Army Ambulance Coach Conservation

Commissioned consultancy to produce a condition survey and conservation management plan for The Army Medical Museum, Aldershot.
The working life history of this ambulance coach during military service as part of the Ambulance train Squadron is very concisely documented in the report published by Colonel Brian Robertson OStJ, TD, L/RAMC(V).

The idea of preserving an example of an ambulance coach was first floated by Colonel Brian Robertson in a letter to the curator of the RAMC Historical Museum in November 1995.

At this point, in service the Ambulance Train Squadron was operating two types of rolling stock:

A: Byg stock dating from 1957, converted Deutsches Bundesbahn (DB) passenger stock

B: Bymk stock dating from 1952, manufactured in Germany, purpose designed for the US Army Medical department as ambulance stock.

The Bymk stock designated: 50 80 02-11 002-3 was manufactured in the DB workshops at Neuaubing, Munich in 1957.

  • Length: 19.5 metres
  • Weight: 32 tons
  • Bogie configuration: Swan neck
  • One of eleven purchased by the British Army in December 1978
  • Served in the Ambulance Train Fleet until 1989
  • Converted to take 33 stretchers in bespoke constructed frames

The choice of stock for preservation was influenced by the fact that the Bymk fleet was to undergo an upgrade and refit, which would prolong their service life thus this example of rolling stock would not become available for preservation.

Examples from the Byg stock were identified and selected for preservation.

Fleet number 002-3 was delivered to the Port of Hull and eventually arrived at Marchwood Military Port August 28th 1992.

Members of the 275 Railway squadron RLC(V) and the Ambulance Train Squadron RAMC(V) completed the coach restoration project over 13 months within the port’s workshops.

On September 23rd 1993 at Keogh Barracks the coach was manoeuvred into position and set to rest onto a specially prepared section of period track.

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