Restoration of motor coach 60119

This article was created on 18 June 2005, and
last updated on 25 February 2024.

[PHOTO: front view of train: 61kB]

Above: 60119’s first outing on the main line since October 1988, captured by the camera of Rob Lane while the train was awaiting signal clearance into Ashford. Our newly outshopped motor coach was on a mileage accumulation run whilst accompanying two other vehicles, on 30 May 2023.

[PHOTO: Train in depot shed: 66kB]

Above: The newly re-certified and re-numbered 60119 stands ready for action, in the dappled sunlight within St. Leonards Depot car-sheds. Stable-mate 60118 is glimpsed in the background; these two motor coaches were originally the motive power for Hastings DEMU number 1013, whose number has been applied to the front of motor coach 19. Photo by Chris Dadswell on 26 April 2023.

[PHOTO: Train in depot sheds: 56kB]

Above: The front of motor coach 60019 looks absolutely stunning* in this view, quite ready to enter service on a railtour! From other angles, however, there remains a certain amount of repainting and the completion of technical work before we submit this vehicle for main-line certification. (8 March 2014).

* Of course, we might be biased!


Our fourth motor coach (of five saved from scrap) is number 60119, which has undergone full restoration from as-withdrawn condition (originally numbered 60019) to main-line certified running; the major part of this work was begun at the start of 2005 and, for various reasons, only concluded in 2023.

The intention was that the restoration should “catch up” with that taking place on trailer car 60528. Work on the two cars would then proceed in tandem, for them to be outshopped together. However, much other commercial work has of neccessity taken priority at St. Leonards depot, but progress continued as and when resources permitted, and in fact the two vehicles were outshopped within the same month.

The following sections depict aspects of the restoration work as it unfolded, starting with the most recent.

March 2016

We had hoped to be able to add this vehicle onto the end of our train for a railtour by now.

However, last summer during initial sequence testing, in which the vehicle is coupled to others to prove that it interacts correctly with other coaches in a train, we encountered a difficulty.

It turns out that the way our Central Door Locking (CDL) has been implemented makes it impossible for us to add a motor coach to the end of our train currently, because the CDL would become inoperative.

To be absolutely clear: CDL throughout our fleet works 100% correctly, so long as motor coaches are either coupled back-to-back or nose-to-nose, or marshalled at the outer ends of a longer train; this is how we have always run on the main line since 2007.

The problem only manifests itself when coupling two motor coaches nose-to-back.

So, our options are:

  1. Forge ahead, have this motor coach certified, and run it on our 6-car train instead of Mountfield or Tunbridge Wells;

  2. Work to understand, pinpoint and resolve the issue which causes this unintended behaviour with the CDL before offering the vehicle for certification;

  3. Accelerate work on motor coach 60000 Hastings (currently stopped for re-wiring, CDL & OTMR) so that 60019 could run back-to-back with Hastings and the pair of them be added to the end of our existing 6-car train.

We would prefer not to go for option 1 as in a sense it gains us nothing. Option 2 is of course the ideal long-term objective but will require patience and that rare commodity: available time. Option 3 would be successful and involves a goal we already seek anyway (of returning Hastings to traffic).

So either by option 2 or option 3, this motor coach will enter traffic; we can only ask for your forebearance whilst we continue to resolve this issue.

If 60019 and Hastings were run back-to-back and were coupled nose-to-nose with our existing train, it would form a most worthy 8-car train with 4 motor coaches, giving a power-to-weight ratio of around 5.7 horsepower per ton—or one-third higher than with the six-car units as originally devised!

August 2015

The following photographs were taken in August 2015 by Mick Tester, and illustrate some of the work he has carried out to the interior of this vehicle.

[PHOTO: Train interior: 70kB]

Above & below: The saloon appears to be ready for service. The sycamore veneer panelling was restored and varnished some while ago; the brushed aluminium luggage-racks, lampshades and curtains are in place; the seats are now trimmed in Trojan moquette, as befits this vehicle’s intended use for Standard Class accommodation.

[PHOTO: Sycamore veneer in train saloon: 51kB]

[PHOTO: Train engine-room: 57kB]

Above: This view inside the engine-room shows the inlet/radiator side of the power unit, and may be compared to the photo of March 2015 below on this page. The timing-chain works have been completed, and the engine and its associated pipework have been painted and the area spruced up.

[PHOTO: Train engine-room roof, interior: 62kB]

Above: This rarely-photographed angle in the engine-room is captured from the walkway between guard’s van and cab, on the exhaust side of the power unit whose main generator and turbocharger are out of shot to our right. The photo illustrates the fresh paintwork both on the interior of the roof, and on the pipework: orange for electrical conduits including that of the fire-alarm heat detector above the cab door, and red for the pipes which would disgorge CO2 for fire-fighting purposes if the heat-detector were triggered.

Nearing completion (May 2015)

Work continues on our fourth motor-coach which is ever closer to completion. The expectation is that this vehicle would be completed and certified in time to be added to the end of our train to form a seventh car (not in passenger service: no access to toilet!) for a railtour during 2015.

OTMR was commissioned on 4 March 2015.

In common with our other active motor coaches, 60019 has been fitted with slow-speed control, a feature that applies the emergency brake (by dumping the train pipe to atmosphere) if the driver selects EO (Engine Only, a non-motoring position on the master controller) whilst the train is moving; this prevents the possibility of coasting with the driver’s ‘deadman’ device de-activated.

Some of the more visible work carried out is illustrated below.

Power unit and timing chain

Like most internal-combustion engines, our DEMUs’ power units include a timing chain (modern cars tend to use a rubber belt) which causes the engine’s cam-shaft to rotate at both the correct speed and in the correct phase with respect to the crankshaft.

Also similarly to most such engines, the chain will eventually wear out and its effective length will increase. To avoid damage both to the gears over which it runs and risk of damage to the engine as a whole, and to improve fuel-efficiency and clean running of the engine, the chain must be monitored for wear: if it exceeds prescribed limits it must be replaced.

In the case of 60019’s power-unit, the timing chain had been allowed to become worn well beyond usual parameters during BR service three decades ago; the accelerated wear had damaged the tensioning jockey-gear. Chain and gear were both replaced in mid-March 2015.

[PHOTO: Engine-room interior: 67kB]

Above: The engine-room of 60019 is seen here from behind the cab, looking rearwards down the offside which is the inlet/radiator side (the nearside being the exhaust side). The engine-room roof is removed to facilitate previous access by the crane. At the near (flywheel) end of the engine the crankcase covers are removed giving access to the timing-chain; the large gear on the camshaft is prominently visible, and above it is the engine-governor. (7 March 2015)

[PHOTO: chain in engine: 52kB]

[PHOTO: chain and gear in engine: 66kB]

Above: Two views of the timing-chain, seen through the apertures uncovered by the removal of crankcase covers. The first view is from the exhaust side, the second from the inlet side. In both views the bright metal gear on the crankshaft around which the timing-chain runs at its lowest point is evident. The latter view also illustrates the (damaged) jockey-gear whose purpose is to regulate chain tension. (7 March 2015)

[PHOTO: gears and chain in engine: 76kB]

Above: This fascinating view from the inlet side shows the uppermost part of the timing-chain’s path: it drives an idler gear which runs the large gear on the camshaft itself. By means of a bevel-gear arrangement, rotary motion about a vertical axis is also taken off above it: this is required by the governor which controls the rotational speed of the engine. (7 March 2015)

[PHOTO: Timing chains: 59kB]

Above: Subsequent to the previous photographs, the timing chain was removed. It is seen here laid out alongside its replacement; as their far ends were precisely level, the degree to which the effective pitch has increased through wear is apparent! (17 March 2015)

Other work had previously been carried out on the power unit as mentioned below; all four cylinder-heads were removed and were not fit for further use; refitted in their place were overhauled ones from a donor engine retrieved from a Class 73 electro-diesel locomotive; naturally, the cylinder-liners were inspected at that time.


[PHOTO: Wooden door, varnished: 58kB]

Above: Standing outside to show off its beautiful grain is the freshly-varnished sliding door between vestibule and Guard’s van. (17 March 2015)

[PHOTO: Guard’s van interior: 47kB]

Above: And here is the Guard’s van, looking from the engine-room door towards the vestibule. Its redecoration and equipping appears to be complete. The Guard’s gauges and valve for testing and applying the emergency brake, the Loudaphone set for speaking with the driver, the public address system and the emergency ladders are all evident in this view. (14 April 2015)

[PHOTO: Train door: 64kB]

Above: As glimpsed from the previous photo, here is one of the rebuilt external doors. The structure of the door has been repainted, the new door-lock is fitted and the window-mechanism has been overhauled; the interior panelling and beading will be re-fitted following varnishing. (14 April 2015)

Motor bogie

Only one bogie per motor-coach carries traction motors, and to help even out the weight-distribution it is the inner bogie (not that beneath the engine-room). Both bogies have in fact been removed, overhauled, repainted and refitted—a considerable task in itself given the chipping-off of many years’ accumulated brake-dust and grime which forms a thick crusty deposit that clings to all exposed surfaces!

[PHOTO: Bogie-truck of train: 53kB]

Above: Here is the Mark 4 motor bogie, freshly overhauled and reinstated around the start of April. All that remains is to paint the vertical face of the tyres white which will help give the vehicle that “freshly out-shopped” look. (14 April 2015)

Good progress (2014)

By December 2013 the doors had been re-skinned and have had the CDL keeper-plates added. Saloon windows had been cleaned and some of the sealing mastic tidied up.

The spring 2014 closure of the Hastings Line by landslips reduced that commercial work and increased the availability of staff to work on 60019.

By March 2014 work was progressing well and the restoration was tantalisingly close to completion. The bodywork has been painted in green with a yellow warning-panel on the cab front; some black top-coat on the solebar remained to be painted. The AWS & TPWS have been fitted, tested and confirmed working; the public address is finished, and installation of CDL is almost complete.

[PHOTO: Train in depot yard: 48kB]

Above & below: Sporting a grey undercoat on the bodyside and green metal-primer on the solebar, progress on 60019 looks encouraging in these views taken in the yard by Andy Armitage. (26 February 2014)

[PHOTO: Side view of train in yard: 32kB]

[PHOTO: Train in depot sheds: 59kB]

Above: The green starts to appear on the bodyside and cab-front, but the yellow hasn’t yet been added to the warning-panel and the horns. The headcode-blinds have been wound to an appropriate setting! Photo by Andy Armitage. (28 February 2014)

[PHOTO: Train saloon interior: 63kB]

Above: The saloon is trimmed in the Club Class red also found in motor coach 60018 Tunbridge Wells and trailer 60501, and the sycamore panelling has been painstakingly restored. (8 March 2014)

[PHOTO: Side-rear view of train in depot: 68kB]

Above: The roof has been painted as has much of the bodyside; just some doors, some end-detail and some of the underframe & bogie areas need their final coats of paint. (8 March 2014)

[PHOTO: Cab exterior, side view: 60kB]

Above & below: Further views illustrating the progress made. (8 March 2014).

[PHOTO: Trains in depot shed: 69kB]

[PHOTO: Metalwork in depot: 55kB]

Above & below: Some of the roof-mounted ventilators turned out to be too badly corroded to be saved, so new ones were made from scratch by staff at St. Leonards depot. Appropriate shapes were cut from sheet metal, above, then folded, welded and fixed to produce the finished item, below. (8 March 2014).

[PHOTO: Roof ventilator: 37kB]

[PHOTO: Roof ventilators: 33kB]

Above: An original ventilator on the roof of 60019, awaiting rust-removal and repainting, is compared with a fabricated one ready for attachment. (8 March 2014).

Radiator replacement and engine overhaul (2007-8)

In July 2004 we ran a news article stating that this motor coach was started up about every month. This ceased taking place by the end of 2006, as the power unit’s radiator needed replacing: the orignal one was in very poor condition and leaked badly. This was one step in an engine-overhaul project which took place throughout 2007 as and when time permitted. The compressor was also overhauled. The engine was back together in March 2008 and the power unit was “run up” for the first time in about 15 months (see below).

[PHOTO: large radiator fitted in bodyside of motor coach: 25kB]

Above: The new radiator fitted to 60019. Photos by Andy Armitage.

[PHOTO: Part-restored motor coach being started: 35kB]

Above: On Friday 14 March 2008 this motor coach’s engine was started for the first time in about 15 months, following overhaul. 60019 stands alongside Southern DMU number 171 721. Photo by Dave Markwick.

Central Door Locking & On-Train Monitoring Recorders (2007)

60019 was originally to be a testbed for the introduction of Central Door Locking on DEMU vehicles. On 18 June 2005, the control unit was being fitted into the ceiling void above the rear vestibule of this motor coach.

During the course of the general overhaul and restoration work, we have taken the opportunity to continue the fitting of Central Door Locking and On-Train Monitoring Recorders to this motor coach.

[PHOTO: interior of guard’s van with new wiring-connection box: 26kB]

Above: This is the new connection-box for Central Door Locking, as fitted in the guard’s van of 60019. The original blue & grey livery is visible on the inward-opening door on the right.

[PHOTO: front view of motor-coach during repainting: 72kB]

Above: In April 2006 the bodywork was under general repair and repaint throughout the vehicle. Note the headcode-blinds with conventional font, which we were unable to source for fitting to sister motor-coach Mountfield, which displays somewhat-narrower numerals of a more modern design.

Work in 2005

[PHOTO: close-up of carriage front undergoing repair: 53kB]

Above: The front of this motor-coach is seen under heavy repair in this shot, with a new windscreen-glass having been installed, and progress being made with welding. Uncovered during these works were the original “1013” numerals, in cream, outlined in black.

[PHOTO: interior view of cab: 53kB]

This view of the cab interior shows the installation of AWS equipment. Also visible is a mock-up box with the release-buttons for Central Door Locking; above this will be fitted the DRA unit which is seen on the desk by the brake-handle.

[PHOTO: underside view showing conduit: 55kB]

Above & Below: These underframe views (from June 2005) demonstrate that the application of primer (green or red, which are equivalent) had been completed; the upper photo shows the brake cylinder between the fuel tanks, and the lower picture shows the yellow stands which are supporting the carriage-body instead of the front bogie.

[PHOTO: underside view showing conduit and underframe: 64kB]

The above four photos by Mike Pannell on 3 June 2005.

The seating-moquettes are all being re-trimmed at a local workshop, just a couple of miles away in St. Leonards.