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 Post subject: ROAD RECOVERY VEHICLE
PostPosted: 25 Jan 2011, 19:34 
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Location: Stockton-on-Tees
I have attached an image of what must have been one of the first road bound recovery vehicles which will be of interest to some readers. Would love to own it now!


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PostPosted: 26 Jan 2011, 19:04 
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Joined: 15 Dec 2010, 22:30
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Location: North Cambridgeshire, UK
I assume the vehicle was not for railway recovery(?) but an interesting picture all the same.

This vehicle has the front end of an early-1930s London Transport ST bus. I wonder if it was a conversion from a bus, or was it a bespoke build?

To keep on-topic, does anyone know if it was actually made by Bruff Rail (or whatever Bruff called themselves if they existed then), or did LT concoct it themselves?


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PostPosted: 26 Jan 2011, 20:12 
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Joined: 23 Dec 2010, 00:07
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Location: Poole, Dorset
FXT98 (Fleet No 418J) and its twin FXT97 (Fleet No 417J) were 5-ton "Railway Master Breakdown Tenders" and were new to LT in September 1939, ordered probably as a war precaution. They were AEC Regents built on new STL-type chassis, and they and two earlier vehicles (dating from January 1931) remained in service until 1964. The four were based at the railway depots at Ealing Common (1), Hainault (1), and Neasden (2).

I am not sure who built the bodywork (AEC?) but may be able to find out, but they definitely were railway breakdown units and the forerunners of the BRUFF concept.

Roger


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PostPosted: 26 Jan 2011, 20:33 
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Thanks for that, Roger. Next time I'll ask you for an answer before posting a question here! ;)

With apologies to Dick for even suggesting that we were drifting off-topic!

Regards,
The Novice


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PostPosted: 27 Jan 2011, 00:00 
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Joined: 23 Dec 2010, 00:07
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No prob, we aim to please. I was in a bit of a rush when I wrote the last post, so here is some more information:

The paper presented to the I.Loc.E by G. S. Bingham "Railway Breakdown Organisation and Equipment in use on the London Transport System" in November 1955 describes these vehicles briefly and is illustrated with the same photo of FXT98, together with a photo of the interior of the vehicle. It states that a pair of vehicles, one heavy and one light (FXT98 is one of the "heavies", the "lights", one of which is illustrated, appears to me to be a Bedford KZ type) is kept at each of the three depots, with a spare of each kept as Neasden to replace any vehicle temporarily out of service for maintenance. Each vehicle contained a standard set of equipment, as well as providing accomodation for staff. In the "heavies" this was in the form of a seperate compartment immediately behind the drivers cab (notice the provision of windows in the body).

"London Transport Service Vehicles" by Kim Rennie and Bill Aldridge (Capital Transport, 2003) has a fairly thorough coverage of these vehicles including a photo of the first, specially designed Railway Breakdown Tender, Fleet No 110J bult in 1931, and to all practical intents identical to FXT98. There is a photo of one of the "lights", built on a Morris "Equiload" chassis in 1939. It would appear from the text that the four AECs were the only heavy vehicles specifically designed for accident/derailment work, but there were other similar vehicles for other "emergency" work, for example two Albion KN127s in 1937 used by the rolling stock gangs. Similar vehicles were provided for p-way emergencies.

The coverage of these vehicles is excellent (17 pages on railway breakdown vehicles) and all in all this book is recommended reading. It only covers road-going vehicles though, so doesn't mention the railway cranes.

After the retirement of the four AEC Regents, they were replaced in 19662/3 by a fleet (unspecified in number) of vehicles based on converted Leyland Titan PD3A/1 bus chassis, again vehicles were issued to p-way and rolling stock engineers and differed slightly in details.

The book also has one sad photo of the first two Regents (110J and 111J) being gradually broken up on a scrapyard. On disposal they went first to North's yard at Sherburn, then Arthur Hepworth's yard at Norton, near Doncaster. Although still extant at the latter in 1970, they were broken up shortly afterwards. The fate of the later pair is not recorded but is probably similar.


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PostPosted: 28 Jan 2011, 18:01 
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Joined: 28 Jan 2011, 10:53
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Location: Milton Keynes, city of roundabouts
I would direct group members to the excellent LTSV2.com website who cover the modern day London Transport fleet, the ERU- emergency response unit has bases at
Camden (Pratt Street)
Acton Works
Battersea (Stewarts road-Battersea Business centre)
Stratford (Jubilee line Stratford Market Depot)
-
Each depot has two Mercedes truck with two held in reserve (10 total)
and the duty 'guvnor' has a Ford Ranger.
=
I would imagine especially on the surface lines , Neasden springs to mind that steam cranes would have operated but due to the low clearance on tube stock, jacking and packing the norm.
Wildly off topic, I have also seen photos of 1960s/70s London Fire Appliances in the "central area" carrying jacks on the rear of the appliance specifically for jacking rolling stock.
Also worth remembering that these teams gave assistance to the national network at Ladbroke Grove and Watford Junction collisions.


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