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20th July 2016
Seen last week were some of the JJA wagons recently bought by Network Rail. They now have NR number prefixes (replacing GERS) and have had partial repaints, including a broad yellow band and touch-ups to steps etc. The remainder of the wagon bodies are what could be described as 'rusty cream'!

JJA NR12905 at Hither Green on 14th July 2016. The new 'livery' highlights the fact that this is one of the rarer JJAs with a flat section to the body sides, although it could easily be mistaken for one with a band formed of three different shades of yellow.

23rd June 2016
The July 2016 issue of Rail Express magazine has a very useful table detailing the various batches of wagons either recently delivered or on order. This has cleared up a couple of points from the last news update.

Firstly, the follow-on order for Drax biomass hoppers is now reported as being for 25 wagons rather than 50, with numbers up to 83.70.0698.225 only. The JNA wagons are listed as TOPS code JNA-T, with the batch from 81.70.5500.164 upwards being part of the 130-wagon order for Mendip Rail (numbers for their hoppers are not yet known).

The JGA-N wagons are said to total 30, numbered 81.70.7829.000-029 and built by Arbel Fauvet (as per the similar batch new in 2003).

The background to the MWA wagons is now known. These are a batch 64 bogie box wagons (MWA-A to MW001A) for Freightliner Heavy Haul. Although built by Greenbrier in Poland, many of the new wagons use bogies and other components recovered from the recently scrapped HHA hoppers. The first 23 MWAs were delivered in March 2016 but have not yet entered service.

Also in the latest Rail Express is a review of a new book of wagon drawings by John L Fox and published by Ian Allan. Entitled 'Railway Wagon Plans, 1960 to the present', 60 mainly recent types are covered. Books about modern wagons are quite rare and ones with quality drawings even more so. This new book should therefore be welcomed by those interested in the subject, and modellers in particular. I will add my own review once I have obtained a copy.

A new set of photographs has been added to the site today and this enables me to illustrate a couple of other recent news items.

The two FWA triple-sets for DB stand-out by virtue of their bright red livery. The photo below shows (from the front) FWA-A 83.70.4520.164-2, FWA-B 83.70.4521.018-9 and FWA-A 83.70.4520.165-9.

83.70.4520.164-2 at Eastleigh on 27th May 2015.

The fleet of CDA china clay hopper wagons has been reduced following the scrapping in autumn 2015 of around 26 long-stored examples. The type is shown below, although 375041 and 375088 are amongst those remaining in use.

375041 and 375088 at St. Blazey on 14th June 2013.

DB Schenker livery and/or logos have only been applied to a handful of wagons (apart from those undergoing conversions, such as the HKA hoppers and MXA boxes). A couple of WIA covered car-carrying sets had large logos applied to the sides of two wagons per set, including 85.70.4971.009-1 and 016-6. The DB Schenker name is now defunct anyway, the operation being renamed DB Cargo UK in March 2016.

85.70.4971.016-6 at Eastleigh on 16th September 2015.

The few remaining HEA hopper wagons (from a fleet of 1998 built in the late 1970s) have not had any regular work for a while. Starting in August 2014, a handful were used on a slightly curious new flow carrying gravel for B&Q. The curious aspect is the distance involved, the service running from Southampton Western Docks to Mossend! Is there no gravel in Scotland?? Up to three wagons appear in each train, mixed in with container or car carriers. 360067 below was latterly in store at Tees Yard.

360067 at Eastleigh on 16th September 2015.

So far I haven't given much coverage to foreign-registered wagons on this site, although this will be addressed in due course. Many non-UK wagons actually spend most of their time in this country. Recently modified by Arlington Fleet Services at Eastleigh are several French IFA multifret intermodal twin-sets. These grey container flats have been fitted with car-carrying 'auto-racks', previously used by Freightliner but now repainted red. The wagons are owned by Ermewa, the racks by STVA, and they are in use between Southampton and Garston carrying Ford vans. Does anyone know if the TOPS code and/or design code has been changed?

33.87.4908.633-0 at Eastleigh on 10th June 2015.

Loaded 33.87.4908.623-1 at Eastleigh on 6th May 2015.

10th June 2016
Crumbs, a year has passed since the last update! Here is a round-up of the main events. Most of the information comes from Rail Express magazine, the latest M&B Publications wagon list book and the website of Andy Jupe (who also kindly agreed to my using some photos).

New builds and orders
Delivery of the 200 IIA Drax cat litter biomass hoppers from W H Davis was completed in June 2015, the batch being numbered 83.70.0698.001-200. A further 50 wagons were soon ordered, to be numbered 83.70.0698.201-250. Deliveries of the new batch started in November 2015 and had reached the half-way mark by February 2016. The IIAs appear to be the only home-built new wagons recently, all others being imported.

IIA 83.70.0698.181-0 at Barnetby on 17th May 2016. Photo by Andy Jupe

A pair of FWA triple-set container carriers in DB red livery was delivered for a trial period in April 2015. The wagons were numbered to follow on from the GB Railfreight batch and comprise outers 83.70.4520.164-167 and inners 83.70.4521.018/019. Due soon are a further 15 triple-sets for GB Railfreight, expected to take the numbers 83.70.4520.168-197 and 83.70.4521.020-034.

The 67 JPA bogie cement wagons ordered in 2014 duly arrived and, being built by Feldbinder in Germany, are similar in appearance to the batch from 2007 (JPA-A JP003A/B VTG12400-12462). The 48 for Hope Construction Materials arrived in two batches of 24, the first in October 2015 (81.70.9316.001-024), followed by the remainder in March 2016 (81.70.9316.025-048). The wagons are coded JPA-C to design code JP005A and are finished in unpainted metal with purple logos. Hanson's 19 JPAs arrived in November 2015 as 81.70.9316.049-067 and though similar in appearance are coded JPA-D to JP006A. Meanwhile Tarmac had placed an order for a further 46 JPA wagons and the first of these also arrived in March 2016 (81.70.9316.068-070). Coded JPA-E to JP007A, the series will presumably run to 81.70.9316.113.

French wagon lessor Ermewa (Vehicle Keeper Marking ERSA) is a new name to the UK wagon scene. Several batches of wagons built for them by Astra Rail in Romania commenced delivery in early 2016. All carry a plain grey livery with the Ermewa logo in red at the left-hand end. Bogie box wagons numbered from 81.70.5500.000 upwards were the first to arrive. Coded JNA to design code JN062A, the first batch were for use by Tramac Holdings and have this name (along with the Blue Circle logo) at the right-hand end. A second batch is for an unknown operator and have just the Ermewa logo. At least 26 of these (numbered between 81.70.5500.027 and 81.70.5500.072) were put straight into store at Long Marston pending the start of a new contract. The quantities of JNAs is not yet clear, although the later delivery of MMA wagons in the same number series (q.v) suggests there will be 74. The latest M&B Publications book shows one additional JNA numbered as 81.70.5500.164, after the MMAs.

JNA 81.70.5500.062-1 at Rugby on 15th April 2016. Photo by Andy Jupe

The second batch of Ermewa wagons were HOA hoppers, very similar to those built in 2006 (320000-320067). Again, the first few also had Tarmac lettering and comprised HOA-B (design code HO003A) 81.70.6957.000-011. A further 41 wagons taking the numbers up to 81.70.6957.052 were en route to the UK in April 2016.

Also owned by Ermewa for use by Tarmac are a batch of JGA bogie cement wagons. To the same design as 2003-built VTG11701-11730, the first 10 were seen on delivery in May 2016. Numbers were 81.70.7829.000-009, with the M&B Publications book showing a total of 31 (to 81.70.7829.030). The June 2016 edition of Rail Express however states that 14 were expected. It gives the design code as JG018A and the TOPS code as JGA-N. Curiously, the 2003 wagons were JGA-M (to design code JG016B), while the JGA-N code applied to the quite different wagons built for Bardon in 2004 (AI27101-27122). The builder of these new JGAs is not yet confirmed. Note also that the logos appear at the opposite ends to those on the JNAs and HOAs.

JGA 81.70.7829.009-2 at Rugby on 9th April 2016. Photo by Andy Jupe

DB Cargo UK (the new name for DB Schenker) also ordered 90 box wagons from Astra Rail. These are very similar in appearance to the JNAs mentioned above but for the addition of a small access door in the side. The numbers follow on from the JNAs and appear to be 81.70.5500.074-163, although this is subject to confirmation. As these are owned by DB Cargo, they have been assigned new TOPS code MMA (MMA-A to MM001A).

MMA 81.70.5500.085-2 at Rugby on 9th April 2016. Photo by Andy Jupe

A bit of a mystery at present is TOPS code MWA. This is shown in the latest M&B Publications book as being applied to a batch of 64 bogie box wagons built (or to be built) in 2016. Number range is 81.70.5891.001-064.

An order for 130 box and hopper wagons was announced in late 2015. To be owned by VTG and operated by Mendip Rail, deliveries were due to start in mid-2016. Later in the year a batch of five additional FNA nuclear flask wagons is expected from W H Davis.

Turning to dedicated "departmental" stock, the 8 3-car Robel Mobile Maintenance System (MMS) trains started arriving in mid-2015 and an article highlighting their innovative features appeared in the November 2015 issue of Rail Express magazine. The vehicles are each allocated two numbers as follows:

CarCEPS numberEVN
Traction and Supply UnitDR97501-9750899.70.9481.001-008
Intermediate CarDR97601-9760899.70.9559.001-008
Mobile Maintenance UnitDR97801-9780899.70.9580.001-008

Two more Railvac machines have been delivered. 99.70.9515.004-8 arrived in April 2015 and was sent to the Midland Railway Centre for commissioning. 99.70.9515.005-5 was added to TOPS at the end of the year.

Network Rail took delivery of a Kirow crane in late 2015. Dual-numbered as DRK81614 and 99.70.9319.013-7, it is a ZOA-K to design code ZO068A. Earlier Kirow cranes were accompanied by new-build KFA support vehicles but this one runs with a set of modified FCA wagons (610099/100/313/314). Numbers DRK81626 and 99.70.9319.012-9 were also allocated to a ZOA crane new in 2015 but details are not to hand.

Not exactly new but not previously reported is an electrification train formed of 4-wheel vehicles. Built about 10 years ago in Italy, the train was recently refurbished and is now in use with ABC Electrification in Scotland. The vehicles are coded ZYA (ZYA-X, ZYA-Y and ZYA-Z) and are numbered 99.70.9231.001-007. Photos of each vehicle can be seen on

Some new materials handling trains are apparently on order, the numbers appearing in the latest M&B Publications book. Presumably similar to the earlier, Plasser-built YDA/YOA types, numbers DR92901-92907 are assigned to swivel conveyors, with DR92908-92943 for normal conveyor wagons. Matching EVNs 99.70.9319.901-943 are also allocated.

London Underground rolling stock is not normally covered on this site but a pair of new track tampers is worthy of mention. Delivered in December 2015, the two Matisa B45UE machines are numbered TMM775/776 in the LUL engineering series, but they also carry EVNs 99.70.9128.003/004. Further stock on order are 2 cranes and 8 tilt-bed point carriers (to be built by Kirow) and 86 bogie flat wagons. If these are allocated EVNs they will be listed here when known.

LUL TMM775 at Barking on 26th March 2016. Photo by "London Spotter".

Modifications and livery changes
The biggest news story is the conversion of numerous bogie steel wagons into boxes for DB Cargo. Three prototypes were rebuilt at Axiom Rail in Stoke in 2015: BDA 950321 became an MXA (MXA-A to design MX004A), BBA 910164 became an MVA (MVA-A to MV001A) while BAA 900241 re-emerged as an MUA (codes not yet known).

MUA 900241 at Rugby on 13th July 2015. Photo by Andy Jupe

MVA 910164 at Rugby on 13th July 2015. Photo by Andy Jupe

Despite the differences in length, each of the three wagons has a box body featuring 13 vertical ribs on each side. The boxes were painted in DB red (apart from on the inside) and, while the MUA and MVA retained black underframes, the MXA was given a liberal coating of bright red paint covering pretty much everything except the bufferheads and bogies.

The MXA was selected for an ongoing programme, with a total of 160 mentioned, although this has now been exceeded. Donor underframes have mainly been former BDA Bogie Bolsters (many of which had previously been converted to BEA or BMA types) but also some former BPA Boplate wagons (latterly BMAs and BNAs). This has resulted in at least three new design codes being issued (MX005A, MX006A and MX007A in addition to the prototype MX004A). The finished wagons were delivered from November 2015 onwards and look a lot better than the prototype since they have black underframe trusses and buffer shanks. They also differ in being allocated EVNs (European Vehicle Numbers). As with the HKAs, both numbers are carried on the wagons. The original numbers are in the series 950002-951246 (former BDAs) and 965032-965079 (former BPAs), while the new EVNs are 82.70.4703.001-210. The type has been given the fishkind name of Lobster although this does not appear to be carried.

MXA 950238 / 82.70.4703.080-0 at Belvedere on 5th June 2016.

MXA 950603 / 82.70.4703.030-5 at Belvedere on 5th June 2016, showing dual-numbering.

A rather surprising modification has been made to GB Railfreight HYA wagon number 371051. This 61ft long coal hopper wagon has been reduced in length to 49ft to make it suitable for aggregates traffic. It has also been painted (HYAs were new in unpainted metal finish) and is now in plain grey with VTG logos. New codes HYA-B and HY002A have been assigned and it remains to be seen if further conversions follow.

Also being modified for aggregates use are some of DB Cargo's HTA hopper wagons. Reductions in coal traffic had seen some unmodified HTAs switched to aggregates flows from 2013 onwards. However, changes to the hopper discharge doors have now been made to at least five wagons, resulting in amended TOPS and design codes (previously HTA-B to HT050N, now HTA-E to HT051B/F).

The programme of converting former National Power JMA hopper wagons into HKAs was finally completed towards the end of 2015. A total of 64 wagons were rebogied, repainted into DB red and given new EVNs in the series 82.70.6723.601-684 in addition to their existing air-braked series numbers (300601-684). As far as I know, the original batch of 21 HKA conversions (undertaken in 2009) still retain the National Power blue and grey livery.

With the work on the HKAs tailing off, Axiom Rail at Stoke started a new job in mid-2015 when several FCA container-carrying twin-sets were reformed into triple-sets. Wagon numbers were unchanged but a new TOPS code of FQA has been allocated (FQA-O to FQ009A for the outers and FQA-I to FQ010A for the inners). Nine sets had been completed by spring 2016. In most cases the outer wagons were still consecutively numbered, with a random FCA inserted (for example 610039+610204+610040). As an aside, the design codes follow on from FQ008A/B/C, which were assigned to the FQA Cartic-4 wagons recoded from XMA in 1983 and withdrawn in 1988.

The FQA sets were released to traffic without full repaints and indeed there seems to be no hurry to apply the brighter DB red livery to the general wagon fleet. Rail Express magazine has reported some isolated repaints, including a few HOA, HTA and JGA hoppers plus single examples of MBA, MFA and MHA box wagons and an FIA Multifret.

Other wagons types gradually being repainted are the JGA hoppers and MJA bogie box twin-sets taken over by GB Railfreight from Freightliner (changing from green to blue) and the former British Gypsum FBA 40ft container flats (600000-600023), bought by VTG in 2014 and now starting to be overhauled for return to use. The fleet of 104 GERS-owned JJA autoballaster wagons was bought by Network Rail in early 2016 and these are now being reprefixed (to be NR12895-899/901-999) and gaining partial repaints featuring a yellow band in place of the previous blue one.

Freightliner green livery has been applied to a handful of HHA hopper wagons, in place of the original unfinished metal finish. However, the affected wagons are actually now in use as barriers or brake force runners for the delivery of class 387 EMUs. The barrier wagons have modified couplings and new codes of HHA-D and HH001R.

The three five-wagon RDRTs (Rail Delivery and Recovery Trains) have been slow to enter service. Modified from YEA rail wagons by Brodie Engineering at Kilmarnock, the wagons now have cranes and new EVN identities. Set 1 (99.70.9551.001-005) was in use by October 2014 with set 2 (99.70.9551.006-010) following in February 2015. Set 3 (99.70.9551.011-015) has not yet been reported. Updating the previous news mention, these wagons are now reported as being to TOPS code YXA-R instead of YXA-A.

Also fitted with cranes are a pair of former KHA container wagons, modified by Arlington Fleet Services at Eastleigh and now marshalled in between Network Rail Windhoff Multi-Purpose Vehicles DR98927 and DR98977 to form a 4-unit set. The KHAs were new in 1988 as PFA-Fs TIPH93362/93309 to PF010C, being recoded as KFA-Fs to KF010D in 1990 then renumbered as KHA-Fs 83.70.4574.003/008 to KHE871 in 1997. They are now coded as KHA-Gs with numbers 99.70.9319.001/002 and design code KHE986. Further KHAs are undergoing similar conversion. I don't have details of many recent design codes in the E-series but it is notable that they are getting nearer the E999 mark. What happens after that remains to be seen.

Withdrawals and disposals
Reductions in coal and steel traffic have rendered many wagons surplus to requirements. While DB Cargo and GB Railfreight has taken to modifying wagons for other uses (see above), Freightliner took the surprising decision to scrap a number of relatively young HHA coal hoppers. A total of 54 were dispatched to C F Booths in Rotherham for component recovery and scrapping in the last three months of 2015. For some reason these have comprised the block of wagons numbered 370305 to 370358. I am not aware of any differences between these wagons and the rest of the HHAs, but they did form the last set of wagons delivered in 2002, the next batch not arriving until autumn 2004.

Apart from the HHAs, disposals of other elderly, redundant or stored wagons have continued. Types mentioned in Rail Express magazine have included CDA china clay hoppers, FNA nuclear flask wagons, ex RMC JGA hoppers, YGB Seacow ballast hoppers and the two PNA coal wagons (ex BR Ferry Opens) owned by the Great Western Society.

Right, hopefully that covers everything. If you think I have missed anything significant, please get in touch.

Site News
Latest additions and changes to LTSV Wagons

8th October 2016
193 more photos have been uploaded tonight. About half were taken by me in south east London during the past week, highlights from which include two HYA coal hoppers in aggregates use, the refreshed KRA sleeper carriers, a DB repainted JGA hopper and some more MBAs. The remainder were taken by Derek Everson over the past few months. Of interest here are the new Mendip Rail HOA hoppers and JNA box wagons plus some of the new JPA cement wagons with Hope branding. A news update will be added shortly, along with the other items I promised several months ago.....

20th July 2016
A further 54 photos have been added, all taken last week at Lewisham or Hither Green.

10th July 2016
Another smallish photo update today. I've had MBAs visiting my local line several times recently, working from Angerstein Wharf to Woking. 23 photos of these wagons have just been uploaded.

Also added are reviews of three recent wagon books. These are the plans book mentioned last month, plus another pair of photo books from Ian Allan. See the Resources section.

23rd June 2016
Typical! You wait ages for an update and then three come in a month! Admittedly I haven't finished the stats pages, nor have I updated the reference pages. However, I have uploaded the remainder of the photographs kindly submitted over the past couple of years by Derek Everson. I was slightly surprised to find that these amounted to no fewer than 341 images. Along with three more from other contributors, this takes the site total to 3,121.

Several of the photographs are (or were) quite topical, and these have been added to the news update on the left. Of the rest, some new types not previously seen are:
+ FCA container twin-sets
+ FKA container twin-sets
+ JIA china clay hoppers
+ JZA-E ventilator wagon
+ KEA bogie box wagons
+ MCA and MDA cut-down box wagons
+ YJB track relaying cranes
+ YXA-M 'snow-train' wagons

Submissions of photos are always welcome, particularly if they cover types not seen in London and the south-east. For example, I am rather lacking in steel and coal carriers. My e-mail address is

Feedback on the content of this website is surprisingly infrequent. Is there anything you think could be added or improved? One option I am considering is providing larger copies of the photographs, to enable details to be seen more clearly. Another is to add an interactive element, so that visitors can add notes and information about particular wagons or types. Again, feel free to e-mail me if you have any ideas.

I hope to complete the outstanding items in the next couple of weeks, and there will also be a new profile article looking at wagon couplings and adaptor wagons.

10th June 2016
The promised news update has been completed (see left) and now includes slightly larger photos. All are links to full-sized images anyway. My next job will be to update the various reference pages (e.g. number and code listings) with the new information.

The stats pages (fleet breakdowns by TOPS code) are still in preparation and are taking longer than expected. This is partly due to trying to resolve errors in the source material but mainly down to the sheer size of the tables and the amount of numbers to be input. I can say that the current UK wagon fleet appears to be around 19,759!

5th June 2016
Over the past week I have been drafting some updates for the site. These include a round-up of news over the past 12 months (which is turning out to be quite lengthy) and new information on various reference pages. However, this has been slightly delayed by a couple of distractions. Firstly I received a copy of the mid-year combined wagon fleet book from the Gardners. Since these books are (in my opinion) the most accurate of their kind, I decided to use the contents to produce a TOPS fleet breakdown, similar to those that used to appear each year in the magazines. The counting has been done and I am putting the page together now. Previous years may be included as well.

The second distraction was that this morning I came across a rake of MXA wagons parked in a station less than a mile from my house. This is a type I wanted to photograph for the news page. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me. Fortunately the train was still there when I returned an hour later. And the sun came out too! As a result, 22 photos (taken only 4 hours ago) have just been added; click here for the first. As well as the MXAs, there are also a few YKAs, a ZOA crane and a KFA runner. Check back in a few days to see the news and fleet stats.

Page added: 10/06/2016 Spotted an error? Got some additional info?
Please e-mail me at tom (at)
Last edited: 08/10/2016