Category Archives: Ambulance Vans (WDLR)

History & news of WDLR (British & Dominion forces) WW1 Ambulance Van preservation & restorations.

Mystery projects……

Sorry for the delay posting again! Life has been quite hectic recently – partly with developments surrounding the Moseley Railway Trust’s “Tracks to the Trenches – 2014” event at Apedale.

However, all has not stopped on my own projects!

A recent development has been the collection of parts of bogies that belong with the Ambulance Van that was collected from the South Tynedale Railway back in Bogie frames!November 2011! These latest bogie parts have been supplied with great thanks to the Lincolnshire Coast Light Railway Historical Vehicles Trust - who retrieved them for this project a while ago.

Now that they have arrived to Apedale, hopes are high that at least one (if not the pair) will be progressed extremely quickly. What are they for? Watch this space….

The latest project…

As you may have read previously, in November 2010 we successfully recovered the remains of the ex-Nocton Ambulance van to Apedale (Moseley Railway Trust). These remains comprised the main frames of the van (in need of considerable repair) & a rebuilt bogie frame. Unfortunately the mists of time have not been kind to this van and it’s chassis/bogies – there are a large number of parts currently AWOL, including most of the fittings/components for both bogies.

WDLR Bogie project - This frame arrived at Apedale from Alston with the Ambulance van in November 2010.

As the arrived bogie frame had been rebuilt several years prior to acquisition, I have taken the decision to start the re-construction of this bogie first. As I am fortunate to have collected together a number of spare parts/drawings over the years and now is the time to start using them! This project is not as impossible as it might seem, although it will deplete my spares holding significantly. These bogies are generally standard designs & could be found under many types of WW1 vehicle. What is this particular example going to be used under (pending the ambulance van being completed)? You’ll have to keep watching…

WDLR Bogie parts - Coupler & brake crank

The first stages of this reconstruction have been to start routing out parts & preparing them for assembly. However, before this all can progress too far, I need to get a set of coupler & leaf (suspension) springs on order….

Many parts! Amongst these are various WDLR bogie parts - including pivot, brake brackets, coupler link pin, etc

First Post!

Well, here we go! This is my first post in the world of blogging…

I have been running the “War Department Light Railways” website for many years. This site includes a good archive of photos & information, but I have not been able to update it as much as I would like recently. I am aiming to use this blog to provide (as a minimum) regular updates on the various WW1 (& related) projects that I am working on or involved with (normally based at the Moseley Railway Trust (MRT), Staffordshire, UK).

Chassis_collection

Ambulance van chassis awaiting collection at Alston.

The story of the MRT is really well covered on the official website - suffice to say, since relocating to its new permenant home adjacent to the Apedale Valley Country Park great progress has been made & I have been able to start consolidating my own collection of vehicles together with the Trust collection. A recent item to arrive has been one of the larger surviving components of a former British Ambulance Van. This had seen post-war service at the famous Smiths Crisp’s Nocton Potato Estates in Lincolnshire, UK. It later passed through both the Lincs Coast Light Railway & South Tynedale Railway before being acquired by myself.

Chassis at Apedale - Moseley Railway Trust.

Seen in this post, the “Van” is awaiting collection at Alston in November 2010 & 1 week later at Apedale, now safely stored awaiting the restoration to start. Many thanks to our friends at the South Tynedale Railway & volunteers back at Apedale for helping with this.

And here is what the finished item will look like….

The finished item...