Most weekends diesel railbus M79964 can be seen providing the morning services between Oxenhope and Keighley. Indeed it has become as much a part of the Worth Valley scene as its more illustrious steam stablemates. This image from the 1st February 2014 shows this DRB fulfilling the role it was designed for in the 1950’s, providing a public service on a rural branchline, but now almost 60 years after construction.
Over 25 years ago M79964 worked turn and turn about with fellow class member E79962 until the latter succumbed to the ravages of time and was laid aside until time and funds could be allocated to return it to work. E79962’s time has now come, following transfer of ownership from the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway to the Vintage Carriages Trust at Ingrow.
Both these units were supplied by Waggon and Maschinenbau in Germany and E79962, unlike M79964, still has its original Buessing engine and is therefore well placed to be restored back into its original condition. In addition it lacks the alterations made to M79964 in both British Railways and Worth Valley Railway ownership. It is anticipated that restoration will take between 3 and 4 years during which time the vehicle will be dismantled for body work repair and removal of residual asbestos and overhaul of the wheelsets. Once this has been completed it will be moved into the Trust’s workshops at Ingrow where full restoration to as close as possible original condition will take place. Thankfully the original engine has already been fully overhauled, so avoiding at least some of the expense.
So, we don’t have too long to wait before this 27th December 1988 scene at Haworth can be repeated.
Featured image: Robin Lush. Photo (M79964): inspiring images