‘Superb’ 1903 NER autocar wins two HRA awards

RESTORATION of the unique North Eastern Railway 1903 autocar No. 3170 has won two major Heritage Railway Association awards.

The painstaking work by the NER 1903 Electric Autocar Trust, led by Stephen Middleton, to restore what was once a holiday home to a fully serviceable rail vehicle led a panel of HRA judges to award the autocar the Manisty Award for Excellence.

North Eastern electric autocar No. 3170 at Embsay on October 19, 2018. PAUL BICKERDYKE

This prestigious award is only given on an occasional basis to an exceptional and outstanding contribution to railway preservation.

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In the view of the judging panel, it was viewed as an impossible engineering project.

However, the combination of the wooden bodywork restoration together with up-cycled components from HSTs, 08s, an ex-Southern Region EMU and other locomotives has kept the design true to the original concept while embracing technology unavailable – such as a diesel power unit – when built 116 years ago.

Read more in the January 2019 issue of The RM – on sale now!

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Sam Hewitt

Let off some steam...