THE NER 1903 Autocar Trust won two prestigious prizes at the Heritage Railway Association’s 2019 Awards, which were held in central Birmingham on February 9. The team’s superb restoration of Autocar No. 3170 earned it the Rail Express-sponsored Modern Traction Award, plus the Manisty Award – one of the heritage rail industry’s most prestigious awards – which acknowledges an outstanding contribution to railway preservation.
The awards honour the restoration of No. 3170 NER from a discovered bodyshell back into full running order. The vehicle was the first to combine an internal combustion engine with a generator and traction motors, thus making it the forerunner of all modern trains and the grandfather of all DMUs. RE editor Paul Bickerdyke presented the modern traction award to the trust’s chairman Stephen Middleton, while guest of honour Pete Waterman presented the Manisty trophy.
New for 2019 was the Lord Faulkner Award for young volunteer of the year for those under the age of 26. The winner was Matthew Wilson of the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland.
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