A team of volunteers from the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway has won the prestigious Railcar of the year award for their work in restoring a rare class 119 Diesel Multiple Unit. Diesel railcar enthusiasts throughout the UK have bestowed the accolade on the team following an annual competition that has restorers from other heritage railways throughout the country entering the highly respected contest.
In November 2008 the small team of volunteers decided to take on the mammoth task of restoring the unit to its former glory. The unit was withdrawn from service in 1993 and was an empty shell when it arrived at the railway in 2006.
The project represents the first full restoration that has taken place at the railway. The skills and expertise of the restoration team have been further recognised as other heritage railways are now sending their units for restoration and maintenance for the award winning team of volunteers to work their magic on.
Leigh Gration, the Team Leader commented “The class 119 is the only one of its class carrying passengers in preservation and I am very proud of the quality of work and dedication of the team in completing such an epic undertaking within such a short timescale.”
W51073 undergoing her initial trials