Steve Johnson Modelmaker
Park Royal Vehicles Ltd Railbus
Park Royal Vehicles was invited to produce lightweight four wheel diesel railbuses. They built five units numbered M79970-4 and were initially allocated to the London Midland Region. These 42ft long vehicles were powered by the 150hp AEC unit with a standard transmission and drew heavily on the company's bus body building experience. As with the other railbuses, they eventually ended up on the Scottish Region. Sadly none survive.
Heljan released a model of these units in 2015 in various liveries. The departure here for Heljan was to have a one piece body that attaches to the chassis rather than the split body. Removing the body gives access to the interior and fit a DCC chip. Two versions have been produced, the standard 'Midland' version and the 'Scottish' version with folding steps. It has working lights that change with direction of travel Obviously there is not a rear red light as these vehicles carried an oil lamp on the rear. The model is very heavy and runs extremely smoothly. Detailing is excellent, but the large windows beg some better interior detail and painted seats. My version is M79971 is in dmu green and has yet to be fitted with a chip.
Airfix, now Dapol, have famously made a plastic non working kit of this railbus since 1960 and I think we have all had a go at it one time or another. Various motorising options have existed, but perhaps the best have been the Branchlines or DC Kits chassis.