News - Back to the future...

24 September 2006 - thanks to Graham Parkin for this article

It doesn't happen very often, but over the last few months a vehicle has been lovingly restored BACK to one of its old departmental liveries!

So often these days we see former departmental stock passing into preservation and almost immediately receiving anonymous maroon or green liveries (a personal gripe of mine - as regular visitors to the website / Yahoogroup will know!)

However, one particular unique vehicle - the Wickham railbus DB 999507 "Elliott Track Recording Coach" (Laboratory 20) has just changed all that!

It has been in preservation since 1997 and is now fully restored inside and out. It too received the ubiquitous green livery while at the East Lancashire Railway but more recently (and after a brief holiday on the Llangollen Railway) it was decided it should revert back to its Research Department colours - red and blue. Of course even when new in 1958 this vehicle was never painted green and so its previous livery in preservation was not particularly authentic! Graham tells me that during the restoration process he only found evidence of two previous liveries under the green paint - the original yellow & brown and then the red & blue.

A lot of hard work has gone into the repaint - reverting back to Laboratory 20 at its current home at the Middleton Railway near Leeds.

It is provisionally booked to be released to the public on 30th September 2006 when it is expected to operate the days' services at Middleton but this is still to be confirmed.

The vehicle is also available for hire to other railways - details at the website below.

And for more history (and photos) on this interesting vehicle you can visit this page on the website here

Thanks to Graham for keeping me up to date with progress, allowing the use of the photos, and of course instigating and carrying out this livery change!! I think you will all agree it looks great!


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