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Quainton Virtual Stockbook - Miscellaneous Vehicles and Railway Plant

Petrol Railcar No. 9040

No9040L.jpg (27,506 bytes)

Anon (1990 stockbook) - Petrol Railcar No. 9040

The largest of the Wickhams at Quainton, No. 9040 was originally owned by the Ministry of Defence. This was built by D.Wickham & Co. Ltd., Ware, in January 1955 as Car No. 6963, and was supplied to the Ministry of Supply, P & E Establishment, Eskmeals, Cumberland. It was later transferred to the MOD Bicester depot.

The frame consists of a double H section of channels with two longitudinal members carrying a Ford V-8 engine and the gearbox. From this frame there are angle iron stanchions supporting the floor, side sheets and the roof. The vehicle sides are of mild steel sheet including the doors which are faced internally with upholstered board. The roof is also made of steel plate carried on the cab body pillars.

The rail car is carried on two axles running in roller bearing boxes sprung by leaf springs with shackles mounted on the main frames. Lateral motion is restrained by a system of radius link arms. The running wheels are pressed steel, flanged and they have comparatively wide tyres. At both ends there are Wickham type central buffers.

It was purchased by a QRS member in April 1969 following an advertisement in Exchange and Mart. A scrap dealer in Abingdon had brought it from the Ministry of Defence, Bicester where it had been used until about 1967 for passenger transport between the station and various parts of the depot. In 1968, still carrying its number ARMY 9040, it was disposed of to the Abingdon dealer, whence it arrived at Quainton Down Yard on 25th June 1969. An inspection revealed a broken drive shaft, an unusable battery, no starting handle and various other work before it could become mobile again. This was tackled and the rail car was used by small groups of members visiting the site, and more humbly for taking rubble up to the end of the long siding. In 1973 it suffered impact damage, and was put to one side. In time the damage was repaired, some electrical repairs made, and partial repainting completed.

The controls of the vehicle are rod linked except the brake which has vacuum assistance. There is a vacuum storage reservoir in which the vacuum is induced from the inlet manifold. The foot brake pedals work valves supplying two slave cylinders, one on each side of the engine and the brakes are rigged to shoes operating onto the inside of the tyres on the running wheels.

The transmission from the four speed crash gearbox on 9040 is through a propeller shaft with two universal couplings into the differential which is on the leading axle. Engine cooling is by water and the system includes two radiators which are mounted one at each end of the car. The front bonnets have expanded metal grilles to direct air flow and to protect the radiators.

The driving controls of the car are duplicated at each end on the same side, but there is one handbrake and the gear stick is taken by the driver from end to end and inserted into a socket as required. On the dashboards are speedometers, fuel gauges, ammeters and oil and ignition lights. There are also switches for the horn and head, tail and interior lights, starter, choke, and a light confirming engagement of the gear after changing ends. The bonnet ends have two CAV headlights and a centrally mounted tail lamp. Twin electric operated windscreen wipers are fitted and all fixed windows are glazed with safety glass. The four doors have drop lights.

Inside there are the two fixed driving seats, a bench of three seats at the end and four reversible seats in the middle of the car. These four seats can be taken out and a section of the lino covered wood floor removed to give access to the engine covers.

The paint work of the railcar reflects its Army origin, for the inside is dark green with a white roof and the outside is finished in black below the body and green for the body shell, grey roof and wasp ends. Stencilled on the centre if the frames is the weight 2tons 19 hundredweight.

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

Origin :- MOD Date Built :- 1955 Number :- Army 9040
Type :- Inspection Car Builder :- D. Wickham Ltd., Ware, Hertfordshire Owner QRS Member
Status :- Under Restoration Location :- Down Yard Shed Accession No.:- N/A
Arrival Date :- 25th June 1969

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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Page Updated: 02 August 2017