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Bucks' Bubble Car travels into history books

The Bubble - Chiltern Railways

1:51pm 19th May 2017
(Updated 2:04pm 19th May 2017)

A little piece of railway history has disappeared from Buckinghamshire today.

The one-carriage Bubble Cars - as they're known - have had their last journey between Aylesbury and Princes Risborough, with a special send-off.

MD of Chiltern Railways, Dave Penny, told us this won't be the end for the trains:

"You'll definitely see them out and about on heritage railways across the UK.

"We're in conversations with a number of lines at the moment to potentially pass them on to heritage rail operators."

Bubble Car farewell

Bubble Car farewell

Bubble Car farewell

The history

First brought into service in Britain in 1960, the two heritage class 121 trains were purchased by Chiltern Railways in 2003 and have serviced the 18-minute journey from Princes Risborough to Monks Risborough, Little Kimble and Aylesbury ever since.

Bubble Car farewell

As single carriage trains, they are recognisable for their small size and open environment allowing customers to see ahead through the front windows of the train.

The future

Famed for being the last remaining trains in service that use vacuum brakes, the time has come where the ongoing maintenance of these classic trains is increasing and the decision has been to take them out of service.

Bubble Car farewell

Bubble Car farewell

Both trains will be on sale following their retirement and the number of services running daily across the route will remain unchanged.

Matthew Prosser, Engineering Director at Chiltern Railways says:

"We will be sad to see these trains go has they are a part of railway history and some customers even make special journeys to travel on them.

"However, the changes are necessary due to the age of the vehicles and we will ultimately be providing a more comfortable service for our customers."

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