Bubble car arrives at Shildon

Locomotion: The National Railway Museum at Shildon has this week welcomed two new vehicles to the display.

 British Rail Class 122 E55012 has recently been restored at Rail Restorations North East, Shildon, and is one of only seven surviving examples of the class.

 The British Rail Class 122 diesel mechanical multiple units – known as “Bubble Cars” – were built by Gloucester RC&W in 1958. In total, 20 of these vehicles were built, and were supplemented by ten trailer vehicles.

 The Class 122s were built mainly for use on the London Midland region of British Rail, although some were also used in Scotland. They found work on a variety of lightly used lines, many of which were closed during the Beeching Axe in the 1960s. 

 After being withdrawn from passenger service, E55012 worked from Thornaby TMD, where it was used as a routelearner for Loadhaul and then EWS.

 The vehicle has now been carefully restored, with features such as Durham Oak interior end panels keeping as true to the original as possible. In addition, it has been modernised to run safely on today’s railways.

 A Tarmac Sentinel 0-4-0 diesel shunter is also now on display at the museum.

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