The two recent additions to the LNERCA fleet have arrived at Embsay, headquarters of the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway. Both carriages have come from the Llangollen Railway.
ECJS Compartment Third (TK) 377 is one of the oldest surviving Gresley designed carriages with the Gresley ‘trademark’ elliptical roof. It dates from 1907, being built by the Great Northern Railway at Doncaster. Withdrawal came in the early 1960s and its survival is due to it becoming a Departmental vehicle for use with the Easter Region’s Civil Engineering department. Its Departmental number was DE 320444, the carriage spending its entire Departmental life in East Anglia.
It was eventually condemned and was bought privately in 1993 from Norwich were it just escaped being destroyed by a fire in an adjoining Mk.1 coach. After residing at Wabtec’s Doncaster Works (where it, again, was destined from scrapping) ownership passed to LNERCA member Peter Lund who took it to the Llangollen Railway in 2001. It was used as a stores vehicle for many years. In 2021, it was acquired by LNERCA to begin a new chapter at Embsay. A start has been made in clearing all the accumulated items from its interior.
The Thompson Lounge Buffet 1706 is one of the most celebrated preserved carriages, being the sole survivor of only two built in 1947 and entering service in 1948.
Its participation in the British Transport Films, ‘The Elizabethan’ produced by Edgar Anstey, ensured its on-going celebrity status. Its latter years saw it used on secondary services such as on the East Lincolnshire Line and the Parkeston Quay-Manchester Piccadilly ‘Boat’ Train’ service. A short spell in Scotland in the late 1970s was followed by it being transferred to Departmental service and used, amongst other jobs on the Penmanshiel Tunnel diversion in 1979. When finally condemned, it was sent to York for onward movement to Snailwell for scrapping, but a railwayman who fully appreciated its historical significance, ensured it was put out for sale and not scrapped. Sea Containers initially bought it (for spares) but it then passed into the hands of Llangollen Railway director, Peter Lund, who formed the Thompson Heritage Buffet Association. The THBA restored 1706 to its original condition.
In 2021, custodianship was vested in the LNERCA, with the TBHA retaining ownership. Like ECJS 377, it has been moved to Embsay where various minor problems need attending to before it enters service. The LNERCA is keen to see this wonderful survivor visit other heritage railways on request.
There is positive news to report on several carriages in the Pickering environs:
Compartment Third (TK) 23896 at Kirby Misperton workshop is receiving attention to its corridor screens, many of which are original and still in situ, although compartment partitions have been removed. The screens are being removed, repaired, and revarnished. One screen had been enlarged to accommodate a larger corridor door, so this has been replaced by a new one.
A section of rotten cant rail has also been replaced approximately the length of two compartments.
Restaurant Buffet (RB) 641 (in the main NYMR C&W workshop) has had its kitchen door pillar repaired. Meanwhile the NYMR’s C&W staff are having new axle bearings machined – expected imminently. The aim is for 641 to be in service for the LNERCA members’ special on October 2, the first time since the vandal attack in 2017.
In the Atkins shed, Tourist Open Third (TTO) 23956 has reached the stage where the new roof covering is being applied. The first of three 1.2M strips is now in situ and work progresses on the next two.
The bodysides have also been stripped down to bare wood and are currently being sanded prior to revarnishing.
Our hope that is with covered accommodation to keep the weather off, we won’t have to completely strip back to bare wood on carriages in the future.
Also in the Atkins shed, the ceilings are largely complete in the pantry of ECJS 3rd Class Diner, 189. We are currently experimenting with various shades of gold foil to pick out the raised patterns on the Lincrusta borders.
The ECJS monogram transfers have now been delivered following production by Butchers.
Message to donors
Many members and well-wishers kindly make donations to help the LNERCA restore these beautiful carriages. Recently, Paypal has advised of a technical glitch which has prevented donations from being processed. As a result of this debacle, you may have found that any donations you have recently tried to make on Paypal have bounced back. In that case, perhaps you might consider making your donation directly to our Lloyds Bank account, sort code 30-63-64, account number 27410460.