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AC Cars Railbus





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#1 spackz

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 20:56

Just as the recent railbus hits the shelves the engineering sample of the AC cars railbus is now up on the Heljan.dk website. Looking promising for those wanting a western version.

Paul

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#2 Captain Kernow

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 20:59

Thanks - I'll have a look for that. Pity they didn't have buffers, I quite fancy a bit of tail traffic..... :D

#3 petee19

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 21:40

I'm really looking forward to the release of the AC Railbus.I lived in Cirencester when these first appeared on the Kemble to Cirenceter Town service (they also started on the Kemble to Tetbury branch at the same time).When they were introduced on February 2nd 1959 I was at junior school and the class I was in were taken for a return journey during the first week of their operation.I remember we were all given a copy of the new timetable which had a picture of the railbus on the cover,on return to school we had to draw and paint a picture of said vehicle and write a brief account of our day out.How I wish I still had that timetable today,however what I do still have are a couple of pictures taken by myself one of which is the final Railbus leaving Cirencester.For those interested there is a good book on the Cirencester Branch,published by The Oakwood Press,in 1998, this not only deals with the Railbus Years,but also the complete history of this very special line for me.Quite how I will get away with running a railbus along side EPB's and CEP's I don't know,but then as has been said many times..........I'ts my railway etc,etc!
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#4 2ManySpams

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 21:57

For a bit of prototype info and the areas the AC railbus worked in, try here: http://www.railcar.c...bus/acbus-7.htm
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#5 meld

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 22:00

Hi All,

Here's a link ... http://www.Heljan.dk...d&artikelid=308

HTH

Mike

#6 SRman

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 22:03

Quite how I will get away with running a railbus along side EPB's and CEP's I don't know,but then as has been said many times..........I'ts my railway etc,etc!


Just fit third rail shoes to it! ;)

Tin hat on, ducking for cover ...

#7 2ManySpams

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 22:07

Hi All,

Here's a link ... http://www.Heljan.dk...d&artikelid=308

HTH

Mike


Not sure about the shade of Green..... :angel:
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#8 petee19

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 22:21

Just fit third rail shoes to it! ;) Tin hat on, ducking for cover ...


Might be better fitting a third rail for the CEP's etc first!!

#9 The Stationmaster

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 22:28

OOh heck - more Westernry, more money, more fun :sungum:
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#10 Removed a/c_Max Stafford

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 22:46

Also useful on ex G&SW metals, so it seems.

Hmmm.

Dave.

#11 stewartingram

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 12:51

I shall have to dig out my old spotting notebooks. As a Cambridge resident, I was aware that Cambridge was quite the hotbed of dmu's and especially railbuses in the early '60s. Cambridge had a dedicated diesel depot, with a large allocation of the Anglia units based or serviced there. A revolutionary [at the time] cyclic diagram was introduced, and written about in Modern Railways, which saw units travel widely for a few days before returning for maintenance. The W&M railbuses were included in this. I always presumed at the time that because of the "reputation" for Cambridge, that was the reson that at one time or another, I saw most types of railbus on shed. Never saw the visits reported in any magazine though!

Stewart

ps if ever I find these notes I'll post them on RMweb.
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#12 Oldddudders

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 14:52

I saw two of these thingies - almost certainly on the Bodmin North trips. While my layout is set just over the border in Devon, these unusual cars do appeal. Since I seem to have acquired an 0298, then why not one of these?

#13 The Stationmaster

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 15:14

I saw two of these thingies - almost certainly on the Bodmin North trips. While my layout is set just over the border in Devon, these unusual cars do appeal. Since I seem to have acquired an 0298, then why not one of these?

Exactly so - I actually changed trains onto (and subsequently off) one of these at Boscarne Jcn during their brief sojourn there although by that time the Wenford branch was in the hands of 1369 panniers (hint - if you're listening down there in Kernow, 1369 class were the true and proper decendants of an original class of Cornish locos, even if there was very little physical resemblance).
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#14 dibber25

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 08:42

Whilst helping Howes/Heljan out with livery details for these models I stumbled across one with ST IVES in the destination blind. That strikes me as odd, because the ONLY shots I've ever seen (and there are lots of them) on the Bodmin branch, show that they still had the Kemble area blinds in. I had always suspected that the blinds were actually narrower than standard, requiring special blinds, and that was why they never got changed. The ST IVES lettering doesn't quite ring true, font-wise, so I wonder if it was some sort of stunt. The prospect of an AC trying to get up the 1 in 40 out of St Ives when the rails were wet and frozen doesn't bear thinking about! One of the bubble car drivers told me it once took him an hour to get up that slope.
The liveries on the AC Cars are also a bit of a mystery. It appears that some vehicles MAY have been crudely over-painted dark green but retained whiskers etc. Some photos certainly make them LOOK dark green. The story goes that No. W79977 got repainted dark green SYP after a heavy shunt at Swindon. However, there are pics of it in ORIGINAL livery with additional beading on one end which suggests and earlier repair. After the Swindon repaint it had white roof domes. I have recently found a pic of it in Scotland with green roof domes.
The question is: If ScR repainted the others dark green, why did they retain whiskers and W prefixes? Despite appearance of 'dark' green in pictures W79976 was never painted dark green. The panels (stored with the railbus at Loughborough) still have BR logo and lettering on original bright green, indeed original paint in good condition is still visible round one door frame. So many people BELIEVE they were dark green with whiskers, whether from photos or whatever, that I think Heljan will go with both dark and light green versions. I've told them that I for one, won't argue with that, as in ten years of owning the remains of W79976, I wasn't able to unscramble the livery question.
CHRIS LEIGH

Edited by dibber25, 08 March 2012 - 08:47 .

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#15 orcadian

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 10:31

So many people BELIEVE they were dark green with whiskers, whether from photos or whatever, that I think Heljan will go with both dark and light green versions. I've told them that I for one, won't argue with that, as in ten years of owning the remains of W79976, I wasn't able to unscramble the livery question.
CHRIS LEIGH


Thanks, Chris! I doubt that we'll get a more definitive answer than that, and it seems that Heljan have taken a pragmatic compromise position - 2 light, 2 dark - let the customer choose! Only half of them will be wrong, and "I know that the one I've got is right, cos' I chose it!"

#16 dibber25

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 10:40

Thanks, Chris! I doubt that we'll get a more definitive answer than that, and it seems that Heljan have taken a pragmatic compromise position - 2 light, 2 dark - let the customer choose! Only half of them will be wrong, and "I know that the one I've got is right, cos' I chose it!"


Yes, modellers will be able to choose the one that looks right to them, and that's what matters. Now, can we find a picture of a Class 128 in Post Office red WITH four character head code boxes still in place, or is my memory playing tricks?
CHRIS LEIGH

#17 DJM Dave

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 13:23

Hi chris,

Not in Mail Red i'm afraid, but this (if its a 128?), might help.

Sorry but its a terrible picture 35mm taken in about 1983/4 leaving Derby. I can see 2 x plated over headcode panels with maker lights added.
cheers
Dave

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#18 EddieB

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 13:30

Whilst helping Howes/Heljan out with livery details for these models I stumbled across one with ST IVES in the destination blind.


Linking that with Stewart Ingram's comments, are you sure it wasn't the "other" St Ives?

#19 stewartingram

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 15:13

Linking that with Stewart Ingram's comments, are you sure it wasn't the "other" St Ives?


Good point! Just for the record, I'll list here all the railbuses I have personally spotted:

W&M 79960/61/62/63/64
PR 79972
Wickham 79968
AC 79975/76/78

By a process of elimination,
all W&M were Cambridge based
79972 could have been the Bedford-Hitchin one, but I definately saw this at Cambridge
79968 - I have this as Scottish, but never visited Scotland until 2009, so that was Cambridge?
79975 was Western, so unless I saw it at Swindon, was also Cambridge?
79976/78 are both preserved & I have seen them in preservation; I do recal one of them being a cop at the time thoigh, so same remarks as 79975?

Thats the best I can do at the moment, it will probably be some time before I can check old notebooks though!

Stewart
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#20 dibber25

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 10:42

Linking that with Stewart Ingram's comments, are you sure it wasn't the "other" St Ives?


It is always possible but to the best of my knowledge none of the AC Cars rail buses ever went anywhere near Cambridge or the ER while in BR service. Their allocation was:

SC79979 (actually the first to be completed) went to and stayed in Scotland throughout. This one had roof-mounted horns and lacked the Swindon modifications. Heljan is not including this vehicle in the first batches.
Built in reverse order, highest number first. W79975-8 all went to Swindon where they received cab partitions with bi-fold doors, and air-operated retractable steps. The Swindon mods are unbelievably 'home-made' with cab door latches soldered up from brass and solid sections to the door handrails some of which are bronze and others copper! All four were Swindon-based. The branches from Kemble had a three-vehicle diagram, which left one spare at Swindon.
After Tetbury/Cirencester closed April 1964 Nos. W79975/6 went to Yeovil and W79977/8 went to Bodmin.
When those lines closed all four WR vehicles found their way to Scotland, where they largely replaced defective Park Royal rail buses on the Ayr-Kilmarnock service which was temporarily reprieved from closure pending road improvements.
W79978 was sold to the North York Moors Railway and made its way to Pickering under its own power. W79977 is understood to have suffered a 'broken back' due to excessive loading! W79976 was stripped of mechanical parts and sold for static display at Yieldingtree Railway Museum, Bleadon & Uphill station, near Weston-super-Mare. From there it passed to the Bodmin & Wenford Railway where it served as a static buffet for a while before being set aside for scrapping. It was moved to County School, Norfolk in 1993 and from there to the Colne Valley Railway (where it joined W79978 which had come from the NYMR via the Kent & East Sussex). W79976 is now in a dismantled state at the Great Central Railway, awaiting restoration.
CHRIS LEIGH

Edited by dibber25, 09 March 2012 - 10:44 .

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#21 The Stationmaster

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 11:06

In search of colour details I've gone through my pile of photos as I\'d an inkling that I might have a pic of one at Boscarne but alas either it's adrift from the rest of the pics I took that day or I didn't get a pic of it. The bubble car I travelled in from Bodmin Road was however definitely in dark green as it shows up in a couple of my signal pics taken from it.

#22 Neal Ball

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 20:08

....... there to the Colne Valley Railway (where it joined W79978 ......
CHRIS LEIGH


Hi Chris, assuming that is your one (I could be wrong!) - how is it coming on? Is it in working order these days?

Slightly off topic - sorry!

Regards,

#23 brian daniels

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 20:48

This was the state of play on the 31-7-2010 of W79978 at the Colne Valley. A non runner by the way.

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#24 D6975

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 18:45

I visited the Colne Valley Railway in the early 90s and had a ride on a railbus.
Would it have been 79978? Was it operational at that time?

#25 dibber25

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 22:20

Yes W79978 was operational at the Colne Valley during the time that Dick Hymas owned it. It finally succumbed when sent to the Severn Valley for a DMU gala. It seems that the lorry ride shook debris loose inside the air system and without air, nothing on the AC Cars rail bus will work - in particular, the gear changing mechanism. So it didn't run at the SVR and hasn't run since. Without the guys who took an interest in it, I doubt it will run again. I did tell them that horrible dark green was wrong - but they liked it. It was several shades darker than even BR dark green.
CHRIS LEIGH
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