Gracious days of travel re-lived in railmotor coach on Liskeard to Looe line
Rail enthusiasts enjoyed a rare treat at the weekend as a restored Edwardian railmotor coach graced a Cornish branch line for the first time.
The wooden-bodied, steam-driven vehicle – the Edwardian equivalent of a modern diesel rail car – took passengers on a return trip from Liskeard to Looe.
The special service, run by West Coast Railways and sponsored by First Great Western, is being repeated next Sunday.
It gives people a second chance to travel aboard the Steam Railmotor 93 which was built in 1908 and ran as a self-propelled unit for nearly 30 years.
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After a stint as a locomotive-hauled trailer, it was withdrawn from passenger service in 1956 and converted into an office stationed in Birmingham. It was preserved by the Great Western Society in 1970 and stored at Didcot.
The project to build a new steam power unit and rebuild the coach as a railmotor began in the 1990s. But it was only in 2007 that a grant of £768,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund enabled the rebuilding of the coach which was completed at the Llangollen Railway in March 2011.
Five, 40-minute round trips leave Liskeard next Sunday. For more information and tickets call 08444 771000.