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AC Cars Railbus


Scottish Services Begin

On the 15th September '58, the start of the winter timetable, Sc79979 commenced operations between Gleneagles, Crieff and Comrie, providing a more frequent service of nine trains each way between Gleneagles and Crieff, with three extended to and from Comrie. Previously there were seven steam services, of which only two extended to Comrie. Some of the connections at Gleneagles were still very bad, with up to a 30min wait for passengers travelling to/from Glasgow. The vehicle was stationed at Crieff, and manned by Crieff drivers and guards. It was stabled at Perth on a Sunday, working a 21:00 SO from Crieff.

The fitting of the folding steps allowed stops to be made at local crossings etc. New halts were opened at Strageath (one mile north of Muthill) and Pettenzie (700 yards east of Crieff) level crossings. No platforms were needed, but a dry standing area was provided formed of several cement slabs.

Issuing tickets on railbus A pram being loading into a railbus

Four pictures from the busy first day - 15/9/58. In the first image Guard Tom Blair is issuing tickets. The ticket machine was similar to that used by bus conductors. Using this he could issue tickets for the Branch and Gleneagles stations, and he could also handwrite through tickets to destinations such as Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Perth etc.

Driver ar Crieff Boarding at Strageath Crossing

The second images shows a pram being loaded at Pittenzie Halt, the lack of platform obviously causing extra work for the staff. Driver Charlie Robertson while at Crieff. The last image shows a young passenger climbing aboard at Strageath Crossing.

The services brought in a marked increase in traffic despite the fact that the connections at Gleneagles with main-line expresses were not too good.

ac-cars-railbus-1466809077

In this image Sc79979 is seen leaving Pittenzie Halt on the 11th October 1958.

Gleneagles handbill 1959

An early assessment of figures in December '58 showed that the Gleneagles - Crieff - Comrie service along with the Aviemore - Craigellachie - Elgin service receipts were up dramatically, £116 in September compared with £57 the year before, an increase of 104%, and in October there was a 233% increase, takings being £90 over the previous year's £27. The full report can be read here.

The handbill is for the Gleneagles - Crieff - Comrie service for the period beginning 15th June '59. By this time Sc79979 had moved on to another line, but this AC Cars line drawing was common on many ScR railbus handbills and posters at the time.

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