Project Bubble 19 - Railcar Restoration
After 49 years of W55019 not carrying any passengers, we have the chance to bring 'Bubble 19' back to life again at our new railway.
The Llanelli & Mynydd Mawr Railway is based at the former colliery site of Cynheidre, approximately 6 miles north of Llanelli in South West Wales, UK. and is run entirely by volunteers. We opened to the public for the first time on 3rd September 2017. Since this date we have successfully undertaken five public running days between 2017/18 with two more public events planned over the Christmas period in 2018 and even more planned for next year.
However, we need your help to fund the work and we are seeking £5000.00 to supplement the Aviva Grant that we have applied for. The additional money will allow us to complete the restoration of our 1958 built Class 122 Diesel multiple unit vehicle number 55019. This vehicle has not carried a passenger since 1969.
Affectionately known as 'Bubble cars' these single carriages were ideal for branch line services. We have named this appeal ‘Project Bubble 19’ for this reason! We have the majority of the materials available to bring this vehicle back to life, but we really need your support to make it happen by helping us to fund the man power and expertise.
Will you help us to make this vintage vehicle run again?
The vehicle can seat 65 people at once and is highly versatile as it can be self-propelled or used as a hauled vehicle by our equally vintage diesel locomotive for the public to enjoy at our open days. The wide windows at both ends of the vehicle allow panoramic views of the journey as well. It will be used at Christmas, Easter and other events and has the essential advantage of allowing disabled access.
How the money will be used
The funding is required for the main concentrations of the restoration which will concern checking the internal electrical wiring for the lighting and heating systems, replacing the plywood boarding on the ceiling panels, replacing the side panelling and insulation, replacing the floor lino and fitting the seating frames. The vehicle will also require a full mechanical service and external repaint.
The benefits the project will bring
The restoration of this historic vehicle will allow us to improve our offering to the local community by increasing our train ride capacity using a vintage vehicle, as well as enhance the skills of our volunteer workforce to teach valuable skills that can be used now and in the future. We would give them the opportunity to learn the skills required for this kind of restoration by providing tutoring from experienced restorers as well as the materials to complete some of the outstanding tasks. The funding would also enable us to outsource work where required when more experience and knowledge is needed.
We will also invite local schools to the railway to observe work being undertaken during the course of the project.
The unit is one of just 8 still in existence and will be one of our principle passenger carrying vehicles once restored. The restoration will allow us to create purpose built disabled access and bays within the guards compartment. Where possible it will be returned to an original state as well as modified in line with modern requirements.
Our first two events saw us use a wooden brakevan, which only allowed us to carry a maximum of 10 passengers per ride. Due to increased demand during 2018 we managed to increase this to 26 with the introduction into service of our Buffet carriage. Unfortunately using this vehicle has prevented us from offering refreshments on site without externally sourcing caterers and therefore the use of our Class 122 diesel multiple unit is now paramount in order to meet the demand that our success has created.
Our current running line of 0.25 miles will be increased to approximately half mile in length over the next few months as part of a training exercise by the Army for the public to enjoy in 2019. Our project is entirely dependent on volunteer labour and public funding. As part of our community engagement we work with local volunteering services and schools as well as allowing local people with learning disabilities to carry out restoration work including our wooden brakevan which was restored to an excellent standard.
Donate today and make our project a reality!