Building a second prototype railcar

railcar N0 201 'Atlantic Airstream' - click on image to enlarge

The experience gained operating the prototype railcar No 200 resulted in a number of improvements being incorporated into the production version.

The wheelbase of the central tractor unit was slightly lengthened to provide more room for parcels and small goods. In addition, Armstrong hydraulic dampers were fitted to control roll. Additional exterior linear radiators were fitted to the car in order to reduce interior temperatures. These were hidden in modernistic fins.

The passenger cars maintained a similar configuration with some important changes. The roof was built as an integral part of the car and was provided with folded corrugations to reduce 'thrumming'. The driver's compartments were separated by a bulkhead and door and further modern aerodynamic styling incorporated into the design.  

Due to pressures at Eastleigh, the contract for the second railcar was awarded to Short Bros. of Rochester. Better known for building flying boats, they had nevertheless successfully built a number of lightweight tram and bus bodies for many companies throughout the British Isles.

The choice of builder was an inspired one. The overall weight of the units was kept to a minimum and the undoubted panel working skills of Short Bros resulted in handsome cars produced in aircraft alloy albeit expensive.


This time, the basis for the railcar was a Riverossi  N scale diesel loco, which seemed to us to run a bit better than the Farish version. It is fitted with a Digitrax DZ125 chip. The Riverossi chassis has very deep flanges and we have had to slightly modify our points (deepening flangeways) to prevent derailments.

Construction methods are largely similar to the first railcar. We built up the complex curves using soft sand bodyfiller. The silver paint was supposed to burnish (it did not). Sadly an application of another type obscured much of the detail and the model was ruined. The chassis of this railcar has now been transferred to the new railcar 302 and the rest is scrapped.

the completed bodies after spraying with silver paint - click image to enlarge

approaching completion - click image to enlarge