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.
1212 was relaunched back into traffic in October 2012 after a fast track restoration. Indeed in the final week of restoration over 400 man hours were put in. Because of this she won The Railcar Association's Railcar of the Year Award in Jan 2013. For details on her restoration, the award and her work since see the update below (with the most recent first).
The first official scheduled passenger running dates for 1212 (outside of galas) will be:
Jan 17th and 24th.
All railcar services run to the Orange Timetable
Whilst these dates are currently the planned dates, we would advise you phone the railway in advance to confirm before you visit to avoid any disappointment.
Contact details, fares and more information can be found at www.nvr.org.uk
2013 has been a relatively low key, but successful year for 1212.
Following further restoration work in the spring to complete the task, the railcar has undertaken a number of tasks and roles in 2013. This has included driver and crew training on the railcar, private charters, photo charters, and also featuring at diesel galas and the 'Goodbye Thomas' event in June, complete with a face! On her debut weekend at the May diesel gala she carried over 450 passengers and 7 dogs (Though not all at once!)
The start turn was in June however when the steam loco for the day's tender derailed. With none of the mainline diesel drivers available, 1212 was pressed into service for the day. Things were a bit tight at times, but passengers were understanding that 1212 was certainly more colourful and better than no service!
Now we have more than one driver and the railcar has a number of miles under her belt we are hoping to run a number of off-peak services with her in 2014. We will endevour to put details of these up here when confirmed.
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)