The end is nigh for 57-year old ‘Bubble cars’

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Re: The end is nigh for 57-year old ‘Bubble cars’

Postby george matthews » Tue May 16, 2017 7:17 am

philipmartin wrote:
kato wrote:
philipmartin wrote:I noticed somewhere that a certain type of diesel in Germany i think it was, is called a doodlebug.

The East-German V180 diesel locomotives had that nickname.

Below is a photo of a Deutsche Reichbahn V180, diesel hydraulic. Thank you for the tip, Kato.
Also a Wiki article on the topic. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/DR-Baureihe_V_180


That is not a bubble car, nor any relation. The single car diesel units in Britain were designed for rural branch lines. Of course, most of the branches for which they were intended have been closed since then. They were a continuation of developments in the 1930s, when the GWR designed a number of diesel rail cars for its rural branches. I can remember when the GWR cars were replaced by the modern diesel passenger cars.
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Re: The end is nigh for 57-year old ‘Bubble cars’

Postby philipmartin » Tue May 16, 2017 9:43 am

I didn't make it too plain but the East German V180 locomotive was called a doodlebug, not a bubble.
The GWR ran steam railcars. Here's a photo of one from Wiki. "Restored Steam Railmotor number 93 at Norton Fitzwarren on the West Somerset Railway
Geof Sheppard (talk) - Own work
Restored Great Western Railway steam railmotor 93 at Norton Fitzwarren during a visit to the West Somerset Railway.
CC BY-SA 3.0
File:Norton Fitzwarren - GWR SRM 93.jpg
Created: 24 March 2013
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Norton_Fitzwarren_-_GWR_SRM_93.jpg
Last edited by philipmartin on Tue May 16, 2017 2:39 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: The end is nigh for 57-year old ‘Bubble cars’

Postby george matthews » Tue May 16, 2017 10:12 am

philipmartin wrote:I didn't make it too plain but the East German V180 locomotive was called a doodlebug, not a bubble.
The GWR ran steam railcars.

Their actual policy was to phase these out and replace with the modern - in the 1930s - diesel cars. Steam was on the way out for excellent reasons. It was labour intensive - money could be saved by eliminating the large number of people needed to fuel, clean and maintain steam engines; it was dirty - even in the 1930s there were complaints about the dirt. I remember, in 1943, travelling in a diesel railcar on the Wye Valley line. The GWR had a number of these on its numerous rural branches. It had also begun to build three car diesel sets for longer distance journeys on main lines. I remember travelling in one of these as late as 1957 when commuting from Slough to London.
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Re: The end is nigh for 57-year old ‘Bubble cars’

Postby David Benton » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:14 am

THE ‘BUBBLE’ FINALLY BURSTS.
THE final weekday of the winter timetable, May 19, saw Chiltern Railways cease using its two Class 121 ‘Bubble Cars’, and with it came the end of First Generation DMUs with a main line operator.

https://www.railexpress.co.uk/the-bubbl ... ly-bursts/
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Re: The end is nigh for 57-year old ‘Bubble cars’

Postby george matthews » Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:36 am

David Benton wrote:THE ‘BUBBLE’ FINALLY BURSTS.
THE final weekday of the winter timetable, May 19, saw Chiltern Railways cease using its two Class 121 ‘Bubble Cars’, and with it came the end of First Generation DMUs with a main line operator.

https://www.railexpress.co.uk/the-bubbl ... ly-bursts/

There are still a few of the older type left on preserved lines. For example the Swanage line has a few and uses them on late night trains for campers during the summer. I think other preserved lines also have some. They are cheap to run and provide a useful service - the reason for their original introduction. When closed down there is no requirement for clearing the ashes or stocking with coal.
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Re: The end is nigh for 57-year old ‘Bubble cars’

Postby johnthefireman » Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:29 pm

If I understand correctly, the nickname "bubble car" only refers to the single unit version. There are indeed quite a few double and possibly even triple unit versions of that basic type of first generation DMU still being operated by the heritage movement, but I'm not sure if there are any other single units, ie true "bubble cars"; at least, I don't think they are as common as the multi-units.

As for throwing out the fire at the end of the day, the purpose of a heritage railway line, at least for many of the volunteers who run it, is to recreate as far as possible the atmosphere and the practice of the historical era which it is re-enacting. So I'm afraid throwing out the fire goes with the territory!
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Re: The end is nigh for 57-year old ‘Bubble cars’

Postby george matthews » Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:38 am

As for throwing out the fire at the end of the day, the purpose of a heritage railway line, at least for many of the volunteers who run it, is to recreate as far as possible the atmosphere and the practice of the historical era which it is re-enacting. So I'm afraid throwing out the fire goes with the territory!


Even a preserved line has costs and needs. The diesel units used to serve evening campers wishing to go back to their tents from the pleasures of the town and seaside. I had a look at the current timetable and note that no diesel trains are in fact listed for that purpose this year. Perhaps they weren't a success. But late at night they were much more suitable than steam. And volunteers, as most of the workers were, would not want to spend the late hours mucking out a steam engine. There really was a good reason for getting rid of steam. It was very expensive in terms of labour, even if the labour was unpaid.
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Re: The end is nigh for 57-year old ‘Bubble cars’

Postby johnthefireman » Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:52 am

george matthews wrote:And volunteers, as most of the workers were, would not want to spend the late hours mucking out a steam engine. There really was a good reason for getting rid of steam. It was very expensive in terms of labour, even if the labour was unpaid.


You're mixing up two completely different things. Of course there was a good reason for getting rid of steam in mainstream commercial service. Nobody disputes that, and to be honest you are once again flogging a dead horse.

But volunteers are generally doing it because they love steam, and throwing out the fire at night is part of the deal. We just want to be around steam engines, even though it is hard and dirty work.

Think of horse lovers. All that shovelling dung and rubbing down sweaty horses. Why don't they just ride motorbikes? Much cleaner, quicker and more efficient. But could it be that they are passionate about horses, and the mucking out and grooming is all about being close to the objects of their passion? Replace the word "horses" with steam engines, and you may begin to understand us!
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