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AC Cars Railbus


The Final Month

ac-cars-railbus crossing Forth

Left: An unknown AC Cars vehicle (probably W79977) crosses the "other" Forth Bridge on 20th January 1968, only a few days before withdrawal. W.S. Sellar.

ac-cars-railbus-1466808184 ac-cars-railbus-1466808335

Two views on 27/1/68 of W79977 - first at Thorsk, and then between Alloa Jct and Airth. Both W.S. Sellar.

On the 9th January 1968 the ScR General Manager wrote two letters concerning railbuses, the first to the Chief Operating Officer, BRB:

Diesel Rail Bus 79976
The above is is surplus to requirements and I shall be glad to have your authority for condemnation. I would also like authority to condemn the remaining three Rail Buses - 79971, 79977 and 79978, which will be surplus as from Monday, 29th January, 1968, following the withdrawal of the Grangemouth / Falkirk Grahamston Passenger Services.

The second letter was to the Chief Officer (Special Duties) at the BRB:

RESHAPING OF BRITISH RAILWAYS; PROPOSED WITHDRAWAL OF PASSENGER SERVICES BETWEEN FALKIRK GRAHAMSTON AND GRANGEMOUTH
The withdrawal of the local passenger services between Grangemouth and Falkirk Grahamston from 29th January, 1968, will result in the saving of two diesel rail buses, which it is proposed should be condemned.

The replies accepted the proposals, the vehicles are listed as being withdrawn on 3/2/68 Grangemouth (79977/78) and Ayr (79976).

ac-cars-railbus 79978

Right: The final day - 29th January 1968, and W79978 waits in Grangemouth station, and it would be the last railbus to operate in BR service. If this caption is indeed correct, the vehicle survived with its whiskers to the end and never received yellow panels. Hamish Stevenson Collection.

And so ended British Railway's venture into railbuses, with AC Car vehicles being the first delivered and the last to remain in traffic. They could be viewed as one of the more successful types of the five, thanks to the use of standard AEC engines and other control equipment.

ac-cars railbus at Craigentinny

W79975 was dismantled by T.W. Ward at Inverkeithing in August 1968. W79976 was noted outside Ayr in April '68 without it's engine, it found it's way into preservation. W79977 was cut up by R.B. Hepburn at Millerhill in April 1969. W79978 entered preservation. Sc79979 was noted lying at Craigentinny in June '58 still with it's wheels, it was later grounded there being used as a hut. The bodyshell survived into preservation.

The final images shows Sc79979 at Craigentinny, now a grounded body. A.A. McLean .

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