The World's Oldest Electric Train, With 115 Years Of Age, Is Back On The Track

Karamchand Rameshwar - Oct 26, 2018

The World's Oldest Electric Train, With 115 Years Of Age, Is Back On The Track

The oldest electric train in the world with 115 years of age was restored by the hands of Middleton and his team.

Many people would assume that electric train is something that belongs to the modern world. You may be surprised with the fact that North Eastern Railway built the first electric train in 1903 at York Carriage Works as an ‘auto cars’ pair’s part. The 115-year-old train is back in service after being restored by the efforts of 150 people.

Middleton and his restored train

Restoring this train was the idea of Stephen Middleton. After Middleton spotted the old train in many photographs, he then started looking for it. He finally found it abandoned in North Yorkshire. It took him 3 years and £1,000 to be able to purchase the train.

The hardest part is the journey of restoring the trains. The 15-year-journey of restoring it started after he had managed to purchase the train. The journey finally ended on 19 October 2018. The effort was finally paid off when the train set a notable milestone in the industry of restoration and transport as the oldest electric train in the world that can run again nearly after 90 years.

Interested? Let’s see how Middleton along with his team managed to transform such an old train into an up-and-running one that is even better than many modern trains.

Brief history

Electric Train Worlds Oldest Electric Train Trains
An 'auto car' in 1903

It is suggested by a DailyMail UK’s report that changing from the traditional train using steam engines to electric train was a historic and important mark.

The electric train back then worked a bit different compared to the modern ones as they draw the electricity from the overhead lines. The old train, however, produced electricity using petrol engine.

In the 1930s, the train was finally decommissioned after serving for 30 years. The body of the train was later sold to a landlord in the North Yorkshire who then utilized it as a kind of holiday home in his region.

Finding The Lost Cause

The train had been abandoned for a long time in the middle of woodlands and bushes before being found by Middleton. “We literally found it in the bushes”, Middleton said

Electric Train Worlds Oldest Electric Train Trains
The train was previously used as a holiday home

He had to persistently pursue the train’s owners to buy the train. He finally managed to close the deal at £1,000 with the condition of moving the train out of their land.

The fact that the train was located on a hill making it much more difficult to move it. In the end, they had to appoint a lorry to transport the old train to Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway.

The Makeover

Electric Train Worlds Oldest Electric Train Trains
Middleton and the team basically had to rebuild the train

The whole process cost Middleton £1 million and more than ten years to get the long-abandoned train transformed into a fully-functional train. The restoration process included replacing the wooden panels with new ones.

Electric Train Worlds Oldest Electric Train Trains
The 115-year-old train looks much better after being restored

Thanks to the effort of him and his team, the train, with wide windows and plush velvet seats,  is now capable of running at a speed of 40km per hour. It is even described with the funny name of the ‘granddad of all modern trains’ and has a grandeur that none of the modern trains can possibly offer.

Electric Train Worlds Oldest Electric Train Trains
You wouldn't believe that this train is already 115 years old

The train is expected to welcome passengers next year.


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