Wirksworth: Help needed to bring train back to life

Restoration team at Ecclesbourne Valley Railway is appealing for help to restore old train (pictured behind). Pictured is Joe Marsden and Leigh Gration.
Restoration team at Ecclesbourne Valley Railway is appealing for help to restore old train (pictured behind). Pictured is Joe Marsden and Leigh Gration.

A community railway is appealing for your help to restore a unique train to its former glory.

The team at Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, in Wirksworth, has revealed plans to restore the Network Rail Class 121 single car DMU 977975 .

Martin Miller, general manager at Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, said: “There is no time scale for the project, but raising money to buy the components will significantly speed up the process.

“We have the skills and expertise to undertake such a task and will be grateful for the public’s support.”

The railcar was affectionately known as a ‘bubble car’ and spent many years operating passenger services for British Railways before being converted into a special rescue train for Network Rail.

The train was fully equipped to respond to a major emergency in the Severn Tunnel and represents an unusual example of this type of vehicle.

The railway’s restoration team aims to refurbish the vehicle with some modifications to enable it to be used by the permanent way team who look after the nine miles of track that runs through the Ecclesbourne Valley.

Unfortunately a large number of the train’s components have been stripped from it, making the restoration a difficult and expensive project.

The restoration team is now appealing for members of the public to make a contribution to the vehicle in the form of sponsoring a component.

Details of the appeal can be found on the railway’s website at www.e-v-r.com/bubbleappeal

The team won the prestigious accolade of Railway of the Year Award 2014 after restoring a 119 diesel multiple unit (DMU) to its original 1960s condition.