An ex-British Railways rail car arrived in Wallingford last week.

The class 121 single-carriage unit, carrying the number 55034, was on loan at Cholsey and Wallingford Railway from Locomotive Services Ltd.

The vehicle, commonly referred to as a bubble car, was based at Reading depot from July 1978 until May 1986.

This is Oxfordshire: The train in WallingfordThe train in Wallingford (Image: Jonathan Dart)

Built in 1961, these rail cars were among the first series of diesel multiple units deployed by British Railways on both branch-line and suburban services.

This specific unit had been in mainline service until as recently as 2017.

It was given an overhaul for use by Chiltern Railways from 2011 after having been withdrawn for preservation in 1996.

Having served as a route-learning vehicle, the bubble car has since been used on heritage railways, including most recently on the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway in Derbyshire.

This is Oxfordshire: The train at Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire, in 2017The train at Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire, in 2017 (Image: George Thomas)

Chairman of Cholsey and Wallingford Railway's board, Michael Palfrey, said: "We’re extremely pleased to welcome this bubble car back to its old stomping ground.

“We are extremely grateful to Locomotive Services Ltd for the loan of the unit and for their support with training staff to operate and maintain it."

The railway will be making a further announcement on when the railcar will be in service on the line once staff training has been completed.

Cholsey and Wallingford Railway is an entirely volunteer-run organisation and relies on donations to operate.