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LNER Newsletter 47


Our project vehicle is now in the Kidderminster Carriage & Wagon Paintshop for the final stages of fettling and lining out the body, installing the upholstered seats and applying further coats of paint and varnish. This stage should be completed sometime in January. Thereafter, when space can be found in a busy schedule, the mechanical and electrical overhaul will be done along with fitting the overhauled bogies, gangway ends and testing brakes and steam heating.

Still a way to go before the carriage can take its place in a nine-carriage Gresley Teak Set, but exciting times indeed for the New Year 2016. Here are a few pictures to illustrate the stage now reached...



Lining-out LNER corridor stock is a slow process harking back to times when labour was cheap. That now being applied to the Brake Third is the first lining this vehicle has ever had in its 72-year life.Hugh McQuade tells us that each Gresley carriage needs about a third of a mile of lining (and a lot of patience) – that’s three miles of lining for the full carriage set. Terminations of these lines have a small arrow-head device. Next time you travel in a Gresley carriage have a closer look at the artistry and intricate work involved.



LNER Newsletter 46

(The full newsletter can be seen here)


Our project vehicle is now receiving some of its finishing touches in Kidderminster’s Carriage Shed. It has had four more coats of varnish, making at least ten coats (some areas more). The body is now ready to be lined out, numbered and lettered prior to final varnishing. Its overhauled bogies can soon be fitted, along with the corridor bellows. The mechanical and electrical overhauls will be done when a workshop slot is available.


For much of October we’re having the pleasure of ‘TORNADO’ back for another SVR visit, again attracting large crowds. It has been a particular joy to see it matched to our teak set (albeit minus 52255 for its internal upgrade). Regrettably, operational needs meant 60163’s first public weekend was spent hauling the SVR’s BR maroon set. This was to accommodate a long-standing large party booking for some cyclists, their bikes being too numerous for the small brake area in 24068. Here’s hoping that this won’t be repeated for later workings this month. And roll-on our Brake Third’s completion with its more spacious storage area!


. . . has been out and about again, this time running with the Teak Train. And what a splendid sight this made! The pictures show this wonderful vehicle with a special working attached to a service train on Thursday 24th September.

7960 can now be booked for private hire. Its 30 seat capacity is very well suited to a luxury celebration of that ‘extra special’ event or anniversary.


Somewhat alarmingly, Tourist Third Open No.43600 has developed a leak in its roof canvas, allowing water to penetrate into the newly restored interior (Newsletters 39/40). A temporary repair means the carriage is available for service for the rest of this season. To save workshop time our LNER volunteers will fit a new canvas in the New Year.


Another bogie bolster spring has failed in the teak set’s current Brake Composite No.24068. This is from normal in-service wear. But the SVR’s supply of spares is now worryingly low, and we hope new springs will soon be ordered. SVR service wear is also reducing several of the Teak Set’s wheel tyres to their minimum.


Sunday 11th October saw the launch of another outstanding quality restoration by the Great Western (SVR) Association, our working colleagues at Bewdley. This is GWR Brake Third No.650 which, as noted in Newsletter 45, is historically important as a sole survivor of six pre-war GWR open-plan trains designed for excursion work. Its distinctive and beautifully recreated art-deco interior is shown to good effect in the second and third pictures.

Heaven forefend that buffet trolleys or children’s buggies are ever allowed into this painstaking recreation that sums up the excellence of the SVR carriage restorers’ art.

LNER Newsletter 45

(The full newsletter can be seen here)


On Friday 7th August our Brake Third Project carriage left Bewdley for Kidderminster where the remaining work will continue. This was after a massive ‘shunt’ of Bewdley Yard on 30th July, which took around eight hours and finished in twilight. On 7th August, our carriage left Bewdley in the company of GWR Brake Open Third 650 – another superb restoration of an attractive coach – and GWR ‘Siphon G’ No.1257, an outside-frame Milk Van. It’s hard to imagine three more contrasting vehicles, but they do reflect SVR’s rather special eclectic mix of heritage. Our Brake Third is representative of a familiar LNER-style and has what can best be described as ‘mixed parentage’ to meet an SVR operational need for our ‘Teak Train’ set. The GWR Brake Third is historically important as a sole survivor of six pre-war open-plan coach sets, a style rare in GWR terms and designed mainly for excursion work. It has a distinctive and beautifully recreated art-deco interior. Its survival is due to its post-railway use as a boys’ club venue in the Wye Valley. The ‘Siphon G’ is a 1927 vehicle built to a 1913 design and is the sole survivor of this type of construction; it finds regular SVR employment as a ‘Santa Grotto’ at Arley.

Both passenger coaches will have further mechanical work done at Kidderminster to prepare them for operational service, including fitting their correct overhauled wheel sets. Our Brake Third still needs much interior work to complete its fittings and the new upholstery. Meanwhile our work continues at Bewdley on the time-consuming cleaning and repainting of items such as the pigeon van shelves and picture frames.

Among the preceding pictures is our Brake Third sporting its new roof boards. These reflect the old informally-named ‘port-to-port’ services operated jointly by the LNER and GWR. These routinely brought LNER teak carriages deep into GWR territory and with GWR loco-haulage. The lower middle picture shows the two Great Western vehicles in the move. The final picture illustrates continuing work at Bewdley preparing the pigeon van shelving.

At what is now known as Kidderminster’s Platform 9¾, further work will include extra coats of varnish and further painting of the roof to keep it watertight. While at Kidderminster the carriage will be lined-out, lettered and numbered and have its outstanding mechanical and electrical work done along with fitting its corridor connections and overhauled bogies.

LNER Newsletter 44

(The full newsletter can be seen here)


On 28th May this superb carriage had another outing. It was in one of the rôles intended for it – running in a short formation as a special SVR private dining charter.


The interior of the carriage is changing rapidly, thanks in particular to some outstanding woodwork done under contracts with Boston Lodge, Festiniog Railway. They earlier made the seat legs for our open carriage restorations in 43600 and 52255 and have now supplied many of the new wood fittings in the Brake Third’s compartments. New window blind covers, window surrounds, beading, pelmets and door framing elements have been produced to a very high standard. It’s good to know who your friends are! We had much to show our visitors on the SVR ‘Peep behind the Scenes’ day on 18th July, including the now largely finished WC compartment.

The lino has been laid at the passenger end, and the luggage racks are also in progress. Other completed items are the newly-made underseat grills to protect the heater elements from inquisitive young fingers. The WC has gained a mirror – not a genuine LNER item, which would be too tempting to thieves, but it looks the part – and the WC seat has its glorious varnished finish.


Between 1935 and 1939 there were six train cruises with 150 Hertfordshire Scouts and Scouters visiting locations in England and Scotland. The pictures show this was another LNER marketing initiative on Northern Belle lines. Readers may recognise the LNER moquette is the same pattern used in our recent TTO 43600 interior restoration. The Scouts slept on board, travelling through the night and undertaking various activities with the local groups including climbing Ben Nevis.

LNER Newsletter 43 & Special Launch Supplement

(The full newsletters can be seen here & here)


Honestly! You wait years for a Gresley carriage restoration to be finished – and then two newly completed vehicles turn up on the same day, much like the proverbial buses!


The WC compartment has made considerable progress to the point where it has been possible to lay the marmoleum flooring (see picture). Fitting out is now in progress.

The Brake Third has acquired its ‘throne’. Even the toilet seat has its own history, originating from a 1933 York-built Travelling Post Office (TPO) sorting van No.2152, later renumbered 70301. This was one of a batch of three to Diagram 165 which included an electric tea urn, gas oven and a value parcel locker. Four other Diagram 164 TPO vehicles completed the set, which operated the 8.25pm King’s Cross-North East TPO (replacing an earlier gas-lit set). The 1933 vehicles had flat ends, a flat ended roof, screw couplings and the characteristic offset gangways. All had been withdrawn by the early 1970s. Prior to our acquisition postmen alone had had exclusive use of this seat!

Work continues at Bewdley on the many detailed parts that can be finished later like the luggage racks and pigeon basket shelves. The latter, while still requiring more work, have had an initial fitting in the Brake end of the vehicle. Six of these shelves are still available for sponsorship at £40 each...)

Just one of the remaining exterior teak panels still seeks a sponsor – Panel E11 at £90. There must be someone out there who can complete this saga and ‘give this last orphan a home’.

Two-thirds of the 600 feet of beading is sponsored – at a £1 a foot (mostly in £10 tranches) – this is something where everyone can feel able to contribute.


Much has been done to restore the end-vehicle doors at the corridor connection. This has involved stripping multiple layers of old paint and rebuilding both doors to repair damage. They have now been superbly varnished, as also have the newly fitted pelmets over the corridor sliding doors. The shaped metal ‘Guard look-out’ is a fine example of teak scumbling, here applied with consummate skill.


Later in the year we hope to be able to send the Brake Third to Kidderminster for its mechanical overhaul, an essential step in preparing the carriage for its SVR public service. At Kidderminster the vehicle will also be revarnished – its six coats are already showing signs of weathering from exposure to the elements at Bewdley. As part of the work the carriage’s lining out and other external decorative features will be added. The cost will no doubt be fairly daunting – possibly into five figures – as it will involve paid time work by the SVR’s Carriage and Wagon professionals. So please don’t forget us. We need your continuing financial support if you’d like to ride with us in the completed carriage!

The work at Kidderminster will be spread out over time, and entry into service remains at least two years away, but the consolation is that the vehicle will be under cover there.

LNER Newsletter 42

Brake Third Project

This project continues to make progress. The compartment/corridor sliding doors have been hung on newly designed runners made especially for us by Chambrelan UK of Wolverhampton.

The need for new runners arose because the original design – probably dating back to the nineteenth century – has brought problems. The old ones are too short to provide support for the full length of the door movement. Over time the doors’ weight causes them to drop leading to wear and damage to the floor runners. The illustrations show the ‘old’ and ‘new’ contrasts and the improved support gained over the full length of the new runner. Not an item found in the Amazon or B&Q catalogues – another example of the specialist (and costly) approach needed to modern carriage restoration. 


A further expense has been the specially made glazing for the sliding door droplights. These have to be strengthened glass and especially etched ‘3RD’.

The WC cistern has had a further leak test, which it passed with flying colours. Next, the WC flooring will be laid so that fitting out can be completed. Various fittings have been varnished; the pictures show the restored cupboard that goes under the wash basin and a newly made roof access box in the vestibule.

New step-boards:

The Brake Third’s appearance has been much enhanced by fitting the step-boards.


Door repairs:

Work is in hand repairing and rebuilding the damaged doors that fit at the corridor connection ends of the vehicle. These are a challenge for a good carpenter, but we know ‘a man who can’!


Later in the year we should be able to send the Brake Third to Kidderminster for its mechanical overhaul, an essential step in preparing the carriage for its SVR public service. At Kidderminster the vehicle will also be revarnished – its six coats (at least) are already showing signs of weathering from exposure to the elements at Bewdley. The carriage’s lining out and other external decorative features will be added. The cost will no doubt be fairly daunting as it will involve paid time work by the SVR’s Carriage and Wagon professionals. So please don’t forget us if you’d like to ride with us in the completed carriage! Meanwhile work will continue at Bewdley on the many detailed parts that can be fitted when ready, eg the pigeon basket shelves.


This carriage has now moved into Kidderminster Carriage & Wagon for completion of its kitchen equipment and revarnishing. It should be looking great when it will be on show next month to our royal visitor, Princess Anne, in the SVR’s Golden Jubilee year.



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