Rails of Sheffield reviews decorated sample of NER autocar


By Howard Smith

06 August 2020

Produced exclusively for Rails of Sheffield by Heljan, first images of the OO gauge model of the North Eastern Railway petrol-electric Autocar emerge.

Expected to be released later this year, Rails of Sheffield's model of the NER petrol-electric autocar is undergoing review by the retailer, following receipt of a sample from Heljan.

rails autocar

Models are to feature directional lighting and a Next18 DCC decoder socket.

Pictured carrying North Eastern Railway red and cream as No. 3170 (RL3171), the model is to be joined by classmate No. 3171 (RL3172) in the same livery which they both carried between 1904 and 1930. A third model, depicting No. 3170 later in its career in LNER brown (RL3173) will complete the batch.

rails autocar

Rails has highlighted that wheels will be black electro-plated for the production run of the models.

In 1903, a pair of railcars was unveiled by the NER, led by Vincent Raven, its Assistant Chief Mechanical Engineer. Forerunners to locomotives powered by internal combustion engines linked to electric motors, the autocars carried their own power plant – a petrol engine – driving a dynamo which supplied power to the traction motors. It was the world’s first use of an internal combustion engine in a passenger carrying rail vehicle. The two autocars, Nos. 3170 and 3171, were fitted with electric track brakes, another first for the railways.

No. 3171 was withdrawn in 1930 and No. 3170 in 1931. The body of No. 3170 has been restored and mated to a chassis in working order by The 1903 Electric Autocar Trust. Sales of the models are to lead to a charitable donation to the Autcar Trust.

Visit www.railsofsheffield.com for more information, pricing and availability.

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