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Steam Railcar

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    UKMISC: Steam Railcar: Sentinel Railcar


    Steam Railcar produced by Sentinel with Metro Cammell

    This railcar was built by Sentinel in 1951and was used by the Egyptian State Railway.  It is one of only ten units built jointly by Sentinel and Metro-Cammell, Birmingham in 1951. Sentinel constructed the boilers, engines and auxiliaries, which were then sent to Metro-Cammell works at Saltley, Birmingham, who supplied the bodywork and bogies, and where the units were erected.  The unit is articulated, the three coaches sharing four bogies instead of six that would be required if normal practice were followed. The boiler is a Woolnough ‘three drum’ marine type and is oil-fired. It supplies steam to a pair of six-cylinder engines which drive the wheels of two bogies via Cardan shafts. The steam boiler is in one end of the coach (3rd class because of the heat), the middle coach was 2nd class, and the end coach was 1st class. Each coach had a toilet appropriate to the class!  Top speed of the unit is over 60 mph and it seats 186 passengers. It was used on Cairo suburban services, based at El Wasta depot, some 50 miles south of Cairo. It also worked around Tanta, 50 miles north of Cairo.

    It was withdrawn from service in 1962, when it was put into storage at El Wasta.  Of the ten sets built, 7 have been converted to coaching stock, with No. 5028 being in the best condition of those remaining by the 1980’s. It was purchased by the Sentinel Trust from the Egyptian National Railway in 1985.  During September 1984 it was moved to Alexandria on the first stage of its journey to Britain, and it arrived at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre at Quainton in January 1985. It is in good condition considering its long period of storage and it is hoped to return it to working order in due course.

    During 2005 the ownership of this unit transferred from the Sentinel Trust to Quainton Railway Society.  The boiler has had a preliminary boiler inspection, and it is now possible to carry out a hydraulic test to establish the condition of the boiler. Particularly with this type of water tube boiler it is impossible to inspect all the tubes, so throughout 2007/8 the boiler was stripped down. Early in December 2007 it underwent three hydraulic tests, to a pressure just over the recommended test pressure of 560psi.  It has been shown to be in good order.

    The current main project is the restoration of the first power bogie, with the other power bogie to follow afterwards.

    Introduced 1951
    Withdrawn 1962
    Builder Sentinel & Metro-Cammell

    Set 5208 at Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, 18/02/2019

    Photo: Dan Cardwell

    Number Altnumber Status Note Livery Depot Base Owner
    9518 5208   O 0-4-0-VBGT RAILCAR Grey PR Buckinghamshire Railway Centre PRE