Status: Launch into traffic on 14th October 2012
Location: Wansford or in service
1212 On relaunch day at Wansford. © Pete Murry (PM Images)2012
1212 was built for the Swedish State Railways (SJ) in 1958 by Eksjoverken.
The vehicle has a very unusual appearance, being one of the widest vehicles ever to have run in the UK. With the near ground level loading there is no room underneath for the engine. It is therefore found in one of the driver’s cabs and passengers have to walk past it to enter the saloon!
378 driving vehicles of this type as well as 321 trailers were built between 1953 and 1961. Up to 8 vehicles could be coupled together and driven from one cab, though there are no plans to get another vehicle at the NVR yet! With a top speed of 78mph our vehicle ran 1,996,000km in service: The equivalent to travelling to the moon and back over 2 ½ times.
She moved to the NVR for preservation in 1984 and operated on the line until her owner passed away in 1989. Following the sale to the Bygone Village, Fleggburgh, Great Yarmouth, she spent the next 14 years undercover alongside Swedish tank engine no 1928.
When this shut down in 2003/4 the collection was sold on and the railbus ended up as an undercover picnic area on Tweddle Animal Farm, Hartlepool.
In January 2011 it was purchased by its new owners and restoration began.
Since the official launch work has mainly concentrated on the refurbishment of the heating and air intake system on the side of the railbus. This was reassembled for the launch, but we have taken the decision to rebuild it properly. There is a metal plate that should drain the water underneath the bodywork when it gets through the vent on the side. However over the years this had rotted away as the vent had not been closed. This caused much water damage and the vehicle to effectively rot from the inside out. This meant a lot of the floor had to be replaced when we restored the vehicle. However to sort out this problem, a lot of the seats that had been put in for the launch have had to come out. A slow and time consuming job, but it will save a lot of headaches in the long run.
A number of other areas have also been repainted so the vehicle is due to get a permanent fitness to run exam very shortly. Following this, crew training will begin before we start to run passenger services with the vehicle.
Also included is a picture from when we had to move 1212 to a different point in the yard during the recent snow we had.
Swedish Y7 Railbus No. 1212 has successfully won The Railcar Association’s first annual Railcar of the Year Award.
Secured by a public vote during December, no. 1212 saw off stiff competition from other British Railcars and DMUs. With a short list of five vehicles in the public vote, it was a two horse race between 1212 and another vehicle for most of the voting period. The award was secured by a late flurry of 85 votes from Sweden on New Year’s Eve, the closing date!
Our thanks go to everyone who voted for us.
1212 is currently having the final areas of restoration completed so it can be ready for the first fare paying passenger runs later this winter. Details including dates, times and fares will be posted both on the NVR and IRPS websites when they are known.
We look forward to seeing you for a ride on the award winning railbus in 2013!
For more information on the award and voting please see http://preserved.railcar.co.uk/RailcarAward2012.html
After many long and tiring days, especially in the week before the launch, and having experienced a rollercoaster of emotions, Sunday October 14th and the day of the launch came around!
The launch saw three owners of the railbus, past and present, in attendance. Craig Owen, the current owner of the vehicle, Evan Green-Hughes and his wife, the owners of Tweddle Animal Farm, and Mrs Olive Gladden, whose family owned and imported the railbus to the NVR in the 1980's.
In attendance were volunteers who put many hours into the railbus, members of the NVR's management, and members of IRPS as the event coincided with our annual conference, this year at the NVR.
The morning started with an informal reception in the Cafe Extension built by IRPS Enterprise last year, followed by a presentation on the restoration.
The railbus was formally relaunched by Mrs Olive Gladden.
Following this, all guests were taken for a trip down the line in the railbus, with stops at Ferry Meadows, home of The International Night Mail Museum, and Peterborough Nene Valley, complete with a tour of Project 996.
They say a picture says a thousand words, so here is a gallery of photos from the event.
All images in this update, unless otherwise stated are Copyright © 2012 Peter Murray (PM Images)
An incredible amount of work has gone on the railbus in the late summer and autumn. A full update with pictures will follow in due course, but as a brief summary, work has included:
The final week saw a lot of midnight oil being burnt. We estimate that around 4-500 man hours were spent on the vehicle. Some 21 hour days were put in, with some midnight, and pre-dawn oil being burnt by a lot of people on a number of days before the launch.
Huge thanks and congratulations must go to everyone involved in the restoration of the vehicle. Naming names would inevitably lead to someone being missed out, so a big thank you to everyone. You know who you are!
Work does not stop here however. While we got the vehicle up to a standard for one run, there were a number of problems that we simply ran out of time to fix. Over the winter these will be sorted so that crew training and some passenger services can occur for fare paying passengers during 2013.
If you'd like to hire the railbus out for an event or a trip down the line, don't hesitate to get in touch via the normal channels!
The main focus for April/May was to finish the exterior cab metalwork at both ends. Once the new plate had been ordered and cut to size, we drilled holes where the original rivets used to be and screwed the new panels in place for the time being until they could be welded.
With the two new panels now fitted, welded and the new window frames cut out, work moved to the rear end of the bus. The same procedures applied, removed the interior wall panels, strip the exterior metal, remove any rust and then paint before fitting new sheets of metal. Here is a brief display of the progress made;
From the photos above you can see that all four end panels are now in place. The white lines show where body filler was used to smooth the surface of the new plate after the weld was ground down.
To finish off, the new plate was painted in a cream undercoat for protection until the final coats of paint are applied.
Progress notes for April also include the fabrication of a new step at each end of the railbus (as seen in the photo above) and the beginnings of further work to the roof e.g. paint and rust removal.
We have also continued to remove external parts for restoration, such as the windows and vents. This will allow us to assess the damage (if any) to the window frames and allow bodywork restoration to continue without the fear of breaking a window.
With the windows removed, the sides of the railbus could now be needle gunned to remove the old paintwork. Fortunately the original metalwork is still sound and will require little interference.
And finally, many parts of the bus received a protective coat of paint or two over the last couple of weeks, these include; the side air vents, the engine housing, the exterior framework and the two removed snow ploughs.