Departmentals, Test Trains & Internal Users - QXX DB 975081 - Structure Gauging Train Driving & Instrumentation coach. Formerly Laboratory 17 "Hermes"

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QXX DB 975081 - Structure Gauging Train Driving & Instrumentation coach. Formerly Laboratory 17 "Hermes"

Numbering

Current number:
975081
Any other previous number(s):
BR coach 35313

Photos

Details

Stored OOU at York Klondyke sidings by 2/17

Livery:
YELLOW / BLACK

Comments

The following comments have been left on photos of this vehicle. To reply, just visit one of the photos.

  • 975081

    8 July 2006 - Jack Deeth

    Would I be right in thinking this is a 4TC DTS conversion?

  • 975081

    6 October 2006 - michael costar

    No, this is a former MK1 BSK that was converted in the style of a 1963 southern region emu.

  • 977985, DC 460000 & 975081

    31 December 2006 - ian saunders

    what is the colour scheme of this set of vehicles ?

  • 977985, DC 460000 & 975081

    31 December 2006 - Sam Burke

    yellow + black

  • 977985, DC 460000 & 975081

    31 December 2006 - SD0853

    The Black paint is light absorbing black, this is to prevent any reflection from the light beam located within.

  • 975081

    25 March 2007 - Mr G A Woodward MIET IENG

    Dear Sir or Madam,

    This could be the hermes that I worked on in Swindon works in 1978, but it could also be the other one that I wrote about?

    Thank you Graham Woodward

  • 975081

    25 March 2007 - SD0853

    Quite correct, this is the legendary "HERMES"

    RDB975422 "PROMETHEUS" was the other 1978 swindon works conversion.

  • 975081

    26 March 2007 - Ben Williams

    Graham also asked about 975091 Mentor - does anyone know where this was converted and when?

    thanks.

  • 975081

    26 March 2007 - Mr G A Woodward MIET IENG

    Dear Ben Williams,

    Many thanks for coming back to me, as Hermes could have been one of two possibles on the web site.

    I now know that the one shown in your photograph above is the correct one. I can't recall Prometheus, and I get the feeling that it would have been a later mod. I left the works in 1979.

    I did get my dates a bit wrong, as I left the Swindon works training school as an apprentice vehicle builder in 1972, and so I must have done a lot of work on Mentor 975091 in 1973. I apologise for the error.

    Actually Hermes was in the 19 shop at Swindon at the same time as Mentor, and I did a little bit of work on it. I worked on mentor for about a year i.e. all of 1973, and worked like a trojan, i.e. young and very, very keen. I must have been a star apprentice.

    I recall going down the con yard as it was called at Swindon, along with the two mates that they had put me with to pick up the pantograph, that had been dropped at the siding.

    We manhandled on to a flat bed truck, and then took it in the workshop.

    The fitter had marked out the possition on the flat roof for the thing using 'engineers blue' and a rule and scriber, and that afternoon we hauled the thing up on to the roof using ropes, as we had no overhead crane in 19 shop. Health and safety, and the hazard/risk assessment boys would have nightmares, if it happened these days.

    These two mates that I was put with to learn the trade, also on that day sent me to the other end of the railway works to see a fellow about a long wait. I asked them what they needed a weight for and they said, to put on top of those steel panels over there, to stop the corners curling up.

    They told me the chaps name that I had to ask for this weight, and said he knows you are coming, as we have phoned him up.

    Ii remember having a devil of a job to find the workshop that they sent me to, but eventually found this bloke, and he said who sent you? what have you come here for. I explained that my two mates needed a long weight, and so he said sit there a minute next to my little cupboard.

    having sat there for three quarters of an hour, i became a bit uneasy so to speak, and he noticed this, and came over and said, with a smile you have been set up. Didn't it dawn on you? he then made me a cup of tea.

    When I eventually found my way back to 19 shop, my two mates were looking out of the window lites of Mentor, both with broad grins asking, where have you put the weight?

    The time has gone so quickly, and I look back with found memories to these days.

    I would love to know if Mentor is still used to this day, and has not been cut up for scrap. I would also love to know where it hangs out these days, and what sort of condition it is in.

    Many thanks, and I will keep watching the web site for any news.

    Kindest regards

    Graham

  • 975081

    9 April 2007 - Tom Alexander

    Can anyone tell me what vehicle this was converted from? I am wanting to model it for my layout and need to find a base coach. I have a feeling it will be a big cut and shut job.

    Thanks

  • 975081

    9 April 2007 - wolf27

    Hermes was converted from a BSK. This could be done from a Lima model but it does involve a bit of surgery.

    Regards

  • 975081

    10 April 2007 - Roland Turner

    Hermes could also be converted from the Hornby BSK. This has the advantage of removable sides that would be easier to work on than the Lima BSK. I recall an article in the Railway Modeller some years ago where the 3 vehicle Structure Gauging train was modelled. The livery at the tiem was similar to the Mobile Track Assessment livery.

    Best Regards,

  • 975081

    29 May 2007 - gary westgate

    975081 was converted from a class 432 driving motor coach commonly known as a 4 rep..

  • 975081

    30 May 2007 - SD0853

    I think you'll find that this coach (975081) was converted from BSK M35313 (according to the rolling stock library anyway)

  • 975081

    30 May 2007 - SD0853

    Just to futher back up the evidence that Hermes was once a LHCS vehical, in the 1970's picture of this coach at Eastleigh the ex-vaccum pipe is still visible under the corridor connection.

  • 975081 & 975280 detail

    2 June 2007 - gary westgate

    with ref:- to SDO853's comment in a previous picture he states that 975081 was converted from a BSK can someone then please enlighten me as to what BSK has a plated over cab side window, a cab door just behind the plated over window, handrails round the end of the coach, a recss cut in the body end for a main res pipe a brake pipe & a 27 pin jumper & if you look carefully you can see the outline of the secondman's window above the handrail & the body end recess.

  • 975081 & 975280 detail

    2 June 2007 - SD0853

    A heavily converted BSK, that's what. If you go inside the vehical, there's even the remains of the driving desks, from when the vehical has been returned to a none driving trailer spec.

    The RTC have, over the years carried out MASSIVE amounts of convertion work to there vehicles to adapt them for purpose. Take for example "Lab1" RDB975000. This vehical was originally M1003, which was an RK. This coach even has a complete "Compartment" inside such as one fitted to a CK or BSK.

    If you can prove to me, with a Unit or Car number stating that this coach is from a 400 series EMU (or other) then i'd be very interested. But having spent along time working with this vehicle, I belive my original statement to be true, that this vehicle is converted from MK1 BSK M35313.

    Just out of interest the other vehicle in the formation ADB975280 was at one time an "Air brake only" vehicle who's oringinal number was S21263. Are you confusing the 2 vehicles.

    Also, according to the vehical records library ADB975081 was once listed as "Dual Braked"

    Lastly, if you look above the corridor connection of the driving end, you will see 2 "scars" above the corridor connection. These are from the attachments from the original corridor connection (see vehical coupled to coach). EMU's have different corridor connections than conventional MK1 stock. My question would be, "how or why were these brakets attatched if this was an EMU vehicle?"

  • 975081 & 975280 detail

    2 June 2007 - SD0853

    Just to continue this conversation, the structure and layout of the body af this coach does not follow the arguement that this is a REP vehicle. These details are...

    1, Cab door is too close to the front of the carrage.

    2, There are 2 toilets at the rear of the vehicle.

    To carry out this convertion to a REP would mean the re-positioning of all 4 large bodyside windows, The replacement of the original passenger access door in the centre of the vehicle and the addition of the 2 toilet windows/compartments.

    You will see that the rear of this vehicle is very much in keeping with the design charictaristics of a MK1 BSK, but has very little in common with that of a 400 series REP "Tractor Unit"

  • 975081 & 975280 detail

    2 June 2007 - SD0853

    You could also argue that the profile of the roof dome is not the same as a REP, but more that of a CIG where the roof profile is abrupt rather than smoothed over to meet the roof.

  • 975081 & 975280 detail

    3 June 2007 - Robert Chilton

    I had read many years ago that 975081 was converted from a BSK and accepted this as a 'fact' since then. This latest discussion lead me to look it up - in Colin J Marsden's 'Rolling Stock Recognition: 3 Departmental Stock' (1984), Platform 5's 'Departmental Coaching Stock' (June 1987) and OPC's '25 Years Of Railway Research' (1989), they all state that 975081 was converted from BSK no. M35313 and that the original conversion was carried out during 1971. The brake type post-conversion was Dual / EP, meaning it would have been able to work with virtually any type of stock, including SR EMUs with fitted with EP brakes.

    It is fair to say that the cab-end resembles a SR EMU of the REP, CIG, VEP etc family - this is probably borne out of convenience since 4VEPs were still being built into the 70s and fabricating an extra cab-end for this vehicle would have been easy. Initially the few visible differences included the slightly larger headcode panel window to incorporate a class 302/307 style four character indicator in place of the normal SR two character indicator, the ETH jumper socket and vacuum pipe.

    In reference to Gary Westgate's comment, the plated over windows, handrails and body recesses are remaining evidence of it's former departmental use following it's more recent conversion back to a non-driving vehicle and were not present prior to the original 1971 conversion.

  • 975081 & 975280 detail

    3 June 2007 - SD0853

    I've had another look whilst "in the area" today, and I still stand by my comments, also, thanks Rob for finding out the above information to back up my original statements.

    Just out of interest ADB975280 was a 4-TC Trailer car at one time. It is still fitted with EP brakes. This vehicle still carries it's original builders plates, stating "Built BR Derby 1963. Lot No 30732" and it also (quite interestingly) carries it's convertion plate, which states "Lot No 3843. Converted Swindon 1974", which would havbeen when it became part of a TC unit i'd imagine.

    ADB975081 also carries a fantastic looking plate that states that it is an "Instrumentation Vehicle, Converted 1981, British Rail Reaserch, Derby".

  • 975081 & 975280 detail

    4 June 2007 - Simon Bendall

    Sorry, 975280 was never in a TC unit, it was converted from a conventional BCK (TC units did not use BCKs to begin with and were in the main rebuilt at York in 1966/7). The 1974 plate, which is in the wagon Lot No. series (also used for departmental conversions), doubtless refers to its original conversion as Lab 18 Mercury.

  • 975081 & 975280 detail

    4 June 2007 - SD0853

    Well, you learn something everday. Cheers for the info on Mercury. I should have noticed that really. D'OH

  • 975081 & 975280 detail

    5 June 2007 - g westgate

    Blimey didn't realise you lot would take it to serious after all it's only a BSK you lot are fluffing over, i knew it wasn't a CL432 DMS cos i've worked on it when on night's when i was a secondman. Back then in the 80's it used to run around with a BSK @ either end & the wagon in the middle, it could work push/pull with any BLUE STAR fitted loco or an ETH fitted loco any CL33/1 or 73/1 or any group D & E SR EMU'S..

  • 975081 & 975280 detail

    5 June 2007 - SD0853

    In that case please don't post agressive/challenging statements and questions. Your original posting was made in a manner that I found challenging and to a degree arrogant. Since then myself and other contributors have pointed out details regarding the conversion of this vehicle. Also if you were fully aware of all of this information, why, did you challange my original statements. Also read the comments regarding relevent discussion. All you have caused here is friction, for your own pleasure. May I suggest that you go else where or on other forums if this is how you wish to comunicate with people.

  • 975081 & 975280 detail

    5 June 2007 - Robert Chilton

    OK, getting out of hand now - Gary, what do you expect? Yes it's 'only' a BSK and you could call all this 'fluffing', but that's the whole point of a forum to a great extent; exchange of information and details, points of interest etc.

    To many it's the detail which makes things interesting and partly why the stock which has survived as departmentals in principle are so interesting, while today's railway scene in many people's eyes, is not.

    While I don't know you or SD0853 or most other contributors to this site personally, I have to say that I agree with SD0853 and wonder why if you know the vehicle so intimately did you ask the question in the first place and in such a manner which has to be said would be seen as challenging or aggressive towards someone who has made comment on it previously...

  • 975081 & 975280 detail

    10 June 2007 - g westgate

    ha ha ha very funny wasn't it.............

  • 975081 & 975280 detail

    20 November 2007 - Greg Sherlock

    Network Rail are looking at converting ex-'One' DBSOs for use on their test trains to dispense with top & tailing of locos. So isn't it ironic that the driving cab end of this vehicle has been plated over, now all of a sudden another carriage with a driving cab is required...?

  • 975081 & 975280 detail

    20 November 2007 - ian saunders

    the driving cabs of the DBSOs are more up to date than the MK1 vehicles, also this may also be a part of the MK1 cull. All MK1s are slowly being withdrawn from mainline use dont forget so redundant MKIIs are now being converted for research use

  • 975081 & 975280 detail

    20 November 2007 - SD0853

    Well, you know what they say about what goes around, comes around. Hey hoe.

  • 975081

    6 June 2008 - p calderwood

    Hi, i,m in the process of modelling the structure gauge train,i,m nearly finished this project but the only thing holding me back from completing 975081 is the bogies,i was wondering if anyone knows what they are ? thanks.

  • 975081

    6 June 2008 - Napster

    975081 has SRB5 bogies. Not be really knowing much about this, I guess it means Southern Region B5 bogies.

  • 975081

    7 June 2008 - Tony Walmsley

    I agree it has SR B5 bogies now, but the older photographs suggest it had Commonwealth bogies some time ago.

  • 975081

    7 June 2008 - SD0853

    Up until around 1997 I think Hermes had Commonwealth Bogies. I'm not 100% sure, but I get the impression that they were exchanged for B5's for standardisation as all of the loco hauled test/IM fleet (other than the UTU coaches, that run on MK5 power bogies) use either B4 or B5 bogies

  • 975081

    10 June 2008 - p calderwood

    many thanks for the info on bogies for 975081 this has been useful.

  • 975081

    10 June 2008 - Harold A. Nicolson

    It was nice to see background is Inspection Saloon probable be 999501,2,3 or 4?

  • 975081

    12 June 2008 - Napster

    If it was any of that series, I would imagine that it is 999508, the Track Inspection Coach, but it doesn't look like a mk.1 saloon, the pipes on the front would suggest that it is DM45026 or the like.

  • 975081

    14 June 2008 - Harold A. Nicolson

    Apparently Inspection Saloon No. is 999502 and now in Bo'ness.

  • 975081

    11 December 2010 - steve

    now i think this is part of the only 2 rep power cars to survive i maybe wrong

  • 975081

    11 December 2010 - Rich Mackin

    Converted from Mark 1 BSK 35313, as this site's own fact box reveals.

  • 27 February 2013 - David Piper

    The 1972 film "British Transport Films: Cybernetica" (search for it on youtube) has, at 4m47s in, a bit about the testing Hermes was doing. Various shots including the cab, computers and track equipment.

  • 975081

    15 December 2013 - Martin Barnsdall

    Without wishing to ignite any further controversy regarding this coach, I note that various Ian Allan Combine Volume list this as a DTC off a 4 VEP for some years from mid 1970's onwards. Obviously this can't be correct as the doors are all wrong and the coach is listed as a BSK conversion for which the doors are correct with a few additions.

    To me it does look like the coach has had a 'face' transplant with a VEP!

  • 975081

    15 December 2013 - Jon Horswell

    I think it has been mentioned already on this website somewhere, but this BSK had a cab built into it from scratch, no grafting, so as to give the tribometer train a rear driving car to save the cost of operating a top-tail formation. I am not actually saw it could be 'driven' as such, just that the controls acted in a supervisory way something like the modern day PCV conversions of class 307 driving vehicles for Rail espress systems.

    I no doubt will be corrected if I am wrong however by someone more familiar with the vehicle.

    On a secondary point, the expansion of the net and modern day communication has allowed the previously erroneous knowledge of yesteryear to be put right. Ian Allan and other publishers took what they saw, or were told as gospel with perhaps little or no way of confirming. The good work of them in the past, can now be put right by this website and its sister OTP.

  • 975081

    7 December 2016 - Martin Allen

    This is Lab 17 "Hermes", previously 4-VEP No. S 34294. Was allocated as a Structure Gauging Instrumentation Car when photographed.

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All Sightings

LocationDateObserver
York Klondyke Yard** *** ****Alex Betteney
York Network Rail Works Reception sidings** *** ****Peter David Bester
York Network Rail works reception sidings** *** ****Paul Walter Bartlett
Derby RTC** *** ****Grahame Stanley
Derby RTC2016-12-07Andy Basford
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