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NER Autocar - restoration progress

Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:00 am
by Autocar Publicity
We have just had our web-site revamped, it went live in the early hours of this morning (thanks Rob). The text has been updated and some new photos added. There are sections on our objectives, progress, fundraising, membership and contact details. Membership forms can be downloaded and there are links to contact various members of the team. It did all work about an hour a half ago, if you find any problems, perhaps you could let us know!

The autocar fundraiser, in the GER Prince of Wales saloon at Bolton Abbey, is expected to be open on Saturday until around 14.00 and all day Sunday. It is the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway's Steam Gala this weekend, featuring 78019, a 2MT from the Great Central. Due to a couple of late failures, the timetable has had to be rewritten and we will now include a green 31 diesel to bolster the loco numbers. Trains will be passenger Mark 1s, Stephen Middleton's vintage set, and a mixed goods train (13 wagons + 2 brakevans).

Various members of the autocar team will be around, some of us with cameras! We are not in a position to sell lineside passes, though if you are a working member of another line or involved in working on the national network and can demonstrate you know track safety regulations, then we won't be as worried about your safety as we would with ordinary members of the public. If there is a working member or two going your way, they may agree to escort you along the lineside. Though most of my favourite locations are actually off the trackside and from fieldpaths...

Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Posted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:37 pm
by Bryan
I see that you have just had an addition to your stock in NER Autocoach 3453 arriving from the NYMR from long term residency at Levisham.

Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Posted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:01 pm
by Autocar Publicity
Yes, it came in Monday. We plan to put it next to the autocar at Bolton Abbey and organise a 'photoshoot' sometime for a future press release. One of the problems with writing the press releases is that due to print lead times, often the news is a bit out of date by the time most people get to read it. Posting on here and our web-site of course does get round that, and e-magazines such as the Railway Herald have carried pieces on the restoration within a few days of issue. But don't be suprised if it's a couple of months before you read about it in Heritage Railway...

At the moment the coach is partially protected from the elements by a tarpaulin (we are on the lookout either for another for the autocar or some kind person to loan or buy us one for the autocar for the coming winter). We may have to wait a while before getting the two vehicles together, there's quite a bit of 'stuff' in the back siding at Bolton Abbey and it may take a little while to organise a reshuffle...

Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 8:52 pm
by Greedy Boards
Hi Guys

excellent piece & photo by Ian Noble in the Northern Echo on Monday 5th October. I wish you well with the restoration, and with plans afoot for work on the J27, J21, G5 Project, and now the Autocar, things look very active on the North Eastern track.

Best wishes

Greedy Boards

Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Posted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 5:17 pm
by Autocar Publicity
Thanks GB.

BTW, we plan to configure the autocoach to be capable of running with the G5. Some (most??) of the time we'll want it partnered with the autocoach for the extra capacity it'd add (+ 56 to 48 I think) but it may well be that we can charter the autocoach out for galas or charters at certain times of the year. I'm not sure whether it would be able to work in full push-pull mode with the G5 though, the control equipment we'll fit for running with the autocar may not be compatible - I'm not sufficiently technically knowledgeable to offer a sensible opinion on that today.

Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Posted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 6:21 pm
by Autocar Publicity
We've made some [visible] progress recently, thanks to a kind person, both autocar and autocoach are now protected from the elements by tarpaulins, so whilst they are now next to each other at Bolton Abbey, there's not much of a view...

I took some photographs of a 7mm model of the autocar a few days ago and post a couple of pictures to give a rough idea what the finished project would look like in NER colours. (Before anyone says anything, yes, I know the model is of the 1904-08 version of the railcar and it was 1923 before the autocar would have had enough power to pull another vehicle...)

A big thankyou to Robin Taylor who scratchbuilt the model and to Keighley MRC for letting me use 'Ravensbeck' as a backdrop.
N 238 ER.jpg
N 258 ER.jpg

Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Posted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:03 am
by Autocar Publicity
Just a quick post re progress...

Planning is coming on apace and we now have a project manager, Steve Hoather, a Chartered Engineer with 35 years experience on BR and its successors. His experience is proving very useful to us and saving us quite a bit of time and money.

Thanks to Richard, our newsletters are now also available in a PDF format via e-mail, which gets the news to you a few days ahead of the post. Anyone wanting to change to this format should contact the editor or let us know when you join the Trust.

We are currently looking at the underframe. We have one coming from the North Norfolk, which they currently use as a crane runner. They are looking to replace this with something a bit shorter (and more manageable?) and a Warwell has been mentioned. Stephen hopes he has one lined up, but if this is not suitable, or the deal falls through, we'd be interested to hear of any others which we could have. I've been speaking to a couple of forum members about this, we thought we may have found one but it turned out to be a different model.

Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Posted: Thu May 13, 2010 8:31 pm
by Autocar Publicity
Re the underframe, current thinking is to use a Ferrywagon (40 foot) chassis. There's quite a few about at the moment and it's long enough to work as a crane runner and short enough to give the North Norfolk a bit of extra space in their siding.

We hope we've got the bogies sorted too. Unfortunately they won't be Fox models, but there was a serious problem in using those, so we've had to settle for using Southern Region EMU ones.

We are getting donations coming in - money is always welcome, but we are also interested in donations of books and railwayana for our fundraiser at the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Railway. The saloon is proving to be useful, both for 'spreading the word' and raising cash for the project, though we are struggling to staff it every weekend. Too many of us have too many [other] things to do!

If anyone's coming up to Yorkshire on holiday this summer, do drop by.

Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Posted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 5:57 pm
by Autocar Publicity
The latest newsletter is out, so time for an update for those who aren't members...

Since the last post, we've arranged for a GWR Macaw to be used for the crane runner, the NNR has agreed to release their underframe to us and we have a couple of bogies lined up to use.

Various individuals and organisations have donated money and/or materials to us, thanks are due to all of them. Whilst we are hoping that the Lottery heritage fund will write us a big cheque, we still need to find some money ourselves. One way of raising funds is through our shop at Bolton Abbey, if you can help, whether by donating items for sale or by staffing it for a few hours at weekends, then please get in touch.

Our AGM is scheduled for 14:00 Saturday 9th October at Embsay Station.

Those are the edited highlights, for the full story, including the latest instalment by Richard on how to build the Medley Models' 7mm kit, you're going to have to join us... :wink:

Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Posted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:27 pm
by Autocar Publicity
Archivist/Researcher Wanted

We'd quite like someone to sort out our material and do some digging for more. We have some original documents and material, but our collection is a bit patchy. As well as wanting to know more out of curiosity, we are conscious that there may be things which we ought to know to help us with the restoration. It would also help us with our educational programme - an important part of our Lottery application.

If you are interested, perhaps you could get in touch?

Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Posted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 9:31 pm
by Autocar Publicity
We are hoping that the underframe and motor bogie will be delivered in the next three weeks. Various other (smaller) bits and pieces are both arriving and being promised to us.

There is a Carriage Convention at Embsay on the 25/26th September, for those restoring and interested in vintage carriages. Both Stephen Middleton and myself will be about for most of the weekend and we hope to include the autocar project as part of the event.

I will be representing the Trust at the Leeds model railway exhibition on the 30/31st October ( with a stand next to my own (specialising in scenery). If any forum members visit, do make yourselves known and say hello.

Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Posted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 4:02 pm
by Rlangham
Thanks for the continued updates - i've been out of the loop a long while and good to see things cracking on, very exciting project. When payday comes around you may just get a new member :wink:

Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Posted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:10 am
by Autocar Publicity
You'll be most welcome. We're getting a few new members recently and with the weekend's carriage convention at Embsay, several of those attending were interested in the project.

Anyway, we now have our power bogie. It's an ex-BR Southern Region from a class 416. Originally the autocar was fitted with a Fox power bogie, however, none of these have survived. The Trust’s engineers examined a Fox heavy duty bogie at Beamish but decided that it could not be used. This bogie had longitudinal inside members and there was not enough space to fit motors between them. Enquiries about the feasibility of adapting the bogie or using different traction motors revealed that this would be technically posible, but cost a fortune and give us some unnecessary headaches. Apparently there is a Fox power bogie at the Stephenson Museum, but it's smaller than the type used under the autocar.

One advantage of using this ex-BR bogie is that it and its motors are compatible with modern diesel generators and control equipment. It received a major overhaul in 2003 and has seen little use since. Similar EE507 traction motors are still in service, so spares would be obtainable should they be needed. The other three bogies for both the autocar and its trailer will be authentic Fox lightweight ones – enough of these survived for us to secure some for the restoration.

Bogie unloading R (c) SM.jpg

Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Posted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:26 pm
by Rlangham
Just had my membership go through now.

Also, I asked Worsley Works if they're going to do a 2mm or N gauge version of the Autocar, and apparently they've just released a 2mm version (although it isn't on the site yet) - looking forward to picking one of those up as soon as it's available

Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Posted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 8:28 pm
by Autocar Publicity
Yes, Worsley Works are doing a kit for £11 plus £1.60 P&P - see the thread in the modelling section.

We had our AGM earlier today, a constructive session I think, as well as the usual reports and business, we examined the power bogie and other bits we have on site. One thing which struck me today with the reports, was just how much interest and support we are getting from engineers and railwaymen. This restoration may not be very 'sexy', but it fills an important part of transport and engineering history, and there are many non-members out there who are going out of their way to help us turn our plans into reality. Tom Rolt sometimes referred to a 'freemasonry of engineers and craftsmen' and I think we have been fortunate enough to benefit from that.