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The White Rabbit

NER 1903 Autocar

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Brilliant work and progress!

 

I don't want to cause trouble, though, but I'm not convinced that the NER car was the first i.c. electric railcar, unless that 'first' is quite carefully qualified, in that W H Patton in the USA had a streetcar that used an electric transmission and an i.c. engine running c1887, and worked with Pullman to supply cars using this technology to railroads during the 1890s.

 

Kevin

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Looking good. Hopefully when it is finished(end of year?), will try to get over to see. It was when I heard this railcar was being restored, that I dug out drawings from NER society and designed a model for 3D printing( I plan to also do it in original condition, with no luggage space). All that matchboarding almost caused my computer to have a heart attack!

 

Did a quick Google search, and it may all be in the fine detail. I found info under 'hybrid engines', a major part being a battery being charged from , in the USA one, a petrol engine. I think most petrol electric and diesel electric railcars, use the power generated by the engine to feed the electric motors directly., otherwise they could be classified as hybrid engines.

Edited by rue_d_etropal
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Re "firsts" - yes, it is all in definitions and we've already had a spirited discussion with an american on the american equivalents and who was first. We can't claim a monopoly on the basic concept but from the knowledge currently available, we do believe the autocar was the first IC-electric drive for railways. We'll never be sure who had the idea first, as there's always a delay between concept and production of the protoype. 

 

On another controversional note, no forecasts for entry into service - I've been wrong too many times before - and we want to get a bit closer before starting to think too much about the 'launch'. After that, however we do it, there'll be 'normal' running days when people can get close and have a good look. No fighting over the front seats! I also suspect it'll be off visiting other lines in between commitments at Embsay. There is quite a lot of interest already, and not just from ex-NER lines. 

 

Simon, if you need any extra plans, drop me a PM. It'll be interesting to see, as I think everyone else has modelled it in the post 1908 version. 

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WR

 

Clearly a lot hinges on the word 'railway', as opposed, I guess to 'street tramway', although it is well attested that Patton cars were run on 'heavy rail' for demonstration trips, and at least one made a long mainline railway journey under its own power from factory to customer in the late 1890s.

 

Another contender that you may or may not be aware of is an experimental loco with electric transmission, built by Deutz in the early 1890s, as part of a series of tests of transmissions to pair with i.c. engines for rail use. Deutz chose to develop a mechanical transmission

 

You are surely right that we will never knew who first had the idea of an electric transmission for rail-borne vehicles, or indeed other i.c. vehicles, but I am fairly certain that Patton was the first to make the idea public, through his experiments and patents in the late 1880s. That having been said, I wouldn't be surprised if someone discovered that the idea was in circulation in Germany slightly earlier.

 

Anyway, I'm going to annoy people, and accidentally detract from the important, and valuable work of the Autocar team, which I certainly don't want to do, if I bang on much more about this.

 

Kevin

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And now it's high time for an update on restoration work. There's been good progress, though contrary to some reports earlier this year, 2017 will not see the autocar running, though I do hope 2018 will. In the last few months, the engine room end has been largely rebuilt. There's still work to be done on the roof though the panels are being manufactured and should be fitted early in the New Year. The floor is largely complete. Further back, the passenger saloon has had lino fitted and the seats are now being installed. The second power desk was completed and lifted into place just before Christmas.

 

Further to an earlier post re the Guinness Book of Records, the latest edition's been published and I'm told we're on page 203.

 

The latest newsletter was sent before Christmas and all members should have received it by now. We're using a new printer – Imprint of Newtown – and there's been positive feedback on the improvement of the hard copy reproduction and standard of illustrations.

 

One suggestion made in the newsletter was for a main-line outing on the 'Brid' branch. Our autocar did run from Scarborough to Filey in the early 1900s and 2024 will see the 120th anniversary of the autocars' entry into service. The suggestion was that if a visit could be arranged, it would be a suitable marking of that milestone and appropriate for the autocar to revisit some of its old stations/services.

 

Another suggestion was that we participate in a line-up of various railcars showing the evolution of railcar traction, including the GWR steam railmotor, the autocar, the Sentinel railcar, a GWR diesel railcar, a class 121 and a class 153. (There's also a four wheel railbus at the KWVR).

 

Given the recent releases by Dapol, a model version of the above in OO is tantalisingly close. Once Kernow's model's delivered, that would only leave the autocar and Sentinel to be kit-built. 

 

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Photos courtesy Alan Chandler. 

Edited by The White Rabbit
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Fantastic, Great to see this progress on the Autocar and look forward to its debut whenever it's ready.

 

Good luck with an appearance with a Sentinel railcar in FWO.....or is this Quainton Rd with the Egyptian Artic set?

 

A return to the GCR with the body on will be very welcome too. All in good time.

 

Dava

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Fantastic, Great to see this progress on the Autocar and look forward to its debut whenever it's ready.

 

Good luck with an appearance with a Sentinel railcar in FWO.....or is this Quainton Rd with the Egyptian Artic set?

 

A return to the GCR with the body on will be very welcome too. All in good time.

 

Dava

Or importing one of the Sentinels that were still operating in Peru/Chile until recently (although converted to diesel).

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Or importing one of the Sentinels that were still operating in Peru/Chile until recently (although converted to diesel).

 

Or the Sri Lankan 2'6" railcar!

 

Dava

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Well, there is a narrow gauge connection, as Boston Lodge did some work on a bogie for us. I was thinking of a standard gauge steam Sentinel, but... 

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For those looking to build a Sentinel railcar at Middleton Railway we have an original (new) top from the boiler, it's bigger than the shunter one which we found out!

 

The NER railcar is looking good and might be an idea to pair it up again somewhere with our Manning Wardle Matthew Murray as per some of the railcar publicity photos.

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...... I was thinking of a standard gauge steam Sentinel, but... 

There was a scheme to recreate a standard gauge Sentinel railcar using the remains of the body of the ex Jersey one and a post war 100HP loco.  The new body was being built in Romania using the original as a pattern IIRC but that was a few years ago and the project may have stalled.

Ray.

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Just found this topic. Awesome, excellent work!

 

This, for me, is far more worthwhile and interesting than just building or restoring another kettle.

 

I wonder if it would be possible to recreate the GWR petrol-electric railcar of the Edwardian era?

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We were asked today what we'd do after the autocar restoration had finished. I don't think the answer 'draw breath and have a lie-in' went down terribly well... I know the Tornado group are planning another engine and they might have said 'one's enough' initially, but we have no plans to take on another restoration/new build. Operating and maintaining the autocar will be less demanding than restoration but still require a regular commitment from us. If you fancy it, go for it, but recreating it at 1:76 is likely to be a lot more than 76 times easier than 1:1! 

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It's great to see the continuing high standard of restoration on the Autocar and looking forward to the return to service with the Autocoach in due course, hopefully even this year. Of course a return trip to the GCR and even up the Mountsorrel branch in a year or two will be even more welcome!

Edited by Dava
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Hi WR,

 

It seems it will not be long until it’s not just us GWS types doing ancient autoworking - cool!

 

It’s a cracking job too!

 

All the best,

 

Castle

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It's great to see the continuing high standard of restoration on the Autocar and looking forward to the return to service with the Autocoach in due course, hopefully even this year. Of course a return trip to the GCR and even up the Mountsorrel branch in a year or two will be even more welcome!

 

Yes, I was just thinking it would make a very nice sight on the Mountsorrel branch....Maybe once the signalling is sorted to enable passenger trains to work between the branch and the GCR main line, a guest appearance for a Rothley-Mountsorrel branch shuttle at a GCR gala would be just the ticket...

Edited by Invicta
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I’m thinking Bedford Bletchley, next year, running with the modern equivalents from Vivarail.

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Yes, I was just thinking it would make a very nice sight on the Mountsorrel branch....Maybe once the signalling is sorted to enable passenger trains to work between the branch and the GCR main line, a guest appearance for a Rothley-Mountsorrel branch shuttle at a GCR gala would be just the ticket...

 

No promises, but I suspect that's a distinct possibility. 

 

 

I’m thinking Bedford Bletchley, next year, running with the modern equivalents from Vivarail.

 

Hmmm.... 

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The MD of vivarail is, of course, a serious railway preservationist, who has probably better contacts in the industry than anyone ....... so it needn’t be a fantasy. Just saying.

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The newsletter was e-mailed out Friday afternoon and the hard copies are about to be printed. The full story is in there, but - we now have a launch date. We anticipate October will see the autocar return to sevice after an 88 year career break. The launch will be for members and guests only, but public service will be resumed soon after. 

 

More news to follow, but 3170's doing a good impression of a vehicle almost ready for service. There's still some mechanical bits and control parts to finish off but it's scheduled work and we plan to do some testing in September. 

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The Autocar looks great, anticipating it's return to service.

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I have kit for one to build so I'm looking forward to having a good look when it's finished as the instructions are a little on the week side.

 

Marc

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