The Road-Rail Experiment
When a bus ran on the West Somerset rails...
The Road-Rail Bus was one of the ideas to emerge in the late 1970s from the Centre for Alternative Industrial and Technological Systems - set up in conjunction with the Lucas Aerospace Combined Shop Stewards Committee and North East London Polytechnic to develop some alternative products.
The project made use of a secondhand Bristol LH, NEL847M, from the Hants & Dorset fleet. Trials were carried out from a base at Bishops Lydeard on the West Somerset in 1980. The bus gaining access to the railway tracks via a ramp of planks.
The standard road tyres run on both road and rails. Small retractable guide wheels ensure the vehicle remains on the rails.
During a Press Day, 13 August 1980, the Road-Rail Bus ran from Bishops Lydeard to Roebuck Gate Crossing, where it prompting lifted the guide wheels, took to the road, and trundled off towards Crowcombe...
After that, the vehicle left the West Somerset and has never been seen again!
Move the screen pointer over each image for a slightly bigger image...
Pictures from the Press Day
The bus leaves the rail for the road at Roebuck Gate Crossing
The bus arrives at platform two at Bishops Lydeard.
An odd sight for road users as the bus crosses over the A358 at Tribble Bridge.
The bus is photographed from every angle during Press Day at Bishops Lydeard.
The bus is centre of attention during Press Day at Bishops Lydeard.