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Quainton Virtual Stockbook - Miscellaneous Vehicles and Railway Plant

Inspection Trolley No. 9037


Army No. 9037 was built by D. Wickham Ltd., maker's number 8197, and is one of a batch of five ordered by the Ministry of Supply of 28 May 1958. It was delivered to the O/C Bicester Detachment, No. 1 Railway Group, R.E., No. 3 Camp, Arncott Depot, Bicester on 20 November 1958. It worked for them for twelve years, being offered for disposal by tender near the end of 1971. It arrived at Quainton from the Ministry of Defence, Graven Hill, Bicester, on 15th August 1972.

The engine is a Ford side valve petrol industrial engine, which is very akin to the Ford car engine of the 1950's. It has a single plate Ford clutch and a three speed gearbox, which has an additional Wickham box to allow the three speed drive to operate in either direction. Taken from the gearbox outlet is a sprocket drive to the axle. The engine for the unit is fitted at one end within the body, with the engine and radiator are both located within a cowling to the left of the driving position. The dashboard has an ammeter, petrol gauge, speedometer, horn control, oil pressure and ignition warning lights, and switches for the front and tail lights, and for the interior and external roof lights. Since the unit can travel in either direction the drivers seat has a detachable back rest. The wheelbase is 3' 8".

Inside the unit, the floor is made of wood boards covered by linoleum and protected where necessary by treadplates. There is a wooden slatted bench seat across the centre and another similar seat across the end. The body of the car has steel ends with two large safety glass windows divided by a roof pillar on which are carried head and tail lamps. The vehicle sides are also made of steel plate with smaller windows. On the right hand side there are two half style doors at either end which have canvas and perspex side screens above the waistline, but the drivers side is differently arranged due to the drivers position. The roof is also of steel plate reinforced by angle iron ribs and at one time it carried a flashing beacon.. Controls are by foot-operated pedals just like a motor car. There is a fly-off type hand brake mounted on the floor and the foot brakes work asbestos lined brake blocks on the running wheels.

The smart finish applied to the inspection car is the Army livery of deep bronze green outside, wasp striping on the ends and a black roof. Inside the car the roof is white and the sides grey. The War Department gave the vehicle their number R.L.C. 009037 for its working life of twelve years and the simplified number ARMY 9037 can be seen on the ends above the front lights.

When the Army offered the inspection car for disposal there was no opportunity for inspection to determine its mechanical condition. When inspection did take place it was found to have a a sheared off flywheel, so an engine removal was required and a major overhaul started. Re-assembly was not too difficult, and the railcar was in action again. It operated a number of passenger carrying duties in the Up Yard, but further mechanical work was required, which sidelined the unit for a number of years.

It is currently being extensively restored, with its engine run for the first time in December 2003 since its last run in around 1972. The underframe, axles, suspension, and gearboxes have been restored, but there is much more left to complete.

The Wickhams of Quainton - Quainton News No. 30 Winter 1976

Origin :- MOD Date Built :- 1958 Number :- 9037
Type :- Inspection Car Builder :- D. Wickham Ltd., Ware, Hertfordshire Owner QRS Member
Status :- Under Restoration Location :- Buffer Depot Accession No.:- N/A
Arrival Date :- 15th August 1972

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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Page Updated: 29 March 2021