Bruff Recovery lorries

2nd December 2009

Bruff Recovery lorries

Condemned Bruffs at Toton in 1994. Picture - Rob Morel

After recent discussions, an article based on our findings!

A quick review of the original fleet of 30 vehicles gives us the following so far - any updates welcome:


B155VRV - extant at Eastleigh - DBS

C922YOR - extant at Reading - FGW

C959YOR - extant at Fort Horsted - Avondale (now flat bed lorry.)

C962YOR - extant at Longsight - WCTC

C963YOR & C964YOR - extant at Hornsey - FCC (C964 YOR now flat bed lorry.)

C965YOR - extant at Wembley CARMD - WCTC


B445WPO - extant at Plym Valley Railway

C958YOR - extant at Wensleydale (now flat bed lorry with Hiab crane.)

C951YOR, C960YOR, C961YOR - parts of all of these machines have apparently made it into the lorry at Shackerstone. The remains assumed scrapped at Toton at the same time as the others? C960YOR was deleted from the website a few years' back but is now re-added so any sightings welcome. Ex Tyseley. I believe this one was involved in some sort of fatal incident (noted at Derby Raynesway as damaged in 2002) and should have been scrapped soon after but it seems some parts were still re-used - not sure which.

C955YOR, C966YOR, C969YOR - all at Rush Green Motors, Stevenage - March 2009


B534WTP, B849XOR, C923YOR, C929YOR, C956YOR, C957YOR - Toton (all assumed scrapped on site late 2002? Plus remains of C951YOR, C960YOR, C961YOR? - see above.)

C921YOR, C953YOR, C954YOR - last seen Immingham in July 2004 - assumed scrapped on site or disposed from here soon after this? (C953 & C954 had lost their rail wheels by this time.)

C948YOR, C952YOR, C997XPX - last at Motherwell - scrapped 2003?

C967YOR - scrapped Scottish Power, Yoker 2002

C968YOR - this is another lorry that was unfortunately deleted so any sightings welcome again - originally at Ashford. This was the one that was advertised on eBay at a garage in Tonbridge in 2005 but its fate after this is unknown.

C970YOR - last at Brighton around 2003

Nick did some research on these and found the following

"Well according to the DVLA's website, these vehicles were last taxed as follows:

1996 - C952 YOR

1997 - B534 WTP, B849 XOR, C923 YOR, C929 YOR, C957 YOR and C961 YOR

1998 - C948 YOR, C956 YOR and C958 YOR

1999 - C921 YOR, C997 XOX

2000 - C953 YOR

2001 - C960 YOR

2004 - C954 YOR

2006 - C970 YOR

From this, it is highly unlikely I saw C929 YOR on the M1 in 2001! I think the most likely candidates were probably C954 YOR or C960 YOR (de-licensed shortly afterwards).

I am very surprised about C970 YOR as I am virtually certain it disappeared way before 2006. I just wonder if it went elsewhere in 2004 for a couple of years?"

Robin tells us

"Eastfield who operated C997 XPX had the original road rail gear removed and was refitted with "fairmont Hyrail" road/rail gear to try and cure the sagging front axle problem. Photos anyone?"

Peter Hall adds

"C997XPX, C948YOR & 952YOR were sold from Motherwell to Colin Dunsmore, Larkhall for scrap 04/03.

C921/953/954YOR were sold from Immingham for scrap 6/06.

C968YOR is almost certainly the Tonbridge one as a garage in Tonbridge was mentioned as a possible destiny after it departed Ashford in 2001.

C970YOR was sold to Castle Commercials, Barking 04/04 and presumably scrapped."

Any more info or news welcome!



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  • Simon Grego

    Simon Grego

    Having today been at Shackerstone (July 2010), I was talking to the chap who is restroing our old Tyseley breakdown crane (ADRC 96708), but he allowed me to look at his BRUFF and run it up, I havent driven a BRUFF since 1989, on my last rerailing with Tyseleys one at Bescot, but drove the Reading flat bed one in 1992.

    This simple gesture of running the Shackerstone one up, brought back so many memories of our one.....and all that overtime!

  • christopher john yardy

    christopher john yardy

    can any one give any infimation on the company and it products thanks.

  • Robin Morel

    Robin Morel

    30 Bedford Road/Rail recovery vehicles

    01 Bedford Road/Rail flatbed/demountable/access platform

    01 Bedford Road/Rail to BlackPool Transport Tramway

    01 Bedford Road/Rail Recovery to NI Railways gauge

    01 Road/Rail Overhead/Tunnel inspection unit

    04 Mercedes Benz RoAd/Rail personnel carriers

    08 Road/Rail Hedgetrimmer tractors

    curious road/rail recovery vehicle prototype-

    4 axle skid steer

    and those monster looking profiler and grader machines

  • Robin Morel

    Robin Morel

    Unsure if badged as BRUFF or Wickham but does anyone know if this is still extant ??

  • Vince avatar

    Vince Website editor

    Christopher - the company was called BRUFF. Go to the comments area of this link for more info on the company.

    Rob - No idea if it still exists. It was badged as both at various points - Bruff Rail & Wickham Rail.

    The same chap on Flickr has two fascinating albums (both going a bit beyond this topic though): Wickham Rail & Wickham of Ware

    Just to update your list, think there were 6 Mercedes Personnel Carriers.

    They also made some Rail Threaders but a bit beyond most peoples' interest.

  • Ben Williams avatar

    Ben Williams Editor

    So as per comment under C956YOR it appears this also made it to Rush Green Motors near Stevenage and was there in 2014. Any more updates from here welcome!

  • Jonathan Flood avatar

    Jonathan Flood

    There was a Wickham Rail badged Rail Threader at the K&ESR. Does anyone know if it is still there?

    I am aiming to visit Rush Green Motors soon, as it is local to me and I will see what I can ascertain from them.