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Petrol Electric Autocar No. 3170

Discussion in 'Diesel & Electric Traction' started by Autocar, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. Autocar

    Autocar New Member

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    The following is a recent press release from the 1903 Electric Autocar Trust. I would welcome discussion of the project as well as offers of support whether financial or hands on, although in these early stages hands on work is focused on management of the project rather than active restoration pending final approval for lottery funding.

    In the next few weeks we hope to launch a incentive scheme for donators.
    Note due to safety considerations we plan to install a modern diesel engine for operating the autocar but mock up one of the petrol engines for education purposes.


    NER Autocar – Urgent Appeal

    As previously reported in the press, there are plans to restore No. 3170, the surviving NER petrol electric autocar. This was the first non-steam powered railcar in the world and the ‘great grand-father’ of today’s passenger trains. The Trust responsible for this project has made significant progress at the planning stage and is now launching a formal appeal for funds. Their aim is to raise £25,000 in the next six months.

    Whilst the Trust has passed phase 1 for a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to cover much of the cost of restoration, they still need to raise balance funding and finance initial expenses. The first of these is the engineering drawings the Trust intends commissioning. These will provide a detailed assessment of the technical aspects of the restoration and establish that the project is practical. The assessment will also provide a full breakdown of costs for the mechanical and electrical elements of the restoration, firm quotes for the necessary materials and work, a timescale and critical path. Together with Railway Inspectorate approval, these will all be required before active restoration of the autocar and its trailer autocoach can begin.

    The urgency is due to the timescale of the project, as the Trust has until December 2010 to submit detailed plans to HLF and raise the balance of funds. Whilst HLF has been supportive of the project, failure to raise matching funds for any grant they may award would result in the application being rejected automatically.

    The Trust would welcome any donations readers can offer, either from cheques or postal orders or by setting up a standing order or Direct Debit. For donations, further information and membership applications, please write to NER 1903 Electric Autocar Trust, Orana, Bells Folly, Potters Bank, Durham or visit http://www.electricautocar.co.uk


    Issued 19-05-2009
     
  2. Autocar

    Autocar New Member

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    Incentive scheme

    As promised details of the incentive scheme to hopefully relieve you of your hard earned cash.

    All your donations will be logged and and as you reach the various targets your rewards will be triggered. Please send your cheque or request for a standing order mandate form to: Ben Duncan, Orana, Bells Folly, Potters Bank, Durham, DH1 3RR.

    I realise there is a lot of competition for funds at the moment but hope you can support a uniquely historic artefact. Remember this was the world’s first use of an internal combustion engine in a passenger carrying rail vehicle.
    As well as providing a suitable economic service on branch lines such as Embsay, Weardale etc the autocar will surly provide an interesting comparison with the steam railmotor under restoration at Didcot (note the autocar is actually 5 years younger) and unofficially I have a personal hope that the trailer coach would meet up with the new G5 at some point.

    Anyway on with the rewards:

    Contributions of £20 or more
    >Bronze certificate acknowledging the donor’s gift.

    £50 or more
    >Silver certificate
    >Free membership of the Trust for a year, with its associated benefits, including regular newsletters and invitation to 'meet the autocar' days, during which you will have the chance to view progress on the restoration of No. 3170.

    £150 or more
    >Gold certificate
    >Free membership of the Trust for a year
    >Ticket for two on a Stately Trains strawberry special at the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway. Running on selected summer Saturday evenings you will be served strawberries and cream during a steam-hauled journey in award winning Victorian carriages (please see www.embsayboltonabbeyrailway.org.uk/vintaget.html for further information).

    £300 or more
    >Gold certificate
    >Free membership of the Trust for a year
    >Ticket for two on a Stately Trains strawberry special
    >Invitation to be one of the first to ride behind the completed autocar* during a special donators' day.

    £500 or more
    >Gold certificate
    >Life membership of the Trust
    >Ticket for two on a Stately Trains strawberry special
    >Invitation to be one of the first to ride behind the completed autocar*
    >Behind the scenes guided tour of Beamish Museum for two people and free access to the Museum for the day; or a guided tour of Stately Trains restored Victorian carriages by the owner Stephen Middleton.

    £1,000 or more
    >Gold certificate
    >Life membership of the Trust
    >Ticket for two on a Stately Trains strawberry special
    >Invitation to be one of the first to ride behind the completed autocar*
    >Behind the scenes guided tour of Beamish Museum for two people and free access to the Museum for the day; or a guided tour of Stately Trains restored Victorian carriages by the owner Stephen Middleton.
    >Exclusive use for you and up to five other people of one of Stately Trains' Vintage Directors' saloons, which will be attached to a normal service train at the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway. During the day two return journeys of the line will be completed, during which you will be served champagne and a light buffet.

    £1,500 or more
    >Gold certificate
    >Life membership of the Trust
    >Ticket for two on a Stately Trains strawberry special
    >Invitation to be one of the first to ride behind the completed autocar*
    >Behind the scenes guided tour of Beamish Museum for two people and free access to the Museum for the day; or a guided tour of Stately Trains restored Victorian carriages by the owner Stephen Middleton.
    >Exclusive use for you and up to five other people of one of Stately Trains' Vintage Directors' saloons, which will be attached to a normal service train at the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway. During the day two return journeys of the line will be completed, during which you will be served champagne and a light buffet.
    >A days experience on a replica of the oldest surviving railway locomotive in the world! Help prepare Beamish’s stunning replica of Puffing Billy, the original dating from 1813, for a days work on the Beamish waggonway. Clean the tubes, light the fire and raise steam pressure before driving and firing the engine under tuition from Beamish’s skilled staff. You can even wear authentic 1820s costume, which we will provide. At the end of the day you will dispose of the engine and return it to the shed, completing a unique 19th century shift in the 21st century. (Preparation and disposal activities and period costume are optional! Two guests will also get free access to the museum to witness your experience).
    >In addition your name (or a name of your choice, if a gift) will be recorded on a plaque to be placed in the autocar, in recognition of your contribution.

    *******

    Please note:

    * It is the intention of the trust to restore No. 3170 to operate as an autocar under it’s own power. However, should funds not be sufficient or other circumstances occur which prevent this, it is our intention to restore the vehicle as a non-powered coach.

    We would also welcome regular monthly donations by direct debit. When the sum total of your contributions reaches the appropriate thresholds above, the corresponding benefits will be triggered. (Only one reward of each time will be issued, i.e. one certificate)
     
  3. Rlangham

    Rlangham Well-Known Member

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    Been interested in this project since I first heard of it - i'm unable to support it myself, but look forward to its completion
     
  4. Autocar

    Autocar New Member

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    Thanks for your interest Rlangham. I hope more people are interested but are just staying quiet - I am starting to worry that this project will fall into a gap between steam enthusiasts, who aren't interested in other forms of traction, and diesel enthusiasts, who are not interested in vehicles from this early period.

    Anyway we persevere and thanks to those who have already donated.

    We have launched a new website with thanks to Rob Shaw. Please take a look if you have time www.electricautocar.co.uk

    Thanks
    Ben
     
  5. paullad1984

    paullad1984 Member

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    Ive been following the story on this vehicle for a while now, hope everything goes well, and i hope one day it comes to visit us at the eden valley, though i dont think it ran over it in service?
     
  6. dace83

    dace83 Well-Known Member

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    I look over the fact it is petrol (now diesel) and love to see an old piece of rolling stock working again instead of being firewood for the evening. A bit of history (and an important bit at that) being saved.
    It could be nuclear powered for all I care!

    I hope I can contribute to a few projects in the future
     
  7. Autocar

    Autocar New Member

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    Hi, thanks for you interest.
    No as far as we know the autocar never ran over the Eden Valley.
    It worked between West Hartlepool and Hartlepool; Scarborough and Filey; Selby and Cawood; and around Harrogate.
    However, yes the plan is for the autocar to visit various preserved lines and museums so if the Eden Valley are interested I would love to see it there for a stint. Now just to find the funding....
     
  8. Muppet

    Muppet Member

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    Trailer car has now arrived on the Railway. Should be at Bolton Abbey at the moment, but awaiting a shunt to put it beside the petrol electric.
     
  9. Autocar

    Autocar New Member

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    Just an update on current progress:

    1) Both Autocar and autocoach are sheeted over (courtesy of a kind donation by a member) next to each other at Bolton Abbey Station to protect them from the elements.

    2) 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.

    3) To satisfy a request from an overseas member the Autocar News will be available, to members only, in pdf format on request.

    4) We have now launched an appeal for to purchase an underframe – but not the one we plan to use for the Autocar - bear with me on this!

    An ideal underframe for the Autocar has been located at the North Norfolk Railway where it is in use as a crane runner. The NNR have kindly agreed to swap this underframe with us for another suitable (shorter!) crane runner.

    Hence we are asking for more money!
    Purchase of a Warwell wagon to swap for the NNR underframe, transport of the wagon to the NNR and the underframe to Embsay will cost at least £6,000. Purchase of the underframe will be a major boost to our project and an achievable first target.
    All contributions will count towards our ‘rewards’ scheme notified above.

    Finally, and not yet officially announced, I will be stepping down from my role as treasurer due to ill health. However, I hope to continue to be actively involved in the project and will keep you all up to date (as well as hopefully bleeding your wallets dry!)
     
  10. Rlangham

    Rlangham Well-Known Member

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    In case anyone wasn't aware, you can become a member of the project for £12 a year or £30 for three years - mine went off this evening, very worthy cause
     
  11. Muppet

    Muppet Member

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    Congratulations on the HLF success, guys! Well done to all those involved!

    http://www.embsayboltonabbeyrailway.org.uk/news.html

    ‘Grandfather of modern trains’ to be restored thanks to Heritage Lottery Fund
    The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded a grant of £465,800 to restore the world’s first electric Autocar and accompanying 1904 ‘autocoach’.

    As the first train to be powered by a petrol electric engine, the York built 1903 ‘autocar’ is the forerunner of today’s modern trains. The four-year volunteer-led project, to be run by the NER 1903 Electric Autocar Trust, will see the train and accompanying autocoach restored and brought to life for use on heritage railways in the Craven area, North Yorkshire and the North East. When complete, the train will carry passengers again for the first time in over 80 years.

    The works will start shortly at Embsay, near Skipton, and will see the body restored, and a new engine, generator, controls and brakes fitted. There will be lots of exciting opportunities for volunteers to get involved, in particular for people with electrical, pipe fitting, welding, painting and woodworking skills keen to experience working in the heritage sector. The train, when finished, will be fully accessible to all, and equipped with the latest audio visual techniques will act as a ‘mobile classroom’ for schools and community groups so they can learn all about the development of rail transport from steam travel, to present day.

    Fiona Spiers, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund for Yorkshire and the Humber said:
    ‘This project to restore the predecessor to modern rail transport is fascinating. Not only will it preserve a precious relic from our industrial past, it will also provide many opportunities to get involved and develop skills as part of the restoration, which is great news for people in the area.’

    Stephen Middleton, Harrogate coach restorer and NER 1903 Electric Autocar Trust Chairman, originally bought the autocar body from a landowner who had used it as a holiday home since 1930. He said:
    ‘We are delighted that the HLF has recognised the importance of this train and our restoration and educational plans. This, with smaller grants from the Ken Hoole Trust and PRISM (The Fund for the PReservation of Industrial and Scientific Material) has given us the boost we need to complete the project within an ambitious timetable.’
     
  12. guard_jamie

    guard_jamie Part of the furniture

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    Tremendous news! This will fill an important gap. I look forward to seeing it operate alongside the Railmotor, GWR No.22, a first generation DMU and something a bit more modern. Ultimate MU gala anyone?
     
  13. Stewie Griffin

    Stewie Griffin Member

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    Excellent news, well done to all involved.
     
  14. Christopher125

    Christopher125 Part of the furniture

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    Brilliant, its great that the HLF are supporting such an important project.
     
  15. dace83

    dace83 Well-Known Member

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  16. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Having seen the quality of work in Stephen's other restorations I'm sure this one is going to be another cracker.
     
  17. Muppet

    Muppet Member

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    Just a quick update on here:

    The trailer car is well advanced in its restoration with new external panelling going on top of the repaired body framwork. The autocar itself is almost as far on as it can be, given that it needs to be lifted off its temporary chassis and onto the final one. Obviously, it will flex a little during this operation, so it is not completely re-planked or glazed as yet.

    The final chassis has now been modified to accept the motor bogie, and was shunted out of the shed following this work yesterday, ready to head off. Its next destination is Loughborough where the new engine awaits and more work is planned.
     
  18. paullad1984

    paullad1984 Member

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    what engine is being used, just out of interest?
     
  19. Muppet

    Muppet Member

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    "Our diesel engine was delivered in November from the Cummins Darlington plant" - from the previous newsletter, via the website:
    Home | 1903 Electric Autocar Trust
    It has been designed and built especially for this project.
     
  20. paullad1984

    paullad1984 Member

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