Meeting today’s mainline safety standards has made the 5BEL project much harder, more complex and massively more expensive than restoring a carriage for use on a heritage line or zero-timing a vintage airliner to return it to service. Happily, the travelling public will never see the massive strengthening of the front end and front corners of each of the motor thirds.
The new vertical and horizontal pillar braces, largely hidden by the driver’s desk, offer massively improved crash-worthiness. The welded-shut and cross-braced driver’s doors will at long last give a warm, dry and safe environment for the driver (the driver will enter the cab via the luggage doors). A ‘false’ floor permits service access to the control gear wiring. The standard of welding and fabrication work by the Rampart team is exemplary.