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9 fleet news items posted in 2021.
27 site news items posted in 2021.
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A handful of central fleet vehicles that were delivered last year have been reported. These are two Transit dropsides at Lillie Bridge (LL20DVK and LL20DVN, fleetnumbers not yet known) and Transit van 9037F at Edgware Track Depot (registration and body details yet to be confirmed). A more recent addition is 9136F, the first hybrid-electric Ford Transit Custom van for the fleet. Abellio has added a Vauxhall Astra car (making a change from their favoured Ford Fiesta), while at least three white minibuses are on hire to Stagecoach at Rainham. Unusually, these have been given company labels, most recent hired vehicles having been anonymous. Talking of which, I have a policy of sorts regarding these. Any vans and minibuses that are reported will be listed in the database, but cars will only be added if they are seen to remain in use for more than a few weeks. Today's batch of photos includes two cars that are probably hired and these have not (yet) been added.
One of Bob's recent outings answered one long-standing question but raised a couple of others. Firstly, he visited the London Highways Alliance depot at Picketts Lock. We know that this location did take some of the LBSL Infrastructure vans from Stratford a few years ago, and I was kind of hoping that this would be where some of the 2019 deliveries of TfL Toyota Yaris cars would be based. However, Bob reported that no obvious SVs were visible. So, the allocations for the Yaris cars remains unknown.
Over at Palmers Green Garage, three further Seat Leon cars were seen, all in unmarked red like existing GK70COH. These were CX70LTZ, CX70LUB and CX70LWC. These are almost certain to be Arriva vehicles, perhaps to replace the five DS3 Crossback cars (which have not been seen lately). However, I will wait for further reports before adding them. It sounds odd but Edgware bus station is a good place to see Palmers Green cars!
Finally Bob reported a mystery (and rather elderly) Mercedes Sprinter van seen in Edmonton. FX58ZRO was apparently new as a private fire engine at Humber refinery! It now has Engineering Support lettering, LT roundels and a fleetnumber E01. But we are not really sure who actually uses it. Any ideas?
A total of 46 'new' vehicles have just been added to the database, though I should point out that the majority actually came and went about 90 years ago! Ray has been going through the Vehicle Record Cards that I published last year and he reminded me that some of the subjects were not yet in the database.
Added so far are 30 'private' cars, including previously unseen makes of Arrol-Aster, Ballot, Hupmobile, Lanchester, Moon and Unic. Many of these were acquired by LPTB from independent operators in 1933/1934 and disposed of fairly rapidly. Also added are 10 un-numbered lorries/vans, and there are a handful of numbered vehicles still to be done.
The other six vehicles are more recent and coincidentally also include a make not previously included in the database. Ray noted two white BMW 218 cars in use as crew ferries from Arriva London's Dartford garage last year. I ignored these at the time, as it was assumed that they belonged to members of staff. However, they appear to have recently been replaced by a pair of newer BMWs, this time the similar 216 model, with 21-registrations in the same series. This suggests that they are 'company' vehicles, although they are most likely only hired and they are of course unmarked (greyish-black or blackish-grey!). Also at Dartford is an unmarked VW Transporter minibus GL69TTV. As with the numerous 68-reg examples with Go-Ahead London, this is presumed to also be on hire.
That leaves just one vehicle that is a 'proper' service vehicle with lettering. MJ20UVH is a Ford Transit Custom van new to Stagecoach London's Plumstead garage last autumn. As it happens, I saw this drive past here just after I had added it! Photos of most of the 'new new' vehicles will be added shortly. Photos of the 'old new' vehicles are obviously far less likely to ever be seen....
Two new Toyota cars with LUL have been added to the database. 8911T is a 21-reg Prius at Rickmansworth, numbered amongst vehicles that arrived almost 2 years ago. Conversely 9113T is a 69-reg Yaris which was new (with 9111T and 9112T) in January 2020 but which had not previously been reported.
The database has been updated with reported changes, including a pair of 21-reg Transit Dropsides seen today at Acton Works (on the first visit in over 4 months). 9027F was in LUL livery but 9110F was in Trams white/blue/green. A previously unreported LUL Transit van seen at Lillie Bridge was probably new last November (LS70TVC - fleetnumber unknown). LUL lorry WX08KUW is now confirmed as having been sold last year. Renault Kangoo vans 8498R and 8737R are likely to go soon, both being stored at Acton with accident damage.
Bus company vehicles added include a black Vauxhall Combo van with Arriva at Grays, two more Fiesta vans with Falcon at Byfleet and a Transit Mk8 with Sullivan Buses.
Not a great deal to report today. The fourth new Nissan Leaf (9100N) has finally entered service at Eltham, seemingly after over 7 months sitting at Acton Works. And two Go-Ahead London service vehicles have now been reported with new fleetnumbers. Transit Custom Van EF19HFT is ES11, while Vito minibus RJ19HSX is FV17. The 'class' codes are presumed to relate to Engineering Support and Ferry Vehicle respectively.
A second 21-reg Ford Transit Custom minibus has arrived at Potters Bar (AY21KKT) and it is confirmed that these have replaced similar AV16CNY and AV16CNZ.
More happenings at Potters Bar! I'm sure stuff is going-on elsewhere but this is where I seem to be getting most reports from recently. Arriving last week was a new Ford Transit Custom minibus (AY21KFT, the first 21-reg SV). Photos to follow. Also added is another hired Mercedes Vito (grey KN70SXK, similar to black KN70SXP which remains in use). Across at Northumberland Park, Go-Ahead London has taken four hired VW Transporter minibuses to add to its native Vito crew ferry fleet. These are registered in the same GL68xxx series as the pair at Orpington.
Not surprisingly there is still very little to report. The merry-go-round of crew ferry vehicles at Potters Bar has continued, with hired white Ford Tourneo MT19CZH replaced by similar MT19CZG. Latest arrivals are a pair of red Honda Jazz cars, one of which tows an advertising trailer. It is believed that these two cars were acquired new by Metroline in January 2020, perhaps as replacements for earlier Nissan Note cars.
Two more Citroen Dispatch vans with Abellio have been reported. LB67UZS at Hayes is white with fleetnumber 6909. LB17YAD at Southall (Great Western) is silver and the fleetnumber is not known.
I have withdrawn the last eight of the 78xxM LBSL Incident Response Units. Three have been relicensed (suggesting that they have been sold), while the other five have been SORN (off the road) for several months. It is possible that some are still 'in stock' at Acton Works awaiting disposal. That just leaves one-off (accident replacement) 8212M (WR66UDT). Although not reported since last October, it is still licensed and does not appear to have been sold.
Staying with 'old' vehicles, a couple of the RATP Ford Fiesta vans have been seen around, despite having been replaced by new Dacia cars last year. FF24 (LS15CZY) was at Fulwell in February, while FF26 (LS15DXO) was at Hounslow also in February but now appears to have gone.
Just before Christmas 2020, three unmarked minibuses arrived at Metroline's Potters Bar Garage for use as crew ferries. They replaced the three cars that had been based here and were most likely as a temporary measure due to the COVID situation. KJ69BVH is a grey MB Vito, KN70SXP also a Vito but in black and MT19CZH a Ford Tourneo Custom in white. As they were still in use in late January 2021, I have added them to the database. A couple of LTI TX4 taxis have also been reported in use, borrowed from one of Comfort Delgros taxi firms.
Also in the far north, and also perhaps temporary, Waltham Cross Bus Station appears to have gained a 'permanent' allocation of IRU van 9092VW. This could be for 'social-distancing', by reducing the number of staff working in the Turnpike Lane office. I have shown it as a transfer, which has required the creation of a new allocation code of WXB.
Apart from a couple of withdrawals, the only other news concerns RATP. Renault Master R70030 appears to have replaced similar R70034 as the regular Hounslow (AV) engineers van. The garage in Epsom (EB) is due to close later this year, with routes transferring to other RATP garages (mainly Tolworth) or being reassigned to Go-Ahead London.
A set of 20 new photos has been added, these covering recent developments. The vehicle database has also been updated.
A batch of 25 new photos has just been added. As you may have noticed I have recently been alternating between current and 'vintage' photos, and today's are all from the 1970s or early 1980s. As usual I have included some lengthy captions with details of the vehicles, liveries, locations and fake door handles!
Transport books for donation I have taken possession of the late Steve Howard's large collection of transport books and magazines, with a view to finding good homes for them if possible. Most are bus or train spotter's books including;
If you would like any of these items, or you require further details, please get in touch by e-mail to email@example.com. There will be no charge for the items, unless posting them is the only way to get them to you. Collection from Abbey Wood (London) or nearby would be preferred. Any items that remain at the end of July will probably end up being recycled.
A set of 26 photos has just been uploaded, all having been taken in the past couple of months. Thanks to everyone who has contributed. My captions are verbose as usual...
I have brought the database up to date with some recent changes. A couple of the vehicles added are minibuses that are likely to only be on hire. Two new locations have also been added. These are Henley Road (North Woolwich) Bus Garage, coded DS for Docklands and being used by Go-Ahead London to run route 69, and Penton Street (Islington) ERU, our code PSE. The latter location is the former PCO and Cycle Hire depot and took over the North London Emergency Response Unit allocation in February, following the closure of Camden (Pratt Street) last November.
I have added a small bundle of vehicle allocations and transfers, many resulting from a fruitful night visit to Stratford by one of our reporters this week! The allocations information on LTSV is based almost entirely on observations. Normally I would want to see two sightings of a vehicle at a given location before deciding it was actually allocated there. However, with the lower numbers of sightings being reported recently, I have made some allocations based on a single report.
There is more! I have completed (for now) the downloadable LTSV docs, with the addition of part 3c with 500 photos originally published in 2005/2006. You can get this from the index page.
A batch of 21 new photos has just been uploaded, this covering another dip into the archives with views taken in the 1970s and 1980s.
Recent changes allowing people to get out and about a bit more have resulted in the flow of new photographs picking up. In fact, even being rather selective, I ended up with a set of 30 photos to publish, all having been taken during April. As such, I have not included any 'vintage' photos this time, but there will be more soon. Oh and I have not yet updated the vehicle database with some of the information from the new photos. This will be done shortly.
I have now corrected all the spelling and grammatical mistakes in the photo captions (at least those that appear in the download documents added over the last week). If you find any udders, please let me know.
Second update: I have churned out another download document, part3m covering photos 6001-6500 from 2019/2020. This one has 157 pages and the layout is not quite so neat due to some of the captions being very lengthy and running across page breaks. On the plus side, the spellchecker only found 19 errors that I cannot dispute. Anyway, you can get this (and all the other sections) from the index page. There is just one photos part left to do (3c with 2005/2006) but I think I will go a bit crazy if I try and do any more straight away....
Yet another downloadable document has just been added, part 3b containing photos 501 to 1000 (published to LTSV in 2004/2005). My spelling and grammar seemed to have been improving at the time, although nearly 50 errors were discovered while producing this document. These will be fixed in the web pages shortly. The 147-page PDF can be viewed and downloaded from the index page.
Further to my comments yesterday about service vehicle photos on other websites, there is an excellent site that you should look at it if you have not already done so. Flickr is the main repository for on-line photos at present, and finding particular subjects there can be a bit hit and miss. Fortunately there are also groups where photos on a given subject can be collated and curated. User RTW501 (Les) has run a group called London Transport Service Vehicles (not connected with this site in any way, despite the shared name) for the past 10 years. At present the group contains 2,574 photos, including many unique and interesting views. Coverage is from the earliest days of London Transport (with a few even older pictures), right up to the present day. Well worth a look, you can find the group at https://www.flickr.com/groups/london_transport_service_vehicles/.
A few years ago (crumbs, it was actually in 2014!) I added a feature to LTSV whereby 'external' photos could be displayed. These were photos from other websites or printed books/magazines, which would be shown only in 'thumbnail' size with links or references to where the original could be viewed. I never really developed this feature, as I had some concerns about copyright issues. There was also the facility to add text-only links to photos on other websites, which seemed a safer way to do it. When planning the next version of this website, I had thought that the external photos should be dropped.
However, I have had a change of heart. The feature has several benefits, including allowing the photos to be more integrated with other parts of the website. As such I have just added a further set of 15 external photos, these all being of vehicles not previously shown on LTSV. If the use of this feature is to be continued, I would not seek to add all such photos, but focus instead on items that are not currently covered. Any thoughts or feedback on this would be welcomed.
As shown above, this latest batch have been added at 300 pixels wide (instead of 150 pixels). As such you can see the general configuration of the vehicle but you will need to use the (supplied) link to view the details. This change will also help with the move to version 3 of this website, since all thumbnails there will be 300 pixels wide. All external photos will be clearly marked as 'EXT'.
Confession time: There has been quite a lot of new content on LTSV and LTSV-RD in the past week or so. However, I am procrastinating somewhat as all of this is a way of avoiding the more challenging work of coding the pages for LTSV-SV3, LTSV-LTA, LTSV-RD and LTSV-tba!
Another downloadable document has just been added, and I decided to go back to the beginning with part 3a covering photos 1 to 500 (originally added to LTSV in 2003/2004). This latest addition runs to 150 pages, even though most of the captions were shorter back then. The cause is the non-standard aspect ratio of many of the photos, meaning that only 3 (or sometimes even just 2) fit on a page, compared to 4 of the standard-sized photos.
Please help 'preserve' LTSV by downloading this document. It can be found on the relevant index page. A couple of points have arisen from this exercise, as listed below:
1. There were a lot of typos.
The process of making these documents is rather tedious and involves copying and pasting each photo and caption into a Word table, then revising any hyperlinks. A by-product of the process is that Word has a spellchecker, and it found a lot of errors in the first 500 captions. There were in fact close to 100, although a third of these were just errant apostrophes in it's. I have since learned when its use is required and when it's not! The errors were fixed in the downloadable document, and will be fixed in the web version shortly.
2. I am very reliant on contributors.
Only about a tenth of the photos on this website were taken by me. The rest were supplied by an army of contributors, some of whom sent in a single photo while others have submitted many hundreds. I am very grateful to everyone for every one.
3. Many of the captions could be expanded.
My early caption writing was often quite brief, and I keep seeing things (either in the main subject, something in the background or to do with the location) that I could now add. However, rather than change the existing captions, I think it would be best to make any additions as comments. By doing so, regular visitors will be able to see the changes more easily.
4. There are lots of photos still to use.
As well as individual submissions, I also got my hands on several 'collections', or at least parts of collections. A lot of the photos have not yet been published, partly because I thought I should keep some back for future projects or for the proverbial 'rainy day'. I think the time has now come to start mining these resources.
Second update: Another part of the Downloadable LTSV document set has just been completed and published, this being part 3l containing photos 5501 to 6000 (originally published to LTSV between 2017 and 2019). The 143-page document can be viewed and downloaded from the index page. Next up should be part 3m, with photos from 2019/2020, or perhaps I should belatedly tackle parts 3a/b/c, which will contain photos from the first three 3 years of LTSV (2003-2006).
The latest batch of 15 photos has now been uploaded and they represent quite an interesting and varied range of subjects. I did neglect to change the date though so they are marked for yesterday.
A new batch of photos is on the way. Comprising a mixture of recent and 'vintage' shots, I have prepared an initial set of 15, so that writing the captions won't take so long! These should be up either later today or tomorrow. First though, the next version of this website was 'born' a couple of weeks ago and I thought it might be interesting to show you the (limited) progress made so far.
For various reasons, a completely new version of this website is needed, and work on this has recently started. Although essentially similar to the current site, there will be some functional and cosmetic changes, mainly based on things tested on my 'LTSV Rail Data' website.
The first section to be tackled is the photo gallery. The screenshots below are not final. Click on any screenshot to view it full-size. This will open in the same window, so use the back button to come back here.
^ The thumbnail images have been doubled in width (up from 150 pixels to 300 pixels), and there are additional options for filtering and sorting. The filters now include the vehicle model, photographer name, 'tags' and a search for words or phrases within the caption. In the example shown, all photos with the tag 'Line-up' are shown, these being photos that show 3 or more vehicles. The code for this page was complex due to the fact that each photo can have multiple subjects. For example, if you sort by 'date added' or 'date taken', you would expect each photo to only appear once. However, if you sort by 'vehicle ID' or 'registration', a photo showing three vans should appear three times. The HD icon in the corner of some photos indicates that a High-Definition (extra large) copy of the photo is also available.
^ The layout of the gallery is more responsive to screen sizes. On my large monitor, 9 thumbnails can fit on each row.
^ The photo view page is still being worked on but should look something like this. Below the main image are links to adjoining photos. Unlike the current 'previous/next' text links, these are based on the filtering/sorting that has been applied. The default photo size will be 1200 pixels wide. Existing photos on LTSV are mainly 900 pixels wide, with some older ones at 800 or even 600. Resizing these photos is rather a mammoth task. I am going back to the source images, and also taking the opportunity to make improvements to the cropping and light/colour balance on many of the photos. Just over half of the existing 6,600-odd photos have been dealt with so far.
^ After re-sizing the first 1,000 or so photos, I decided it would be good to also add a third photo size option. This is set at 2,400 pixels wide, and is only being added where the source image is suitable. When viewing the normal size photos, the image will (if required) shrink to fit the screen available. For the extra-large photos I have disabled this feature. The photos thus appear full-size, meaning that you will need to scroll around a bit to see everything. Or of course you can right-click and save the photo to your PC.
I am hesitant to give an estimate for when this new website will be launched. There is still a lot of work to do on LTSV-RD (Rail Data), plus a few tasks outstanding on LTSV-LTA (London Transport Archive documents). And I am also working on the (as-yet unannounced) fourth LTSV website, although work on this has been delayed. I decided to make some fundamental changes to the way the data for this is handled which meant scrapping the pages I had created so far.
I realised today that I have somewhat neglected the 'Downloadable LTSV documents' since the initial bundle were uploaded a few years ago. This will be addressed over the next few weeks, starting with a new photos document which is available now. Part 3k covers the photos 5001 to 5500, which were originally published to LTSV between 2015 and 2017. The full captions are included, along with any comments, and the document runs to 137 pages. You can view and download it from the index page.
As a sort of post-script to the photos published yesterday, I have just added a further three images. One is of the second 21-reg minibus at Potters Bar, the other two are views from Google that I think may be of interest.
A batch of 19 new photos has just been uploaded (dated for yesterday), all of which were taken in the last month or so. I have been a lot less selective than usual and I have used almost everything that I have received. Hence for example there are three photos of the newest minibus at Potters Bar! I know the 'vintage' photos have proved popular so rest assured that there will be lots more of those to come next time.
The vehicle database and Fleet News have been updated.
Running a few days later than planned, a batch of 23 new photos has finally been uploaded. The majority are vintage views (1970s) as I continue to work my way through the numerous recent contributions from Derek, Phil and Ian. There are also a few bits of fleet news to report and I will add these either later tonight or tomorrow.
The LTSV 'community' has suffered a major loss with the news that Steve Howard died last week. Steve was involved with LTSV almost from the start, sending in information on service vehicles that he had seen. He liked to drive around central London at night, when the tube lines were closed and maintenance work was undertaken. Because of this he found many vehicles that nobody else had seen. I joined him for several of these night trips over the years, and we became good friends. I will greatly miss his regular contributions, his amazing attention to detail and his wry sense of humour.
The database has been brought up-to-date with a few additions and departures.
Another batch of 20 photos has just been added, most of which are from the 1980s with just a couple of recent views included. Not surprisingly, reports and photos are still very much down due to the COVID-19 lockdown. Happily I have been receiving yet more 'vintage' photos, so I am at no risk of running out of things to show. More soon. As for data, I have a couple of small updates to make to the database, and these will be done shortly. I seem to be spending most of my time tweaking the 'new' rail website.
The photos for 1st of February have been uploaded a couple of hours early! There are 20 in total, from five different decades and including some real gems.
Due to the latest 'lockdown' I have not been receiving much in the way of reports or photos. However, I have just updated the database and Fleet News with a few items. Photos will be added on Monday and will feature some brilliant new views from the 1970s and 1980s.
A batch of 20 photos has been just been uploaded. Most were received in the last few weeks but they cover a variety of periods and subjects. Fleet data will be updated soon.
There may be no updates this week either, though I have received very few photos or reports anyway. My new website was launched as planned on 1st January and I am still busy with testing and tweaking. If you are interested in UK trains, please take a look at https://www.ltsv.com/rd/index.php.