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Taken 12-Jan-20
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Dimensions9921 x 8562
Original file size2.43 MB
Image typeJPEG
Color spaceUnknown
Date modified12-Jan-20 14:14
DMU E79963 1964-06 Maldon East

DMU E79963 1964-06 Maldon East

Chris Foren comments “E79963 was one of the five Waggon und Maschinenbau railbuses built in Germany for use in East Anglia — part of an experiment to reduce the operating costs of several lightly trafficked branch lines. Other small batches, amounting to 22 vehicles in all, were manufactured by A C Cars, Park Royal, Wickhams and Bristol/ECW. The Berman railbuses were based at Cambridge, entering service on 7th July 1958. In accordance with Eastern Region practice of the time they were put to work on cyclic diagrams covering the branches from Witham to Braintree, Witham to Maldon East, Cambridge to Mildenhall and Audley End to Saffron Walden and Bartlow. Some positioning trips served Haverhill and Marks Tey. Commendably little empty running was involved. Four vehicles were in daily use with one spare at Cambridge. In those bygone free and easy times of 1964 photographers were allowed a much freer rein. Today's lensman would not even dream of taking such a shot in the almost certain knowledge that at the very least he would have his collar felt. The railbus is painted green and has a chrome band at waist level. The speed whiskers with which it entered service did not last long and have been replaced by the yellow warning panel beneath the windows at the front end. This design of railbus is unique in featuring buffer beams, complete with draw hook, screw coupling and one flat and one convex buffer at each end, as commonly found in Germany. The railbuses were discouraged from hauling tail traffic, so characteristic of branch lines in the 1950s. It is more likely that the drawhook and buffers were of greater use if the railbus needed to be rescued in the event of failure. The driving compartment is more of a cubicle, being only half width and leaving room for seats alongside the driving position. The children occupying those seats seem to be lacking in enthusiasm. The droplight alongside them was provided to enable the driver to exchange the single line token.”