Departmentals, Test Trains & Internal Users - 977693 & 977694 - Test Coach Laboratory 19 - Iris II

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977693 & 977694 - Test Coach Laboratory 19 - Iris II

Photo of 977693 & 977694 at Dunster, West Somerset Railway

Vehicles in this photo

The following vehicle(s) appear in this photo.

  • 977693 - Laboratory 19 'Iris 2' - unit 901002
  • 977694 - Laboratory 19 'Iris 2' - unit 901002

Photo details

  • Dunster, West Somerset Railway
  • 20 March 2008
  • © Jon Tooke

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Your comments

  • Ben Williams

    21 March 2008, 19:53:19

    Here is Iris II in its new home. Apparently it is to be used as a P. Way support vehicle although I'm not sure whether it is still to be used under power or as a static store. The photo here suggests it may be on an isolated track? I'm awaiting more details...

  • Ben Williams

    21 March 2008, 21:43:01

    Jon tells me:

    "I understand that the vehicles will be used by the WSR P'way team as a mobile store and workshop. It will transport the men and materials to the worksite and then lay over in an adjacent loop until the work is completed, then the unit can either return to its homebase at Dunster yard or move to its next port of call.

    Having a mobile workshop will allow any minor rectification works to be carried out at the work site thus relieving the need to transport items back to a workshop then having to transport them back again.

    As the unit can move itself, it will overcome the need of having a locomotive tied up all day on p'way work."

  • Ben Williams

    21 March 2008, 21:59:25

    ...and word has it the yellow won't be sticking around for long! More green on the cards (groan!) How about one of the early research liveries?!

  • kev

    21 March 2008, 22:06:47

    what is it about preserved railways and them rancid greens, i agree about some more modern paintjobs, original RTC is a good livery.but then i always liked nse

  • SD0853

    22 March 2008, 10:59:45

    I've changed my mind. Can we have it back please!!!!!

  • Jon Horswell

    23 March 2008, 00:14:17

    Because of its RTC use it should be perfect for use as a mobile store, a case of a departmental becoming a preserved departmental...........assume it too costly to convert it back to passenger use.

    I fully agree with other comments. Do we really need ANOTHER green unit. Railways need to realise that ALL other liveries are considered part of both the units history and railway history in general and it would be good to see some of these other, and lets face it, much more colourful liveries recreated.

    I think that as the railways generally recreate scenes from the 1950's and 60's they are too afraid to deviate from from this era and although blue creeps in, even blue and grey is considered by most to be to radical! Give it twenty years and you may see a change when people of todays generation start to take over the running of the railways.

  • Ben Williams

    23 March 2008, 11:43:41

    Agreed. Good to see Middleton Railway reversing the green trend and going back to old RTC schemes (see 998901 photo comments at the moment.)

  • Tony Rispoli

    2 April 2008, 18:56:36

    Is there no passenger accomodation in it at all?

    I remember on some of the Southern Departmental units one coach was completely untouched, I take it that its not the case with Iris II?

  • SD0853

    22 April 2008, 19:13:36

    Iris II has a Lab/instrumentation area and Kitchen in one car and 6 beds a shower cubicle and toilet in the other.

  • SD0853

    22 April 2008, 19:14:56

    Call me a sad case, but out of interest I was the last person to drive this unit (And therefore the last driver to have a Vaccum Brake 101) on the Mainline.

  • Bill McTavish

    22 April 2008, 20:24:45

    You sad case! Interesting though.

  • Jon Horswell

    22 April 2008, 23:35:08

    6 beds, a shower cubicle and a toilet. Thats better than some B&B's!!

  • Dave Smith

    22 April 2008, 23:38:28

    was it towed to the west somerset?

  • Napster

    23 April 2008, 12:54:13

    Yes, it was hauled by a vacuum fitted class 31


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