Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Streamlined Diesel Railbus

AW No. D15

A twin bogie diesel electric railcar, powered by an Armstrong-Saurer 6BLD 140 hp engine and Laurence Scott and Electromotors electrical equipment. The body was designed by Armstrong Whitworth but was fabricated by Park Royal Coachworks Ltd, London and delivered to Scotswood for fitting.

The caption from a period publicity brochure describes this as the Armstrong Whitworth Streamlined Light Weight Oil Engined Railbus. It is powered by either a 110 or 140hp Armstrong-Saurer engine and can hold 57 passengers and their luggage. If no luggage compartment was fitted then the seating capacity was for 71 passengers. The railbus is seen here at Kings Cross.

The railbus trialled on the LNER in the Tyneside area during the summer of 1933. The passenger compartment suffered from excessive engine noise, a wooden box structure and soundproofing material were added to address the problem, but the soundproofing material caught fire on a Newcastle - Carlisle working. On July 30th 1933 the railbus ran from Newcastle to Kings Cross, it spent several days working between London & Hertford before returning to Newcastle. In both directions 35 gallons of fuel were used, fuel consumption was 7.65mpg.

From September 25th 1933 the railbus worked in the Newcastle area on the western branches. It later included trips to Blackhill, Hexham and Morpeth. The LNER acquired the railbus on June 28th 1934 for GBP2,500 and renumbered to No.294. Other routes would include Scarborough and Hull - York - Selby - Pontefract service. The railbus was scrapped at Darlington during 1939.

This railcar was the basis for similar machines sent to the Kalka-Simla & Great Indian Peninsula Railways.

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