems to have been missed at the time.

Posted on Thursday 24th August 2023

Stagecoach has three new Vauxhall Corsa electric cars at its Rainham base, all in white with company lettering. Various hired cars are still in use from here, along with the existing Hyundai minibuses.

DS23SRZ was caught leaving the garage in a typical mud-splattered state.

Not previously reported is this Citroen Dispatch van with Abellio and seen at Battersea. Numbered 6904, it has most likely been used for at least a few years.

MT17UMJ has an orange stripe and slightly different lettering to similar vans in the Abellio fleet.

Several unmarked white Nissan NV250 vans (a Renault Kangoo clone) have been seen with Go-Ahead London, possibly operated since mid-2021 (when HG21XBL arrived).

HG21XTH was found parked in the small side yard at Camberwell, others at Silvertown.

New vehicles with Arriva London continue to be reported, the latest being Combo van FL23JCV at Wood Green. However, the company is still taking hired cars.

Red Seat Arona car KT21DXZ was at Bexleyheath recently.

Finally, I managed to track down the mystery red Mercedes Sprinter van mentioned here back in June 2021.

FX58ZRO has a lot of lettering, despite which we still don't know who actually operates it!

Posted on Sunday 30th July 2023

Here are the rest of the photos relating to items covered in recent news stories.

The Renault Grand Scenic has made an unexpected return to the Metroline fleet, with two examples at Holloway.

Three Go-Ahead London service vehicles were found at the Copthorne base of Southdown PSV, for reasons unknown.

Metroline has taken delivery of at least three more Ford Transit Connect vans, including AY23KUN

A fourth new lorry at Acton with TfL markings is 4-axle flatbed with crane KY23LRZ

This black Citroen van at Acton has well@tfl markings and surprisingly carries fleetnumber 9168C.

Going back a bit, this anonymous Ford Transit has been the engineers van at Westbourne Park since at least the beginning of 2023.

Finally, another of the preserved Leyland Titan breakdown tenders has re-emerged, with 1279LD attending the wet Worthing Bus Rally.

Posted on Friday 21st July 2023

I can now illustrate some of the vehicles mentioned in recent news items. More will be added when I complete the next batch of photos.

Having taken loads of Seat cars, Arriva London is now receiving new Vauxhall Combo vans for engineering and admin duties. This example is based at the offices on Purley Way.

Seven new Ford Pumas for Metroline have been scattered around various garages. AY23KWO is at Potters Bar.

The Metrobus service vehicle fleet has been combined with that of Brighton & Hove, with vehicles having dual fleetnames, as seen on this Ford Focus estate at Crawley. It will no longer be possible to report changes to the Metrobus fleet in the database.

Posted on Sunday 16th July 2023

At last, some central fleet additions to report. First up is a fourth Volvo FMX lorry, in the same overall white with TfL markings as carried by the trio that arrived earlier this year. KY23LRZ is a flatbed lorry with crane, similar to KY23LNO apart from being 4-axle (instead of 3) and having a noticeably larger crane behind the cab. The other addition is a bit odd. LC70VLO, a black Citroen Relay van with white 'well@tfl' lettering, had been noted in the lorry yard at Acton Works. Closer inspection has revealed that this carries central fleet number 9168C, making it only the second second-hand vehicle to be numbered in the 'leased' series (after Power Supply Ford Transit 7755F). This van may be a replacement for, or additional to, the white Fiat Ducato reported with well@tfl lettering last year (see news story of 23rd August 2022), and indeed the latter may also now be numbered.

Not really an addition but Ford Transit 8570F has turned up still in use. This was one of several that we had marked as withdrawn last year based on licensing data.

The only other additions to report are for Arriva London, with one each of new Seat car and Vauxhall Combo van (both at Grays) and one 'newish' hired car at Dartford. I had hoped that the turnover of hired vehicles at Dartford might reduce following the delivery of new Seat cars, as we had been listing over 30 vehicles based there, which seemed excessive. Having said that, a visitor to Dartford this week did log a total of 30 service vehicles, many parked seemingly out of use. Some more of the Ford Puma cars at Metroline have been tracked down, with 2 at Brentford (AH) and 3 at Perivale (PV).

Many of these developments will be covered by the next batch of photos, but I keep getting overtaken by new submissions, and my short-list is now up to 77. I hope to start putting these up in the next day or two.

Posted on Tuesday 11th July 2023

Noted at Arriva's Edmonton garage (EC) yesterday were no fewer than 26 service vehicles. Most were Seat or Peugeot cars, presumed to be crew ferries though the need for so many is unclear, particularly as none were seen moving during a half hour visit. Among the 23-reg Seat cars were an Ibiza that had earlier been seen at Dartford (BG23KZC) and a previously unreported Arona (BJ23OTH). The cars were all unmarked (save for window labels) but a new Vauxhall Combo van with full Arriva livery was also seen. FD72ZTP was licensed in February 2023 but had a V5C in early July, suggesting that that was when it was delivered. Ten new Combo vans have been reported with Arriva so far this year, and I'm sure there will be a few more yet to find.

Posted on Sunday 9th July 2023

32 recently reported vehicles have been added to the database, though there is still nothing new for the central fleet. Metroline has at least a further 3 Ford Transit Connect vans (with AY23K-- registrations) plus a Tourneo Custom minibus at Potters Bar. Also with AY23K-- registrations are 7 Ford Puma cars that were seen at Perivale CELF back in April. Recent observations suggest that at least some of these are being used as crew ferry vehicles (one each at PB and PV), so I have added the whole batch to the database. These cars are unmarked and in a slightly darker red than normal. Observations of allocations would be welcomed, and of course there may be some more that were missed. Also newish for Metroline are two Renault Grand Scenic cars seen at Holloway (HT). This model was Metroline's default crew ferry type for several years but the last of the earlier examples left in about 2020. The new cars are in the same unmarked maroon (or burgundy) and, being 69 and 70 registered, may have been in stock for a while, perhaps working from King's Cross garage (KC, which recently closed with its buses moving to HT).

Arriva has continued to take delivery of new Seat cars (mainly Ibizas with a handful of Aronas) and Vauxhall Combo vans. All are white, with the cars anonymous and the vans in full livery. Again, there may be more yet to be reported.

Stagecoach has taken a mixed batch of hired cars to work as crew ferries from Rainham, replacing some earlier hired cars and vans. All are believed to be unmarked.

Finally, 5 more vehicles for DLR Keolis Amey have been noted. 3 were 72-reg Peugeot vans, no doubt to replace similar 18-reg vans. The others were a third 19-reg Nissan electric van and, curiously, a 66-reg Ford Transit Connect van.

Despite my intention to stop covering Metrobus (see today's site news), I have some news from the same geographical area. Derek visited the Copthorne garage of Southdown PSV (bought by Go-Ahead earlier this year and being run as a subsidiary of Brighton & Hove). A large number of service vehicles were seen at the garage, apparently in store. Most were from Brighton & Hove but there were also 3 Go-Ahead London vehicles. Renault minibus LV59EJA (from Camberwell) and Ford Transit Custom van EO16PKZ (from Croydon) are both potentially for disposal, but newer Transit Custom EF19HFP (from Merton) was also present. No explanation for this as yet.

A batch of new photos is in preparation which will cover at least some of these changes.

Site news
19 site news items found.
Posted on Friday 31st May 2024

Time to catch up with photographs. The first batch of 30 covers events this year up to late-April. A second set to bring things up to date will be uploaded in the next week or so.

Posted on Sunday 26th May 2024

The database has been brought up to date with the latest additions, withdrawals and other changes. A new batch of photos will follow shortly.

Posted on Saturday 30th March 2024

Before I plough on with the 'routine' photos from February and March, I have two special sets of photos today. The first 15 are 'publicity' shots sent to us recently by LUL but including photos from the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s and 1980s.

AEC Regal 396W was seen in about 1939, just after it had been converted from a Green Line coach

Next is the news I have been waiting many months for, which is the resumption (hopefully) of central fleet renewal. 19 new vans were seen at Acton Works today, as detailed under Fleet News. Ray photographed them all, but as they are all pretty much identical I have just used four of his pictures!

Could this be the new standard livery for LUL vehicles? Seen on new Ford Transit Connect crew van 9195F

Posted on Thursday 28th March 2024

Back in business

I have been having an interesting year so far! As well as the new 'job' with LOTS, I had the builders in for about a month, redoing my bathroom. Then I sustained a back injury which has seriously curtailed my activities through February and March. On the positive side, I am having treatment and it is slowly improving. Also, the peak of the workload at LOTS has passed for now. So, it is high time I got back into the swing of maintaining this website. The vehicle database was updated in mid-March (with just a few more later changes to be added) and today I am adding the first photos since the end of last November! There are 16 to start with, mainly taken in December and January. Photos from February and March will follow soon.

Posted on Saturday 16th March 2024

With lots of LOTS work concluded over the past week, I am finally able to find some time to update LTSV, starting with the vehicle database. The truth is that there is not a great deal going on at present. There are still no (known) additions to the central fleet, and I have summarised developments at the bus companies in Fleet News. Similarly, even though I have not added any photos since the end of November, I don't have a huge number waiting to go up. I will try and get a batch ready over the next few days.

Posted on Saturday 27th January 2024

On the Buses (AKA Making excuses again)

As the issue is still ongoing, I thought I should write to explain why I have not managed many updates on my LTSV websites over the past few months. The simple fact is that I have been moonlighting as the editor of a monthly (printed) magazine about buses! I have had a small involvement with LOTS (the London Omnibus Traction Society) for several years, including providing proof-reading and IT support to the editor of their magazine. The editor was getting on a bit and, a few months ago, he asked if I would be willing to take on some aspects of his work. I agreed to this and, although it took a while to get things set up, I managed to produce the January 2024 issue without any major problems. At the time, I envisaged this taking up perhaps 3-4 days a month, meaning that I would have plenty of time left over for LTSV.

However, there was then a change when the editor's health took a turn for the worse and he was admitted to hospital, potentially long-term. I now had to cover the whole of his job, or at least find other people to assist with parts, but either way it is proving to be rather time-consuming. The monthly magazine seems to be on-track, then there are a couple of yearly publications due out in the spring and on top of that, I had already been working on a major web project to mark LOTS' 60th anniversary later this year. Just to complicate things, some long-planned building work on my house finally got underway in mid-January, while I have had no fewer than three bouts of illness over the winter - just cold/flu but it knocked me for six each time and seemed to take ages to shift. Plus, of course, the dog ate my homework.

Anyway, there is light at the end of the tunnel (though I have been advised not to go towards the light!) and 'normal service' across all LTSV websites should be restored soon.

Posted on Tuesday 2nd January 2024

Happy New Year. The vehicle database has just been updated with all reported changes, though there is still nothing much going on with the central fleet. I've had a busy couple of months. Members of LOTS may have seen that I am taking over as Managing Editor of their monthly TLB magazine and preparations for this, together with a related side-project, have taken up most of my free time for a while. Once I am settled into the role I should (hopefully) be able to divide my time between LOTS and the various LTSV websites.

Posted on Thursday 30th November 2023

I'm back. Did you miss me? I have various excuses for my absence, including illness, leaky plumbing and a new job. Plus the dog ate my notes. Again. Anyway, I am kicking off with a batch of 43 photos, mostly taken over the past few months. The exception dates from 1957 and is rather special. I will catch up with (the few) vehicle changes shortly and also add some news commentary.

Posted on Friday 20th October 2023

Update on AEC Regents in London

Regarding the planned road run in London tomorrow (Saturday), due to a demonstration march taking place around the same time/area, the route and timings of the run may have to be revised. Understandably it has not proved possible to provide any more detailed information. Secondly, 739J will unfortunately not be able to attend either the run or the Brooklands event on the Sunday. Thus it should be 738J and 832J on the run, these then joined by 830J at Brooklands the next day.

Posted on Saturday 14th October 2023

An event planned for next weekend may be of interest to service vehicle fans. It is hoped that all four surviving AEC Regent breakdown tenders will be re-united at the Transportfest event at the London Bus Museum at Brooklands on Sunday 22nd October. Not only that but it is planned that up to three of the vehicles will undertake a run around various central London locations on the Saturday (21st). Timings are estimates but include Westminster Bridge at 11:45, Parliament Square at 12:05, St James Park Station at 12:20, Victoria Station at 12:30, Hyde Park Corner at 12:40 and Marble Arch at 12:50. If you want more details about the intended route, please contact me by e-mail.

The last congregation of Regent tenders saw three together at Cobham back in 1994, along with a newer Titan.

Posted on Friday 13th October 2023

New bus publication from LOTS
Published a few weeks ago, and correct to early September 2023, SUP45A is a new title in the series of Supplementary publications produced by LOTS. I have become more involved with the bus side of LOTS in recent months, and I did this new SUP since there seemed to be no immediate plans for a new edition of their established SUP39 booklet. The new title shows all London area bus garages, each showing details of the routes worked and the buses allocated. Whether or not this becomes a regular title will depend on how well the first edition sells. To give you some idea of what is inside, I have included some sample pages here. Click on any image to view full-size (will open in a new window).

Cover image
Key page
Part of Garage Size chart
Main garage listing
Route index

I was going to post this in the forum rather than on the news page but then I remembered that I have disallowed HTML tags on the former, and hence cannot include images!

Posted on Sunday 1st October 2023

It seems hard to believe but LTSV is now 20 years old, the first version of the site having been launched on 1st October 2003. The site came about almost by accident. I had been sent on a web design training course by my employer, but there was then a delay in their website plans. So, to keep the knowledge fresh in my mind, I decided to create my own website. I settled on the subject of service vehicles as it was something I knew a little about yet which seemed to have been ignored, with virtually nothing published either in print or on-line. Hence I figured I would have no competition! My site was built using Macromedia Dreamweaver (on which I had been trained), and was limited to a few pages of general information and a handful of photographs. There was also a section on the Trainz railway simulator program, which I was quite into at the time. The latter was soon dropped as my interest reduced, though ironically the research into real trains (to enable me to build models for the simulator) eventually led to the addition of a major new branch of the LTSV site.

What I hadn't anticipated was the quantity of information and photographs that people would contribute to the service vehicle site, and I was soon able to add basic fleetlists and photo galleries. To handle the increasing amount of data and content, I figured that a database would be beneficial, though this involved quite a steep learning curve. The initial data-driven version of the site was launched in 2005, and progressively enhanced over the next few years. At the same time I stopped using Dreamweaver, all page creation now being done in a plain text editor. New sections were added to the site to cover railway rolling stock (LTSV Wagons in 2008, replaced by the more ambitious LTSV Rail Data in 2021), London Transport archive documents (LTSV-LTA in 2020) and railway company road vehicles (LTSV-RRV in late 2021), while the original SV site was replaced with a completely new version in April 2022. This year I have built a database of London buses, though this is not on-line and is intended mainly to assist with my involvement in publications produced by LOTS.

All my websites have one thing in common. They are all reliant on contributions of information and photographs by other people. And it is those people (of which there are too many to name) that I should really thank (or blame) for enabling LTSV to become what it is today.

Posted on Tuesday 26th September 2023

The vehicle database has been brought up to date again and another batch of 56 photos has been uploaded. All the photos were taken over the past two months.

Rainham Station seems to be a good please to look for Arriva London crew ferry cars from Grays...

... while the nearby Tescos is the place to go for Stagecoach ones.

The restored Leyland Titan breakdown tender paid a visit to the ERU at Acton.

Five of today's photos show Dynes Recovery vehicles, and they do appear to have become the primary provider of such services to London Buses.

Posted on Monday 18th September 2023

On Saturday 23rd September there is an open day at Orpington (Go-Ahead London) Bus Garage, and also an LTSV social event in Bromley. See this forum posting for more details.

Posted on Thursday 24th August 2023

The vehicle database has been brought up to date and a batch of 31 photos has been uploaded. Several are shown in today's Fleet News item, while others include some excellent night shots by Dave Wolstencroft.

A line of 5 LUL vans was found at Baker Street.

Posted on Sunday 30th July 2023

The second batch of photos ended up larger than expected, with more coming in all the time. As such, 56 photos have just been uploaded. Some of the highlights are shown under Fleet News.

Posted on Friday 21st July 2023

Right, time to start clearing the backlog of recent photos. 40 have just been added (dated for yesterday as it took longer than planned to prepare them), covering the period from April to mid-June. Another batch will follow shortly to bring things up to date.

Posted on Sunday 16th July 2023

The vehicle database has been updated, and I have started work on the next batch of photos.

Posted on Sunday 9th July 2023

I have updated the database with a surprisingly large number or additions reported recently. I also had reports of some new SVs with Metrobus at Crawley, but here I had a problem. The additions seemed to mainly have dual Brighton & Hove / Metrobus fleetnames, while some older vehicles with Brighton & Hove markings have also been seen working from Crawley. It would appear that the two fleets are increasingly being treated as one, and there doesn't seem much point in trying to keep track of which vehicles are in our 'area' and which aren't. As such, I intend to stop covering the Metrobus fleet, at least in terms of the vehicle database. Their vehicles may still appear in photos. I should add that both the Metrobus and Brighton & Hove websites have excellent fleet information which includes service vehicles, with histories and photos of most vehicles.