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Bristol Commercial Vehicles / Eastern Coach Works Railbus

Final Days

In September '64 the ScR General Manager's office wrote to the BRB Chief Operating Officer, advising that Sc79958 was under repair at Cowlairs work and required new wheel discs (as a result or normal wear and tear and tyre turnings). The problem was these had to come from Sweden, costing about £400 and wouldn't be available for six months from the date of ordering. The Works, considering that Sc79959 would also soon require them, had sought authority to purchase two sets which caused the ScR to examine their railbus position. With only four railbuses required in traffic and ten allocated to the region at the time, the Region felt that rather than do expensive repairs when they had plenty others available, they instead seeked authority to condemn Sc79958, and in turn Sc79959 when it became due for repair. In the meantime Sc79959 was reallocated from Perth to Aviemore on 19/10/64, covering for Sc79958, while the BRB tried to find other uses for the two vehicles as well as Wickham buses Sc79967/8 which it had declared surplus, including offering them to other Regions in particular the Southern Region who were now considering railbus schemes.

After the BRB Chief Engineer consulted with BCV, in Jan. '65 the ScR CM&EE was asked to work out the cost for turning down the existing SAB monobloc wheels and fitting a standard 3' tyre as fitted on DMUs. The ScR was not happy with this request, the General Manager's office replying "As this vehicle(s) will be surplus to our requirements in this Region whether or not it is fitted with tyres, do you not think it would be preferable for the costs in this case to be got out by Region which might be interested in acquiring the vehicle? I would think that they would prefer to do so, and perhaps you would comment before I take any further action in this matter."

In March '65 it was finally concluded that no other Regions were interested in the surplus cars, now totalling nine (two BCV, two Wickhams (the other had three already authorised for withdrawal), and five from WMD), and it was considered they could be withdrawn from stock for disposal, with formal approval to be sought from the Works & Equipment Committee.

The same month the ScR noted it's railbus use as: two vehicles on the Ayr/Kilmarnock route - a service which would be re-examined for withdrawal later in the year; one for Inverness / Aviemore via Carr Bridge - the service scheduled to be withdrawn on 3/5/65; and one working Aviemore / Craigellachie / Elgin - this service would be withdrawn in completion of a road bridge (possibly later that year) which would allow an alternative road service.

The BRB were still hesitant about withdrawing so many vehicles which were far from life expired, and at the end of March once again wrote to all Regions asking them to produce a report showing any potential uses for them, any operational problems they foresaw, and the number they could use, which produced no interest in the BCV cars.

Sc79959 was noted as being stored at Inverness Loco Depot in April '65 (but was not shown as re-allocated there from Aviemore until 12/65). The discussions over disposal were long, but their sale for disposal was quick, with an acknowledgment of their sale being sent to TW Ward (Sheffield) on the 29th September 1966, noting that they had acquired them at a price of £80. 0. 0d including delivery to Inverkeithing where they'd be cut up.

The paper date for their withdrawals was the 3rd October 1966 (also quoted as during the four week ending 8/10/66), Sc79958 on paper from Aviemore (it was still at Cowlairs Works) and Sc79959 from Inverness, and they are believed to both have been delivered to Inverkeithing that month for cutting.

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