Wensleydale Railway returns historic railbus to museum 

Wensleydale Railway has returned its historic railbus to the National Railway Museum.

LEV 1 is an experimental railbus with a body based on the Leyland National bus.

It was built in 1975 and designed to provide economical services on selected British Rail routes.

The prototype design eventually led to the development of the Pacer series of diesel multiple units in the 1980s that saw extensive use on branch lines and commuter services.

The railbus has been on loan to Wensleydale Railway since October 2012 and saw service for several years.

Wensleydale Railway’s engineering team recently carried out a major cosmetic overhaul of the unit prior to its departure for Locomotion Shildon, part of the National Railway Museum and Science Museum Group.

Steve Davies, director of Wensleydale Railway PLC, said: “As a former director of the National Railway Museum, I fully recognise that railway heritage and preservation is not just about the eye-catching steam, diesel and electric locomotives, but that those vehicles which played an important role in maintaining services economically in order to guarantee their viability are equally important.

“LEV 1 played a pivotal role in the eventual development of the much-maligned Pacers, a vehicle which despite its poor publicity actually underpinned a multitude of commuter and secondary services at relatively low cost for many years.

“LEV 1 therefore can rightly claim its place in the pantheon of British railway history – alongside the likes of the A1, A3 and A4 pacifics, the Royal Scots, Duchesses, Castles and Kings, and the early diesels, and of course the APT and HSTs.

“It is therefore a personal delight that LEV 1 has now been fully restored cosmetically by the Wensleydale Railway in anticipation of its return to the National Railway Museum where it will assume a modest but important role in telling the story of the passenger experience.”