Status: Launch into traffic on 14th October 2012
Location: Wansford or in service
1212 On relaunch day at Wansford. © Pete Murry (PM Images)2012
1212 was built for the Swedish State Railways (SJ) in 1958 by Eksjoverken.
The vehicle has a very unusual appearance, being one of the widest vehicles ever to have run in the UK. With the near ground level loading there is no room underneath for the engine. It is therefore found in one of the driver’s cabs and passengers have to walk past it to enter the saloon!
378 driving vehicles of this type as well as 321 trailers were built between 1953 and 1961. Up to 8 vehicles could be coupled together and driven from one cab, though there are no plans to get another vehicle at the NVR yet! With a top speed of 78mph our vehicle ran 1,996,000km in service: The equivalent to travelling to the moon and back over 2 ½ times.
She moved to the NVR for preservation in 1984 and operated on the line until her owner passed away in 1989. Following the sale to the Bygone Village, Fleggburgh, Great Yarmouth, she spent the next 14 years undercover alongside Swedish tank engine no 1928.
When this shut down in 2003/4 the collection was sold on and the railbus ended up as an undercover picnic area on Tweddle Animal Farm, Hartlepool.
In January 2011 it was purchased by its new owners and restoration began.
1212 was relaunched back into traffic in October 2012 after a fast track restoration. Indeed in the final week of restoration over 400 man hours were put in. Because of this she won The Railcar Association's Railcar of the Year Award in Jan 2013. For details on her restoration, the award and her work since see the update below (with the most recent first).
Following 3 months of work, the engine was started for the first time in 22 years in April 2011:
Pump Trolley experiences and hire are run by volunteers from The Night Mail Group at The Nene Valley Railway. All funds raised are used to support the restoration of our historic railway vehicles and the developement of The Night Mail Museum at Ferry Meadows Station.