The 1903 North Eastern Railway Electric Autocar

The 1903 Electric Autocar Trust is finalising the restoration of a unique wooden-bodied Edwardian autocar and autocoach at Embsay.  The autocar is one of the most important items of historic rolling stock in the country.  It was the first railway vehicle to carry its own internal combustion engine and generator to drive the transmission – it truly is the grandfather of all modern trains – when it was built in 1903 it was well ahead of its time!  It’s restoration from a forgotten holiday home hidden in some bushes to the beautifully restored condition it is in today (with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund) is one of the most remarkable preservation stories to be told – and you can now hear the story directly from the man who rescued it from a North Yorkshire farmer’s field – Stephen Middleton.

Autocar restoration wins the prestigious Manisty Award

December 2018: The Heritage Railway Association’s most prestigious award. Awarded by the Board of the HRA on an occasional basis for an exceptional and outstanding contribution to railway preservation.

Tickets for the Autocar Reinauguration Specials

Tickets are now available for the reinauguration specials on 17th & 18th April 2019.

Each visitor on these two days will receive:

  • Introductory speech from the 1903 Autocar Trust Chairman Stephen Middleton
  • Gift bag including certificate of attendance on the reinauguration specials, and information regarding the Autocar trust and the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway
  • Special celebratory bottle of ‘Pioneer Ale’ – launched in conjunction with Naylor’s Brewery to celebrate the re-launch of the Autocar

Prices for the reinauguration specials are £15 (adults), £14 (concessions), £7.50 (children) or £40 (family).  Later in the year, prices will revert to our standard pricing.

Tickets for the reinauguration specials are very limited and must be purchased in advance through our ticketing website by and choosing ‘1903 Electric Autocar’ from the menu.


From November 2018 until April 2019, the newly-restored Autocar will be undergoing extensive testing and refinement of it’s systems in advance of the public launch dates on the 17th & 18th of April 2019.

As the Autocar is currently running well, we do not foresee problems with the launch date, but with a project of this nature we have to accept a degree of uncertainty as full testing and refinement of the systems has not yet taken place.

In the unlikely event of Autocar not passing it’s tests, or if any other unforeseen problems occur, we may have to postpone the launch date and will offer you the choice of switching your ticket to an alternative date or a full refund.

Please note that the Autocar will be running by itself (i.e. no Autocoach to accompany it) on these dates and also note that the Autocar is currently unheated.  We are hopeful that the Yorkshire weather will not be too cold towards the end of April.

Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway


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