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Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:40 pm
by Autocar Publicity
A morale-boosting picture from earlier this month, courtesy Alan Chandler.

Recently, work's been done replacing and repairing damaged cross-members, turning:
The partition between passenger saloon and vestibule is now being replaced, as is the floor.

The newsletter was delayed unfortunately but has now gone to print and the electronic versions were despatched earlier this evening.

Steve Hoather, our project engineer, gave a lecture at the NW Centre of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in Manchester before Christmas; he will be repeating this at Doncaster (The Wabtec Works) at 17:00 10th April and visitors are welcome.

Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Posted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 8:09 am
by West_Stanley
As far as I understand, this railcar was not a success due to lack of horsepower of the original engine. Its replacement will be a lot more powerful, will it?

Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Posted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:58 am
by drmditch
Sorry to disagree with two of your posts today!

I think it is a little unfair to describe these two railcars as 'not a success'!
(As in this forum here !)

They were after all built at an early period in the use of internal combustion on railways, and they lasted (intermittently) in service (with at least one re-placement engine) for some 27 years. Perhaps the problem is that the development of i/c rail vehicles was very 'stop and start' especially on the LNER. Had things been different then perhaps Vincent Raven's initiatives might have developed more, and these vehicles would be seen as part of a smoother learning curve.

Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Posted: Sun Jul 02, 2017 5:07 pm
by Autocar Publicity
Apologies for the late reply - blame Virgin and O2 for their collective lack of service stopping me having Internet access recently...

I would generally agree with drmditch's post. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. With it, we can all be a strategic genius. Yes, if they knew what we know, the LNER would probably have invested more, probably much more, in this technology but at the end of the day, it was an experiment. It would have been foolhardy to have devoted more finance and resources to an unproven technology. Yes, the first engine was (reportedly) woefully underpowered and the second did the job but comments about a lack of power persisted. Was this due to a low top speed? Maybe. Brutal Fact No. 1: trains in an urban environment with stations every mile or two don't need a high top speed, what they need is rapid acceleration and braking performance. According to the contemporary reports, the autocars had this. So, perfectly capable of performing within specifications but no glamour or 'Top Trump' style stats.

The statistics say the original engine was 85hp. The 1903 replacement was 80hp and the 1923 replacement was 225hp. Ours, I think, is rated at 250hp. But horsepower is only one part of the story - to draw an analogy with cars, it's the torque that also counts. 0 - 60 is often quoted, but in the real world a more practical test is the speed at which a vehicle can overtake a tractor, caravan or a Peugeot driven by a retired school-teacher? 30 - 50 or 50 - 70 is much more relevant.

Our engineering criteria required that the autocar be capable of hauling itself and the trailing autocoach at 25mph on heritage lines with a full load. Testing on the GCR proved this was perfectly feasible. Brutal Fact No. 2: Operation on the national network at 75/90+mph would be a completely different story and require different engineering criteria and a different type of power-train. Whilst the autocar can travel at more than 25mph, it's not a design specification and I wouldn't be at all suprised if in the autocar's second life the top speed is quoted as meaning it's underpowered (again).

Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:19 pm
by richard
Autocar was looking good when I visited last week...

Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Posted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:01 pm
by Autocar Publicity
I think we've made good progress recently. Like any project, there's times when things go well and times when they don't. At the risk of tempting fate, there does seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel. We're not all booking time off work for (say) a month next Tuesday, but it does look like it won't be too much longer before the autocar's operational.

The latest newsletter should have arrived in e-mail inboxes or landed on everyone's doormats by now. Any failures, let me know via e-mail or PM.

The engine room floor now has plates over the frames and the passenger saloon has lino on the flooring. The seats are on site, ready to be installed.
15Jun2017 Autocar Engine Room Floor 2 E.jpg
Autocar Fuel Filler Pic10 R.jpg
Photos courtesy Alan Chandler.

Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Posted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 11:29 pm
by sawdust
It's when the big jobs left to do were once the little ones and the little jobs are the things you hadn't even thought about before, that's when you know you're getting there!


Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Posted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:11 pm
by Autocar Publicity

There's been good progress in 2017. Contrary to some reports earlier this year, 2017 will not see the autocar running, though I do hope 2018 will. (As to exactly when ladies and gentlemen, place your bets...). 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. (As ever, more news and photos in there). 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.

Any thoughts on either of these suggestions?
Z overall 11-10-17 F.jpg
Z cab floor 23-11-17.jpg
Z roof framework.jpg
Z seat.jpg
Photos courtesy Alan Chandler.

Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Posted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:43 am
by 2392
Some great photos there, showing how near you're collectively to completing the Autocar. Though be careful that light at the end of the tunnel is like as not a train going the other way on the other line :shock: :roll: :wink: ! On a slightly more serious but still lighthearted note, how about a fund raising sweep [for say £1 a go] as to the finish/first public run date. With the winner getting a ticket for a trip in the 'car.......

Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Posted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:44 pm
by manna
G'Day Gents

Wonderful to see this 'old' :!: veteran taking shape again, and to see it visit it's old haunts again, even better. Looking forward to a Happy 2018.


Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:05 pm
by PinzaC55
Relay the Beck Hole branch and run it from there to Grosmont :wink:

Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:07 pm
by terry_nyorks
Just to add to the happy story, pleased to report further progress reported by one of our contributors, Andrew Southwell : ... 031425@N22 . Well done everyone so far.

See also : ... 0or%203267 for a wider search.

Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:40 pm
by Autocar Publicity
There's a bit more to come soon, I'm currently putting the latest newsletter together, so when that's sorted, will post an update here. Some new pictures to come. We'll also have a stand at York model railway show over Easter, so if you visit, drop by, we'll be on the second mezzanine.

Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 2:17 pm
by Autocar Publicity
And the newsletter's now gone to printing. The electronic copies were sent last night, together with a GDPR form which we need to ask people to complete and return - put simply, it's permission to hold data and how we contact you.

I'm currently preparing for York this weekend ( - we're stand 100 on the second mezzanine - but in the meantime:

The pasenger saloon is looking good, with most of the seats in:
Job done 11Jan2018.jpg
and much of the autocar looks finished, with the only gaps being the engine room roof:
There are bits underneath the solebar to complete, but the second cab desk has gone in and is being wired up:
Autocar Cab 2 desk in position 9Mar2018.jpg
It's still an open book as to when the date into service will be, but at the moment it's looking good for 2018. As ever, if you can help, do get in touch.

Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:33 pm
by 2392
All I can say is; Better and Better, Guys :wink: !