News Release - Issued by North Yorkshire Moors Railway
A heritage carriage saved from scrap and lovingly restored by volunteers of the LNER Coach Association has entered public service for the first time in 50 years. On Saturday 9th May, Carriage BTK3669 was ‘declared finished’ by Sir Nigel Gresley’s grandson Tim Godfrey at a ceremony that was attended by those who helped in its restoration.
The LNER Coach Association and its hardworking volunteers have spent the last 13 years painstakingly and lovingly restoring the carriage to its original as-built condition, complete with varnished teak finish, white roof, and brown and white wheels.
Murray Brown, founder of the LNER Coach Association, commented: “With this vintage carriage being the last of its type, we have been looking forward to seeing it fully restored, and taking its place in the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) teak carriage set. The public love carriages with old-fashioned compartments and this one complete with water-colour paintings of scenes around Yorkshire will certainly not disappoint. Even the seating material, moquette, has been researched and especially woven to the identical pattern from when the carriage was built 85 years ago.”
Carriage BTK3669 has four compartments, side corridor, lavatory and a guard’s van area. It was built in 1930 for the London and North Eastern railway (LNER) to a design of Sir Nigel Gresley, arguably Britain’s foremost locomotive and carriage designer, and ran throughout the 1930s, the Second World War and the austere 1950s until it was withdrawn from passenger-carrying service in the swinging 60s.
However, instead of being scrapped like many other such vehicles, it was earmarked to be part of a breakdown train to attend derailments. The years rolled by until 1 July 1980 when it was finally withdrawn from service and put up for sale. It escaped being scrapped once more and initially went to Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway.
It finally passed into the ownership of LNER Coach Association member, Marcus Woodcock in April 2002. It was moved to a farmer’s premises off the beaten track near Driffield, where, Marcus and his two fellow coach preservationists, Roy Lingham and Stuart Hiscock, painstakingly rebuilt the carriage, replacing the missing fittings and restoring the vintage carriage back to its original varnished teak condition. More recently Nick Stringer joined the team as co-owner, and last year, after more than 10 years on the farm, the coach moved to Pickering for final fitting out by the NYMR and a team of LNERCA volunteers. It is estimated that the restoration has taken 16,000 volunteer man-hours and cost some £80,000 in materials.
John Bailey, North York Moors Historical Railway Trust chairman comments “We are very thankful to the LNER Coach Association for their hard work, commitment and dedication they have shown bringing this carriage back into service on the NYMR. The teak set is extremely popular with the public and even more so when it is often hauled by the NYMR flagship locomotive LNER A4 4-6-2 No. 60007 “Sir Nigel Gresley”. It will make a great addition to an already popular set of heritage carriages.”
The LNER Coach Association is a volunteer run, registered charity specializing in preserving and restoring LNER carriages, and is based on the NYMR.
The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is a Registered Charity No. 501388 which aims to preserve its route and trains, to ensure future generations of a ride across the moors from the coast.
For more information and to book tickets for up to 20% off visit www.nymr.co.uk
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North Yorkshire Moors Railway
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