Main Line Xtra

ADB975397 – Test Car 2

An interesting project is currently taking place at GCR, where an important vehicle used in railway testing is being restored...

Test Car 2 was originally built at Wolverton in 1962 as Mk 1 Brake Second Corridor (BSK) number 35386 as part of Lot 30699 and fitted with Commonwealth bogies.

Class 47 47221 with Test Car 2 during slip/brake testing on the East Coast Main Line north of York on 30th June 1985. Image (c) Dave Bower.

The coach was temporarily adapted for use by the Department of Mechanical & Electrical Engineers (DM&EE) as a test car in 1974, and renumbered ADB975397. This was after the previous Test Car 2, DE320041 was irreparably damaged after a failed slip/brake test. The new Test Car 2 received further modifications in 1976 including changes to the interior layout and installation of a generator.

Between 1974 and 2006 Test Car 2, based at the Railway Technical Centre in Derby was mostly used for Slip/Brake testing of vehicles on the WCML between Crewe & Winsford. On occasions, Slip/Brake testing was also carried out on the ECML north of York, most notably a Mk 3 coach in 1985. Testing was required to verify the braking characteristics of new vehicles and the best way to do this was to slip them and allow them to brake on their own without influence from any other vehicle.

Test Car 2 in Serco livery prior to restoration at Quorn & Woodhouse. Image (c) Dave Bower.

When not in use for Slip/Brake tests, the coach was often seen coupled with Test Car 1 to provide additional braking effort when carrying out vehicle ride testing at higher speeds.

In 1994 an unusually large amount of instrumentation was installed when Test Car 2 was used as the main test coach for the pantograph and traction performance testing of Class 92 locomotives. The Class 92 tests included four days of operations between the Dollands Moor freight yard, through the Channel Tunnel to the Fréthun freight yard near Calais.

When British Rail was privatised, Serco Railtest took over the role of testing vehicles until slip testing paths became difficult to arrange and Test Car 2 was retired to the Old Dalby Test Track in 2011.

In 2016 Test Car 2 was lined up for disposal and saved by a GCR volunteer. It was moved to the GCR and now falls under the care of the Quorn Wagon Group who are currently in the process of restoring the vehicle to its BR testing glory.

Test Car 2 at Quorn with newly applied livery in late June 2019. Image (c) Dave Bower.

With thanks to Matt Baker and Dave Bower for providing the information and images for this article.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crossing the Canal appeal reaches £376,000

We're delighted to report that the Crossing the Canal appeal total has now reached £376,000! 

Meanwhile on the bridge itself, work has been continuing inside the protective sheeting which surrounds the scaffolding and the bridge.

The entire top section has been grit blasted and painted in the protective coating as shown in the photograph, and the top flange plate of the east girder has been replaced. The west girder top flange and ballast retention plates are to receive attention in the coming weeks.

With the structure revealed following grit blasting, an inspection has been undertaken to determine the condition of the bridge in greater detail, and a report is being prepared to allow the project to continue to the next stage.

We're very grateful for your tremendous support and look forward to bringing more news soon.

For the latest news on the project, and to donate to the appeal, please visit www.gcrailway.co.uk/unify

Canal Bridge Latest News – 18th January 2019

With the canal bridge parapet repairs underway off site, it won’t be too much longer before work begins on the rest of the structure.

Before it can, it will be encased in a cloak of scaffolding. A site visit this week by our engineers saw detailed measurements taken so the temporary structure can be designed.

We are working with Canal and River Trust to make arrangements for the work to take place in a safe and efficient fashion, with as little disruption to canal users as possible. Further details will be published as soon as they are confirmed.

To achieve the necessary clearances, and protect the workforce, boaters and walkers on the tow path will be quite a challenge.

We are grateful to the Canal and River Trust and would like to thank them for their support.

For the latest news on the project, and to donate, please see www.gcrailway.co.uk/unify

 

 

Canal Bridge – Work begins on-site!

We're delighted to report that work has begun on the Canal Bridge at Loughborough in a major step forward for our Bridging the Gap project.

A large crane has been on-site this morning to lift clear the distinctive lattice parapets from the 120 year-old bridge in preparation for these to be restored off-site by a specialist contractor.

A large lorry was skilfully manoeuvred to the site directly behind our Loughborough Locomotive Works, ready to receive the two lattice parapets (each weighing almost 8 tons), which will both be divided into two sections for the journey to Wales for restoration.

We are extremely grateful for the support received from the public, with over £300,000 now raised towards our Crossing the Canal appeal towards the £475,000 total required for this part of the project.

The canal bridge is a crucial stage of our project to link the two halves of the Great Central Railway to create an 18-mile heritage line.

A short distance further north, our new bridge across the Midland Main Line is now completed as the project continues to take strides forward.

For the latest news on this exciting project, please see www.gcrailway.co.uk/unify

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crossing the Canal – Appeal total passes £300,000

We're delighted to report that the Crossing the Canal appeal total has now exceeded the £300,000 mark.

GCR is continuing to work with contractors as the start of works on site approaches, and we will bring further news on the timetable of works as soon as the details are available.

We are very grateful for your tremendous support so far.

For the latest news on the project and to donate, please see www.gcrailway.co.uk/unify

 

 

 

 

Infrastructure improvements works at Rothley

Following the very popular Last Hurrah of the Season event, an opportunity has been taken for some infrastructure improvement works to take place before our Santa services begin.

GCR has been delighted to host a training and experience exercise this week where contractors have completed the "plain lining" of the carriage siding on the Down (west) side of the line. This siding is now disconnected from the main line and will be reconnected as part of improvements to the track layout at Rothley in the future. The vehicles remaining within the siding have been carefully selected as those which are not in the short-term restoration queue and will not require to be moved until after the siding is connected.

A road-rail vehicle in action as part of improvement works at Rothley. Photo: Graham Wignall.

The work is an example of how GCR works with the railway industry to achieve a mutual goals of achieving infrastructure improvements while also providing valuable training for industry professionals.

Bill Ford. Leader and legend. 1937-2018.

 

The very sad news of Bill Ford's passing on Sunday has no doubt already reached so many of our friends and supporters.

Bill was instrumental in the Railway's development from the earliest days of preservation.

He will be greatly missed by the whole GCR family.

Crossing the Canal – Appeal total passes £250,000

We're delighted to announce that the Crossing the Canal appeal to raise funds to repair the canal bridge north of our locomotive works at Loughborough has passed the £250,000 mark.

Your support for the project continues to be tremendous, and we are making major strides towards commencing work before too long.

For the very latest news on the Crossing the Canal appeal, please visit the appeal website at www.gcrailway.co.uk/unify

National Railway Museum broadcast

We were very pleased to welcome a film crew from the National Railway Museum at our End of Steam event on 11th August.

They filmed a live 54-minute Facebook broadcast from GCR which included significant footage from the footplate of 70013 "Oliver Cromwell, which is owned by the NRM, and some detailed background on the original 1968 event.

We have been informed by NRM that the film has been watched more than 33,000 times now and has potentially reached more than 120,000 people, making this one of their most popular posts ever. These figures do not include the additional audience of people reached through other posts and on Twitter, which would increase the numbers further. All-in-all some very valuable publicity for our railway.

A link to the film and the blog is shown below for those users who do not have Facebook:
https://blog.railwaymuseum.org.uk/fifteen-guineas-the-price-of-progress 

 

 

Crossing the Canal – Appeal news

As reported in Main Line magazine (ML175), the Crossing the Canal appeal has now passed the £130,000 mark and donations continue to arrive as we make good progress towards the original £475,000 target of the appeal.

Further inspection of the canal bridge in recent times has revealed that the amount of work required is likely to require the bridge to be lifted out to allow the repairs to take place on "dry land". This will provide the opportunity to more easily inspect and if necessary make any repairs to the bridge abutments.

Chairman of Friends of the Great Central Main Line Andy Fillingham noted in Main Line that this work to the canal bridge would require the area to the west of, and behind the locomotive shed to be cleared, and that work to clear those areas must be completed by the end of August 2018. "Work has already commenced to identify the owners of everything (some of it long forgotten!) in those areas and arrange for it to be moved to an agreed place, removed from GCR, or disposed of. So if you own anything in these areas, please us know asap!"

Returning to the canal bridge, a national leaflet drop is taking place in the national heritage media asking enthusiasts to commit to donating to the appeal by monthly standing order. We're asking people to give £12 a month, or approximately £3 (the price of a fancy coffee) a week.

65,000 leaflets are being circulated.

For the latest news on the appeal, please see our dedicated Crossing the Canal web pages at www.gcrailway.co.uk/unify 

We're very grateful for the tremendous support received so far!

Our next running day

This weekend
Two steam locomotives, one diesel loco, and our Diesel Railcar are due to be in action this weekend.

Steam locomotive (selection to be confirmed). Steam locomotive (selection to be confirmed).
Brush Type 4 1705 "Sparrowhawk". Metro Cammell Diesel Railcar.

Click here for more information





Subscribe to our newsletter

Make a donation

To make a donation to our supporting charity click the Donate button below

Donate to the Charity

Main Line Xtra

If you are a Friend of the Great Central Railway, you can access Main Line Xtra which provides additional news, special offers and features. To access Main Line Xtra click here

Want to become a Friend? Join now by clicking here

Special Events

This is a selection of our special events, to see the full list, click here

Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence 2016

Visit England Quality Assured Attraction