News & Updates
Latest News – updated May 14th 2023
Historic LNER Restaurant Buffet Car debuts for the Coronation
The unique Lounge Buffet Car, No. E 1706E, built in 1948, re-entered service on the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway at the Coronation weekend.
Designed by Sir Nigel Gresley’s successor, Edward Thompson, and built at Doncaster Works, it was one of only a pair of special catering carriages, the sister carriage being No. E 1705E – they entered service in the year they were built in the formation of the ‘Flying Scotsman’ service, the 10.00 King’s Cross-Edinburgh and 10.00 from Edinburgh to King’s Cross.
However, with the accession to the throne in 1953 of the late Queen Elizabeth, the British Transport Commission introduced that year what was to become the most prestigious service running on the East Coast Main Line, ‘The Elizabethan’, running non-stop between the English and Scottish capitals, hauled by Sir Nigel Gresley’s legendary A4 Pacific streamlined locomotives. Both the Lounge Buffet cars were employed in this famous train. This accelerated service took 6hrs 45 mins.
They continued in service into the 1960s after which Nos. E 1705E and E 1706E migrated to other services, and in the 1970s could be found in the Manchester-Harwich ‘Boat Train’.
After withdrawal, both Buffet cars were handed over to the Chief Civil Engineer’s department for the use of the track maintenance gangs. When they were finally withdrawn for disposal No. E 1705E was scrapped, and E 1706E was bought by the Venice Simplon Orient Express company for spares. In 1988 it passed to a small group of preservationists based on the Llangollen Railway, the Thompson Heritage Buffet Association, who painstakingly restored it over many years to its original condition, re-instating the 21ft long bar. In 2008 they received a Transport Trust restoration award for their work.
The carriage was to be used as part of the Berwyn Belle dining train on the Welsh heritage railway, but in 2021 changing circumstances led to the owning group transferring the custodianship of E 1706E to the LNER Coach Association, recognised as one of the leading carriage restoration groups in the country and whose vehicles have appeared in ‘Downton Abbey, ‘Poirot’ and ‘Dad’s Army’. In 2022 the LNER Coach Association moved 1706 to Rampart Engineering at Barrow Hill, for frame repairs and replacement metal panelling, and where it also received a repaint into the early British Railways Carmine & Cream livery. On May 5th, 2021, the refurbished coach moved to the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway, where it will be regularly used in dining trains and on special occasions. It will be stored under cover when not in use.
Unique North Eastern Railway carriage back in NER crimson
The unique carriage, resplendent in North Eastern Railway crimson with crests is wheeled out of the Atkins restoration, Pickering on May 11. Photo: Marcus Woodcock.
Nearly one hundred years since it was built at York, NER-designed Open Third 945 has emerged from the Atkins restoration shed at Pickering, North Yorkshire Moors Railway, resplendent once more – an NER carriage on an NER railway.
It was built at York Carriage Works in 1924, a year after the Grouping, and Gresley influence was already in evidence. It was one of two constructed by the LNER with post-Grouping modifications such as Pullman gangways, buckeye couplers and vacuum brakes. It did not however have the body end windows which were a feature of the earlier NER-built examples.
After being withdrawn from revenue earning service in the 1960s, it survived in Departmental use as DE 320716 and served as a Work Study carriage which meant its interior was not altered. Final withdrawal came in 1973 at Hunslet, Leeds. It was on the brink of being sent for scrapping at Wigan from Leeds when the North Eastern Railway Coach Group, formed in 1971, and based on the embryonic North Yorkshire Moors Railway, secured it at the eleventh hour and it came by rail to the NYMR.
Over several decades, much work went into restoring this unique veteran, particularly the interior. Most of this work took place at Levisham.
With the ageing and dwindling NERCG volunteer base, the owning group transferred it to the LNER Coach Association. This has allowed the restoration of the carriage to be accelerated with new roof coverings fitted, body panels repaired and a full repaint. Overhauled Gresley bogies are ready to be rolled under it, leaving steam heating, gangway bellows and various underframe parts to be installed before it can enter service.
When built, this carriage was in varnished teak. The NER crimson has been applied in its preservation period due to the fact that some of the teak panelling had been replaced by steel.
If you would like to see it fully finished for its centenary, and available to take part in the Stockton & Darlington celebrations in 2025, a great way to help would be to join and/or donate to the LNER Coach Association, whose website is www.lnerca.org.
Latest News – updated February 2nd 2023
Gresley Tourist Third Open 56856 to jump the repair queue
Over the decades, the list of priorities in the carriages in the restoration queue has often changed. This is always due to valid circumstances such as funding opportunities, NYMR requirements and sometimes just fate! It can be reported that this year will see a change of plan in that TTO 56856, just returned from its ‘Polar Express’ duties on the Cholsey & Wallingford Railway, is now in need of attention. It was already in the queue for attention, but has now been brought forward.
This means as soon as NER TO 945 is watertight, this will vacate the Atkins shed at Pickering, to allow 56856 to enter for its remedial improvements. These include amongst other jobs, attention to the fawn seating vinyl and door pillars. This TTO has been one of popular carriages in the LNER set because of its bucket seats and is now deservedly receiving attention after its many years in service.
One repercussion of this move is that recently returned GNR observation saloon 3087 will have to wait a little longer to be finished off after its structural attention at Rampart Engineering, Barrow Hill, Staveley. Seating, carpeting and varnishing/lining are all to be done in due course, but luckily, it will remain under cover in the carriage stable.
The second repercussion is that the Association will not be able to provide a 5-coach LNER set this season, so the NYMR has been most sympathetic and helpful – it will be providing one or two Mk.1s to make up the set until 56856 can take its rightful place in the rake.
TTO 56856 is the only one in the LNER rake which has the famed ‘bucket’ seats. The carriage has been in service since 2002 and is now requiring some attention. In particular, the vinyl seat coverings tend to become damaged, particularly those by the gangway due to passing people and their luggage. The seats are therefore to be sent away to a specialist contractor in West Yorkshire to be recovered. Photograph: Murray Brown.
NER TO 945 is well on the way to being made watertight – the roof has been recovered and treated with several coats of Durashield. The corroded metal panel on the west side (car park side) of the carriage has been replaced with an innovation for the LNERCA – Tricoya. This is where the wood fibres have been modified which alters the cells, making the panel more durable and stable. 945 will be painted in NER crimson and lined.
ECLS RT 189 – more internal woodworking has been underway, as has work to finish the south end ‘tunnel’ to allow the refurbished gangway end to be hoisted into place. Away from the Railway, much design work has been undertaken into providing replica gasoliers. 3-D technology has been used which, like the use of Tricoya, shows the LNERCA is in the forefront of using modern techniques when it comes to restoring vintage carriages.
TK 23896 (in Unit 10 Kirby Misperton)
Frame repairs are well in hand here, with all compartments now in place and door pillars and fitting of doors from our stores collection are high on the agenda.
CL 88339 (in Unit 10 Kirby Misperton)
This coach is riding high – the body is some 1ft above the underframe, having been jacked off to allow access for treating and painting those inaccessible parts. The main job this year will be the fitting of brand new metal cladding. Some 2,000 stainless steel screws will be needed to hold the metal sheeting onto the body!
Lounge Buffet 1706 (at Barrow Hill)
Away from Pickering, unique Lounge Buffet 1706 is receiving attention at Barrow Hill by Rampart Engineering. This work entails renewal of some of the metal cladding and repairs, where necessary, to any underlying frame in need of renewal. The LNERCA has booked space at this repairing facility to take another of the Association’s carriages once 1706 is finished.
So as to gain access to the whole underframe, the body of the CL 88339 has been jacked to a height of one foot. The top of the underframe can now be de-rusted, painted with anti-corrosive paint, then the normal paint applied before the body is then lowered. Photograph. Rodney Towers.
One of the panels on NER Third Open 945 has been replaced with one of Tricoya, a re-manufactured wood where the cells have been treated. It is pictured fitted prior to the paint process starting. New beading covers the Tricoya panel. The use of Ticoya is most beneficial when the panel does not need varnishing, but painting instead. Photograph. Murray Brown.
The east (Pickering railway yard) side of 945 is now receiving its coats of NER crimson, the same paint as used by the volunteers at Kirkby Stephen. The paint is manufactured by Paintman Paint, Retford. Marcus Woodcock and Ian Hollis, a former painter at Doncaster Works, are applying undercoat. Photograph. Murray Brown.
The LNERCA can offer readers a rewarding and enjoyable day out if you have a day free. Whether you are retired or fancy a change, we have so much to offer you amid a warm shed and Yorkshire tea. There’s painting, varnishing, woodworking, electrical, and upholstery. It’s a grand crowd, with friendly banter, and you go home feeling that you really are appreciated and that you have accomplished something. Do call in at the Atkins shed next to Pickering station car park and seek out Marcus Woodcock – a move you will not regret. For more information on any aspect, do please ring Murray Brown 07527 200003. We can even put you up for the night free!
Latest News – updated December 8th 2022
GNR Observation saloon comes back to Pickering
Observation saloon comes back to Pickering
Great Northern Railway Invalid Saloon 3087, built in 1909, arrived back by road on December 5 from Rampart Engineering, Barrow Hill, Staveley where it has undergone a transformation into an Observation saloon.
Now in the ownership of the LNERCA, the brake section in the middle of the carriage has been removed, thus allowing the end saloon to be considerably enlarged. This will allow up to 24 passengers to enjoy the view.
Added strengthening measures to the body were effected to compensate for the removal of the brake compartment. Andrew Daniel masterminded this work – he also was involved with cant rail repairs.
3087 will be housed in the carriage stable pending moving into the Atkins shed where more varnish will be applied, lining out in GN lettering, and installation of carpet and newly fabricated chairs.
A new aspect of LNERCA activities should see the Association’s volunteers providing the catering when in use – this new venture also includes the provision of volunteers to staff the Gresley buffet 641. The ways and means of undertaking this are underway for the new season. Any reader who would like to help with catering on the Buffet car and the Observation saloon is invited to contact Murray Brown email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thompson Lounge Buffet is now at Rampart, Barrow Hill, for body repairs
The 1948-built Lounge Buffet 1706 has taken the place of GNR saloon 3087 at Rampart’s Barrow Hill facility. It arrived from Embsay, Yorkshire Dales Railway, by road on December 5, the same transporter then taking 3087 back to Pickering.
The main work at Ramparts will be the repairs to the steel panelling by cutting out corroded sections and welding in new sections.
NER Third Open 945 – to be finished by 2024
North Eastern Railway Open Third 945 is fast approaching its 100th birthday – in 2024 and all efforts are being made to ensure this remarkable milestone is reached in style with this wonderful historical vehicle up and running.
To this end work is underway on several fronts in the Atkins shed at Pickering. New roofing material is now being applied (the same as was fitted to the NRM’s TTO 23956) and on the east side (car park side) Tricoya is being trialled to replace corroded steel panels. Water ingress caused by failing sealant between the upper and lower panel joins has precipitated the trial of the ‘new’ material Tricoya – a highly durable modified wood substitute, using treated wood fibres. As the carriage is to be painted (NER plum and lined), it was judged that the use of this material should be trialled as a possible precursor for other vehicles.
Finally, the LNERCA is providing an overhauled (by the NYMR’s bogie repair facility next door to the Association’s Unit 10 at Kirby Misperton) pair of Gresley bogies – these will be rolled under 945 when it exits the Atkins shed and can be accommodated in the NYMR’s main workshop.
The two stalwarts of the North Eastern Railway Coach Group (NERCG), Peter Brumby and Ray Sowerby), did a splendid job on the restoration of the interior in the years that it was stabled at Levisham – the interior is absolutely magnificent.
6-coach LNER set ‘wows’ at Autumn Gala
It wasn’t just visiting A4 ‘Pacific’ 4498 Sir Nigel Gresley which turned heads at the NYMR’s Autumn Steam Gala. A six-coach LNER set was turned out by LNERCA volunteers and which looked magnificent, especially as four of them had clean white roofs. There was widespread praise on how resplendent the set looked. This was in no small way thanks to herculean work undertaken on the previous Wednesday to the gala when volunteers had to set-to in the Pickering carriage stable and clean the carriages as they were filthy.
It has highlighted the on-going problems regarding carriage cleaning – it is the NYMR’s responsibility to clean rolling stock, but the management is having problems recruiting staff. These shortages are resulting in the picture windows only being cleaned, the resulting dirty water draining down over the bottom panels, drying, and then making it extremely difficult to clean at a later date.
To help the management, a new cleaning regime has been proposed and it is pleasing to report that this has been accepted.
The six-coach set comprised BTK 3669 (visiting from the Stainmore Railway), Thompson TK 1623 (newly rescumbled and looking magnificent), Buffet (RB) 641, TTOs 23956 and 56856, and BTO 43567.
9F 92134 wheels the gleaming LNER set towards Grosmont, past Fen Bog, on September 23. Photo: Michael Anderson.
Rescumbled Thompson enters service
Unique Thompson-designed Corridor Third 1623 has left the Atkins shed, resplendent in a new coat of scumbled teak. This was just not an application of paint – it was a job which took several weeks, entailing grinding out screws where the filler on top had ‘popped’ out of the surface of the paint. After treating the surrounding bare metal, a longer stainless steel screw was inserted, filler applied, sanded, then prepared for a total repaint by a specialised York contractor. A base coat of mustard colour was first applied over a rubbed down surface, followed by coats of the scumble. Several coats of varnish completed the job which included new number transfers. There were some initial concerns that the tone of the scumble might be too light compared to its original shade. However, when inserted into the LNER set, it proved to be a perfect match with the accompanying Gresley teak stock.
Whilst 1623 was inside the Atkins shed, the opportunity was taken to internally clean it – it was absolutely filthy, indicating little, if nothing, had been done in the intervening six years since it was outshopped fully restored in 2016. This aspect is also now being discussed with a view to improving the appearance of the LNER carriages.
The rain on the train falls mainly on the grain: Here is the rescumbled Thompson TK 1623 after exiting the Atkins shed on September 20. The next Thompson to be scumbled will be the Composite Lavatory (CL) 88339. Photo: Marcus Woodcock.
NER 945 – a Suitable Case for Treatment
The latest carriage to enter the hallowed confines of the Atkins shed at Pickering is a wonderful gem and yet another unique carriage. For decades, North Eastern Railway Open Third 945Y was domiciled in the platform siding at Levisham. Here, Peter Brumby and Ray Sowerby toiled away for years under the canvassed-covered beauty and what a wonderful job they have produced. Few people have set foot inside but when you do, you are in for a treat. The LNERCA is now going to finish it off – check the roof is sound, fit a new roof sheet, and fit overhauled bogies with newly re-tyred wheelsets. It’s looking likely it will emerge in the magnificent lined plum of the NER – the lining out will be a job and a half in itself. What a fitting way this will be to celebrate its centenary in 2024.
For the first time, there is a ‘new’ carriage in the Atkins shed. It is far from new, in fact approaching its centenary. North Eastern Railway Open Third 945 was built at York Works in 1924, one of the last NER designs before the newly formed LNER took over. It was bought from departmental use at Leeds by the NER Coach Group. With their numbers dwindling, the two stalwarts, Ray Sowerby and Peter Brumby, have placed 945 in the custodianship of the LNERCA to be finished off. It certainly has the ‘wow’ factor. The LNERCA has two overhauled Gresley bogies to fit under it. Photos: Marcus Woodcock and Murray Brown.
We seldom get tyred
Recently received from Ian Riley’s workshop at Heywood, Lancashire, have been eight wheelsets with brand new tyres. Four of these are destined to be fitted under Fox bogies to go under East Coast Joint Stock Restaurant Third 189, whilst the other four will go back under Gresley bogies, destined to go under NER TO 945Y. We have the perfect example of synergy because next door to the LNERCA’s Unit 10 workshop at Kirby Misperton on the outskirts of Pickering is the NYMR’s bogie facility in charge of which is one of the NYMR’s unsung heroes, Kelvin Whitwell. He and his team are overhauling and re-assembling both the Fox and Gresley bogies as outlined above.
Eight wheelsets have recently been retyred by Ian Riley Ltd, Heyworth – pictured at Unit 10, Kirby Misperton, near Pickering. These will be re-assembled under overhauled bogies, one pair of Fox bogies to go under ECJS 189, and the second pair to go under Gresley bogies for NER TO 945. The NYMR’s bogie repair facility, led by Kelvin Whitwell and situated next to the LNERCA’s workshop, will be overhauling the bogies and fitting the wheelsets pictured here. Photo: Dave Cullingworth.
23956 – finished – and looking superb!
It’s been worth it – the long 15-month overhaul is complete and TTO 23956 looks resplendent. The NRM-owned Open Third is now available for traffic. Some hundreds of man-hours have been expended upon it – as ever, but the end product is a tonic and reward for all those who have worked on it.
The Carriage & Wagon staff gave some attention to the wheelsets and, following a trial run, was declared fit for service.
The extremely hot weather in July saw the NYMR withdraw the internal service (Pickering-Grosmont which uses the LNER carriages) so that the diesel could be employed elsewhere, vice steam traction. Plus, a steam locomotive ban saw both Class 37s (37264 and visiting 37403) in high demand. The arrival of Class 31 31128 on July 29 has allowed the LNER carriages to resume service on the internal workings.
The phenomenal temperatures on Monday and Tuesday, July 18/19, caused some cracks to appear in the teak panels of RE 641 and TTO 23956. These were expertly repaired in situ by LNERCA’s joiner Mike Illingworth.
Thompson Third Corridor (TK) 1623 has taken the place of 23956 in the Atkins shed (named after a beneficiary) adjacent to Pickering station car park. It has come in for a repaint – in scumble – metal painted to look like wood. This is a specialist art and we are fortunate in securing the services of one such specialist from York. Prior to this special paint being applied, where the screws which hold the metal panelling onto the wood frame have ‘popped’ out the filler, these are being given attention. The filler is ground off, exposing the screw head. The screw is removed, the whole area cleaned up, treated, and a larger stainless-steel screw inserted. Filler is applied, sanded totally flat and primed – all before the ‘scumbler’ can set to work. As before, the panelling is being masked off prior to the paint being applied to emulate teak panels. A slight change in pigment colour gives the effect that each ‘panel’ is slightly different to the adjacent one – a visual illusion because it is all one and the same metal sheet.
TTO 23956 stands outside the NYMR’s C&W workshop in the sunshine on June 18. Its gleaming condition is testimony to the staggering amount of time and effort by the LNERCA personnel. Photo: Murray Brown.
Attention is given to TK 1623 where the filler covering screw heads has ‘popped’ out. Gary Lyne has ground off the remining filler and surrounds in order to extract and treat the area where the new, larger, screw will be inserted and subsequently covered with new filler. Photo: Malcolm Brown.
CL centre of attention at Unit 10
At the Kirby Misperton workshop, known as Unit 10, on the outskirts of Pickering, off the main road to Malton, the unique Thompson Composite Lavatory (CL) 88339 continues to be the recipient of many man-hours. A large proportion of the carriage’s framing on both sides has been removed, repaired or replaced.
Thoughts are now turning to ordering the new metal cladding. This is likely to be 16-gauge steel. If we can produce a CAD (Computer Aided Design) drawing, this simplifies the procedure and ensures millimetre accurate dimensions. We also have to decide how the dimpling is undertaken. Dimpling is the process of drilling the holes through which the stainless-steel screws hold the metal panelling onto the frame. Screws have to be countersunk, i.e. sit below the surface of the metal, allowing filler to cover the screw heads – a long laborious task. Some 2,500 screws were used on TK 1623!
The oval window frame can mean only one thing – it is for a Thompson-designed carriage. Indeed it is – for the Composite Lavatory (CL) 88339 in the Kirby Misperton workshop. Jim Chittock has produced new framing and is shortly to lift this toilet window section (to be fitted with white glass) into place in the middle of the carriage. There were two toilets originally, back to back, separating the three Third Class compartments from the First Class ones. Each set of compartments had a corridor alongside. Photo: Ian Carney.
In this view, the toilet window section, with oval window frame, can now be seen in place. A new section of fabricated framing is being lifted into place, using the scissor jack platform. Sections of framing are being removed, repaired as necessary and then refitted using this system. A large proportion of the carriage’s framing has received remedial treatment on both sides. Soon, the next large job will be the sourcing and fitting of new metal cladding. Eventually, this will be scumbled – painted to look like wood. Photo: Ian Carney.
23956 – tantalisingly close!
The long – 15-month – overhaul of the NRM-owned Tourist Third Open (TTO) No. 23956 is coming to a close, with just a few jobs left outstanding.
The final coats of varnish are being applied, the roof has received its last coast of Durashield and the tables are being re-fitted. These are having new vinyl tops to smarten them up. It has been a through restoration and is being called the 10-year overhaul. This entailed removing all vestiges of the varnish down to bare teak and starting over again, sanding, repairing splits and applying a dozen new coats of varnish – plus the lining out, a job in itself.
Needless to say, the old bête noire, the toilet cisterns, were also the recipient of those who wield the spanners – a perfect flush being the ultimate achievement!
Once 23956 comes out of the Atkins shed, the NYMR’s C&W staff will be looking at its wheelsets to ensure all is well for another ten years.
23956’s place in the shed is due to be taken by Thompson Corridor Third 1623 which is to be scumbled by a York contractor who undertakes this specialised paint application. Prior to his administrations, attention will be given by the LNERCA volunteers to put right any defects. This includes treating the metalwork where filler has not adhered which has come adrift from its first restoration.
Holes at Kirby Misperton
It’s very much more of the same at Unit 10, the LNERCA’s workshop at Kirby Misperton on the outskirts of Pickering, the same being extensive repair of framing. Both Gresley Corridor Third 23896 and Thompson Composite Lavatory have gaping holes where defective framing has been removed, with new wood, invariably hardwood, spliced in.
Andrew Daniel is working on TK 23896 and currently is attending to framing on the compartment side. Jim Chittock, former York Works coach builder, continues his work on CL 88339 – the extent of his new framing is quite formidable on this 74-year old carriage which spent its working life in Scotland.
Indeed, both carriages have had extensive ‘holes’ of varying sizes where pieces of framing have had to be removed.
Alex Pickering is undertaking rewiring where necessary and Ian Carney lends his hands to various carriages.
Unit 10 has allowed a transformation of progress to be made, with no less that four carriages receiving major attention at one time, two in the Atkins shed, Pickering (189 and 23956) and two at Kirby (23896 and 88339).
Meanwhile, at Embsay just outside Skipton on the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway, the unique and famed Thompson Lounge Buffet Car 1706 is being prepared for service. This heritage railway is well known for its catering services from afternoon teas to full meals. E1706E, absolutely perfect as a bar coach, will be one of the main attractions at the annual Carriage Restorers’ Convention on October 1st and 2nd.
Always a good sign – the transfer numbers being applied by Marcus Woodcock. Photo: Malcolm Brown.
Soon, TTO 23956 will be moved outside which will enable the whole carriage to be photographed in its full gleaming glory. Photo: Nick Stringer.
Restoration progresses on no less than four carriages!
Illustrating the remarkable strides the LNERCA has made in the last year, particularly with the opening of the new facility at Unit 10, Kirby Misperton, on the outskirts of Pickering, a total of four carriages are receiving attention at the same time.
Corridor Third (TK) No. 23896 (Kirby Misperton)
For the first time in six decades, all eight compartment partitions and corridor screens are in place – a job well done by Andrew Daniel and Ian Carney. This carriage was converted in 1961 to Departmental use at which point all its interior was gutted as it was to become a generator coach to supply power to a four-coach secret mobile control train. Only the corridor screens were left in situ. All these have now been removed, repaired or renewed as necessary and refitted, together with the missing compartment partitions. The new walls for the toilet compartments are now being put in place.
In all, it is a remarkable transformation. Another new possible development concerns the varnishing. It is accepted 23896 will require stripping of its existing, aged, peeling varnish and to this end, soda blasting is being considered rather than the somewhat brutal scraping and sanding.
A sight to behold – all eight compartments and full corridor screen in place for the first time since 1961. To follow: seat bases, screen glass, ceilings, toilet door, wiring, corridor flooring repairs and many more! But it’s a wonderful start to 23896’s restoration.
Composite Lavatory (CL) No. 88339 (Kirby Misperton)
It is thought the nadir has been reached regarding the stripping. So much of the carriage’s framing was in need of replacement that on one side a large gaping hole is visible. Former York Works carriage builder, Jim Chittock is on the case and, bit by bit, the CL is turning the corner. Thoughts are turning to obtaining new steel panelling. Some 2,000 stainless steel screws will be needed to hold the panelling onto the framing, each one of which will then need filling, then sanding before the top surface can be restored. In charge of re-wiring the entire coach (much of the original 74-year old wiring is still in situ) is Alex Pickering. Fortunately, the 1946 wiring diagram is to hand.
This shows the trial fitting of the one of the toilet compartment walls, the door for which will fit in the gap after the clamp on the right. The end of the curved corridor ceiling can be seen on the left. Even at this early stage of the restoration, the completion of such extensive body repairs is a superb fillip to all involved, and augers well for the continued progress.
ECJS Restaurant Third Open (RTO) No. 189 (Pickering)
Besides the painstaking, incredible gold leaf gilding taking place by Neil Cawthorne, publicised in the last news update, much of the work on 189 has continued with the modification of the gangway ‘tunnel’, so nicknamed because the end of the carriage body has to be adapted to allow a Pullman gangway (standard with LNER carriages) to be fitted. In effect, this ‘tunnel’ replaces the bowed ends of a Gresley carriage. After much designing and trial fitting, the south end of 189 is now ready to take the overhauled gangway faceplate, the item which buffers up to the adjoining carriage. This gangway end weighs over a ton and has presented a challenge to the volunteers as to how to lift it into place. A roust-a-bout (which is a portable lift stand with a block & tackle which can then hoist heavy items) is looking the likely answer.
This image shows the magnitude of frame repairs now underway on the 74-year old Thompson-designed CL 88339. This restoration is the first proper thorough major overhaul of this unique carriage since it was bought from BR in 1968, all previous repairs being localised to individual areas or components. The LNERCA is fortunate to have the expertise of former York Works craftsman, Jim Chittock.
The west side of TTO 23956 in the Atkins shed is awaiting varnishing – all dozen coats. The teak panels have received extensive renovation. A piece of teak can be seen being spliced in where the clamps are visible below the first window.
Tourist Third Open (TTO) 23956 (Pickering)
Keeping 189 company in the Atkins shed is the National Railway Museum’s TTO, undergoing its ten-year overhaul. Its renovation has reached the stage where internal panelling (with new plywood) is underway. On the exterior, varnishing and lining is underway. This is no small undertaking with a 61ft 6” carriage (both sides, of course) each of which requires a dozen coats of varnish, as well as the intricate lining.
When 23956 vacates the Atkins shed (April/May) then the next carriage to enter is the unique Thompson Third Corridor (TK) 1623. The work scheduled is a repaint in scumble. An expert professional scumbler from York has been contracted to do this skilled work, with the LNERCA volunteers undertaking the preparation, i.e. replacing the patches where original filling has come away and a general clean and sanding.
The end of ECTS RTO 189 is now ready to receive the refurbished gangway faceplate, the huge metal end which can buffer up to the adjoining carriage. What can be seen here has been termed the ‘tunnel’, which is a spacing framing connecting the end of the wooden carriage body to the Pullman gangway end. New wiring can be seen clipped into place – this is for through connecting to the next carriage. Usually, the terminals protrude through the end teak panels, but on No. 189, they will be fitted through the sides of the ‘tunnel’.
Meanwhile on the east side (railway yard) this side of the carriage is further advanced, but many more coats of varnish are yet to be applied. The end, and the first section along, have been lined out on the beading. This intricate work has been done by Ian Hollis, formerly of Doncaster Works.
A project for you?
The LNERCA is looking for one or more volunteers with experience in project management. With four carriage restoration projects going on simultaneously, the Association is urgently looking for volunteers to help bring each carriage back to running order, so that they can be enjoyed by future generations. Previous experience of project management would be helpful but is not essential. No hands-on work is needed, just the skill to organise getting the parts and labour, both volunteer and subcontract, to finish the job. The work would ideally suit any interested person living within reasonable distance of Pickering, who could spare, say, one day per week, and who would enjoy the sense of achievement in helping restore one of these magnificent carriages. For an informal discussion please e-mail LNERCA’s chairman on email@example.com
Compartments start to go in TK 23896
For the first time in 60 years, Corridor Third 23896 has some compartments re-instated – and more are on the way.
For six decades, this former secret mobile control carriage (as TDE 321008) was, in effect, a totally open carriage, with just the corridor screens in place, i.e. the partitions between the compartments had all been removed. Its function was as a generator carriage to provide power for the four-coach sets (based at both Retford and Doncaster Carr) which would have been used to control the railway network in the event of hostilities. The floor had been strengthened to accommodate the generator.
When 23896 passed into the ownership of the LNERCA, some contract work was undertaken at Steamtown Carnforth relating to the external bodywork. Inside, nothing was done . . . until now.
With the welcome provision of the workshop at Unit 10, Kirby Misperton, 23896 was moved from the NYMR where it had arrived from Carnforth in the Spring of 2010 and work was started to return this Corridor Third to a real TK.
Andrew Daniel is masterminding the work, aided by Ian Carney. The existing screens are being removed piece by piece (i.e. for each compartment) for renovation and repair as required. Andrew is cutting away the bottom 5 and a half inches off the bottom of each screen and replacing them with new – this is to remove the worn and damaged bottoms of the screens. Once the repaired screens are fully repaired, new pieces of wood being skillfully inserted where needed, they are varnished by Neil Cawthorne, and are lifted back into the carriage for refitting. This then allows the brand new blockboard partitions to be installed. These are being cut to size in three sections which interlock, forming the complete partition. The framework of all eight compartments should be in place early next year.
As the carriage was built in 1935, the area above the seats will be vinyled. Talking of seats, the plan is to make brand new ones rather than try and convert former BR Mk.1 bench seats.
After six decades of being what amounted to an empty (open) carriage, three of the eight compartments are now back re-instated. For all these years, just the corridor screens were in place – and some of these were missing or damaged. This is the view along the corridor showing the carriage being returned to as-built condition. By the end of the year, all eight compartments should be back in place. In addition, the two toilet compartments will require re-instating – and this is in hand too.
New screens & partitions
Here are three new blockboard sections leaning up against the yet to be restored NER First Open 2118. On the left is a new screen section. The compartment doors will be situated either side of the ends of this panel once it has been fitted into 23896, with the actual compartment partition at right angles in the middle. The centre panel is part of the actual partition, the give-away being the curved top, whilst on the right is a panel for the toilet wall section. Hardwood bottoms can be seen on all three panels to provide durability and to match the existing repaired screens.
A compartment screen has just been lifted off its floor fastening and is awaiting removal so that it can be repaired as required with spliced in new wood sections and bottom hardwood panel. In the background can be seen the new compartment partition made up of three sections which interlock. The green Acrow Props hold up the roof until the new partitions are installed upon which they are then moved along.
Thompson Composite Lavatory (CL) 88339
This 1947-built carriage which spent its entire life in Scotland pre preservation is adjacent to TK 23896 and has had its second side panelling removed en bloc to allow access to repair defective framing.
Unfortunately, what was hoped to be a quick and easy carriage restoration project is turning out to be the opposite. Although this popular carriage ran for several years on the NYMR, it never received a proper overhaul before it went into service. Removal of the steel panelling has revealed the very poor state of the framing, much of which is having to be replaced. The steel panelling itself will also have to be replaced, as will all the glass and the electrical system. The doors require overhaul and fitting, as does all door furniture. The corridor needs repair. The ceilings need repainting. The underframe needs cleaning and repainting. The bogies need overhauling, as do the brakes. The list goes on.
However, there is some good news. The interior seats and fittings are safely undercover at Kirby Misperton, and require only minor repairs and re-upholstery. Even better, we have found an experienced painter who can produce the ‘scumbled’ teak finish that we need, and he has been booked to do that work during next year.
Gresley Tourist Third Open (TTO) 23956
In the Atkins shed at Pickering, the external sides of the TTO are just about ready for varnishing, with the beading (to keep out the water) having been pinned into position by Mike Illingworth. Inside, all the internal plywood panelling is being removed so that the glue blocks, many of which are failing due to the poor adhesion qualities of the original glue used, can be replaced. To do this entails removing the steam heating pipe and covers, and moving all the seats from one side of the carriage on top of the other side’s seats to allow access to the panels.
Mike Illingworth hammers in the brass pins holding a section of the beading which covers the two teak panels on the bodyside. Such is his skill that if you look along the whole length of the carriage, the beading covering the two teak panels is exactly horizontal the entire length. Before the beading is pinned, the small gap between the two panels is filled with mastic, which is also applied to the internal surface of the beading – this can be seen being squeezed out as the pins are hammered. Object? To keep out water, the arch enemy of carriage restorers.
Whilst the original glue blocks which hold the teak panels onto the main framing are being replaced using vastly improved and effective glue, the opportunity is being taken to repair the seating upholstery, in particular the edging strips on the armrests. Steve Hone, a dab hand in this area of carriage restoration, seen tacking on a replacement strip of edging material. All photos: Murray Brown
ECJS Restaurant Third (RT) 189
Our gilder, Neil Cawthorne, is continuing to apply gold leaf to the Lincrusta friezes in the main saloon of this 1894-built Restaurant Third – a truly magnificent sight. It is hard to believe that this was a common practice in Victorian carriage building when compared to today’s modern train carriage décor – invariably a soulless grey plastic with strip lighting. One of the east side doors on 189 has also had gold leaf applied to the lining to see if it is feasible to do all the external lining with gold leaf. This will test the patience of our gilder, the end result of which will be a restored carriage which will take one’s breath away.
This is a section of Lincrusta frieze in ECJS RT 189 with the gold leaf applied – an extraordinary embellishment which, when the whole carriage is completed, will be an amazing vision to behold. Just imagine looking up at the lower ceiling and clerestory and beholding this awesome sight the full length of the carriage. Neil Cawthorne is the craftsman gilder responsible.
LNER designed Fish Van E75169
Away from the limelight, this secondary project has not received mention for some time. The pole from which the doors are suspended, and along which open and close, are held in place on each side of the van by five brackets. We are two brackets short. There are three variations of the brackets and, having identified the two missing variations, samples have been taken to the NYMR’s bogie repair facility next to Unit 10 at Kirby Misperton where the Supervisor, Kelvin Whitwell, will fabricate two new ones. Meanwhile, the four doors are to be spruced up in white, of course, ready to be hung when we can fit all ten brackets. A door runner is being sourced for the floor. A pair of door locks, donated by farmer Ed Denney who owns a Fish Van body on his moorland property north of Kirkbymoorside, has been de-rusted and fully repainted, ready for the day when they can be bolted to the refurbished doors.
New home for East Coast Joint Stock TK 377 and Thompson Lounge Buffet 1706
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.
Another chapter begins for the celebrated Thompson Lounge Buffet Car which, in its formative years, plied the East Coast Main Line in both ‘The Flying Scotsman’ and ‘The Elizabethan’ services. It is pictured on arrival at Embsay station yard on the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway. Photo: Rodney Towers.
In the Atkins shed, Pickering, fitting the roof covering is now underway on the National Railway Museum’s Tourist Open Third (TTO) 23956. Once the roof itself has been prepared to take the covering – a modern durable material – it is bedded in and covered with a special waterproof sealant paint. Marcus Woodcock (left) and Keith Foster wield the brushes. Photo: Gary Lyne.
New LNERCA headquarters already full
The new headquarters of the LNER Coach Association at Unit 10, Kirby Misperton – now the registered office of the Association – is already full. Following the arrival of NER First Open 2118 on May 3, the two other carriages earmarked for this alternative workshop to that of the Atkins shed in Pickering yard, Gresley Corridor Third 23896 and Thompson Composite Lavatory 88339, were moved in on June 10.
NER 2118 is, of course a long-term project and will receive some conservation attention whilst a plan for its full rebuild is formulated.
Work on the framing of the CL will continue – it was already in hand at the Spennymoor location prior to its move to Pickering. Jim Chittock has already accomplished some extensive renewals, these including the four corner pillars. To get at the remaining framing, the metal cladding on the ‘intact’ side will shortly be removed – a job and half as this entails removing some 1,000 screws once the heads have been uncovered.
Meanwhile, Andrew Daniel has been busy with his administrations on TK 23896. He is fabricating missing partitions and toilet compartments.
Atkins shed, Pickering, progress
Meanwhile in the Atkins shed, Pickering station, the two resident vehicles, Tourist Third Open (TTO) 23956 (which belongs to the National Railway Museum, but under the LNERCA’s custodianship) and East Coast Joint Stock Third Class Dining Car 189 continue to make good progress.
On 23956, the body is being prepared for varnishing, all previous ‘blown’ varnish having been stripped off to bare wood and panelling repairs effected where necessary. The sliding windows are being painted brown on the outside – the internal side remaining chromed, befitting many components in the interior.
The major news to report regarding No. 189 is the fitting of the Lincrusta friezes on the clerestory section (both sides) and the lower ceilings (both sides). This Victorian and Edwardian practice has not been seen on more modern rolling stock for a hundred years and it is great to be recreating this long-gone decorative feature, so prevalent in vehicles of that era.
Neil Cawthorne has been trialling the colour – Almond White – which the Lincrusta will be painted, but the cherry on the cake will be the addition of gold highlights on the raised sections.
More moves afoot
With the news that the work has finished on extending the carriage shed at Embsay (Yorkshire Dales Railway), ECJS Corridor Third 377 and Thompson Lounge Buffet 1706 will soon be moved from the Llangollen Railway to Embsay. With Embsay, Kirkby Stephen, Kirby Misperton and the soon to open NYMR’s carriage stable, the majority of the LNERCA’s fleet will be under cover. In addition, there are still three carriages – Thompson CK 18477, Gresley TTO 24109 and NER 945 – residing in temporary accommodation at Spennymoor.
Please join and help us
With four coaches now being worked on simultaneously in the Pickering area, the Association is in urgent need of more volunteers. New members who share our vision of preserving these fabulous carriages for future generations, and keeping them operational, are welcome.
If you are not a member of the LNERCA, do please consider joining and becoming involved as a volunteer. It’s a great way of spending any spare time you might have, and you will be helping to recreate the wonderful nostalgic style and elegance of these vehicles. If you fancy helping, do contact Marcus Woodcock – firstname.lastname@example.org. (Tel 01262 851268) A quarterly newsletter comes with membership. Please see how to join on our website, www.lnerca.org
Our match funding initiative, supported by an anonymous donor, is still in being. All donations, including existing standing orders, will be matched pound for pound up to £50,000. Together with Gift Aid, this means that every £20 donation made will be worth £45 to the Association. Our bank details are: Account name – LNER Coach Association, sort code 30-63-64, Account number – 27410460.
Gresley Tourist Third Open No. 23956 has been receiving many hours of work putting right the ravages of time. The new carriage stable will go a long way in extending the life of our restored carriages. Phil Brunsdon was painting the exterior of one of the sliding windows in LNER Brown (the interior is chromed) on Monday July 19. Photo: Murray Brown
With the Lincrusta decorative friezes now in place along the ceilings of the saloon of ECJS No. 189, the intricate job of painting them now awaits which includes highlights in gold. Neil Cawthorne, an expert in painting and varnishing finishing, undertakes some sample painting of Lincrusta mouldings in Almond White. Photo: Murray Brown.
Some idea of the splendour of the magnificent 1894-built carriage can be gleaned showing the Lincrusta friezes in place along the lower ceilings (bottom two) and one of the two which run along the clerestory section (top). This Lincrusta is identical in design to that when originally fitted when the carriage was built. Photo: Murray Brown.
First carriage arrives at LNERCA’s new workshop
A new chapter in the annals of the LNERCA took place on May 3 when the first carriage entered the LNERCA’s new workshop facility in the Beansheaf industrial estate, Pickering. This was Restaurant First 2118, built in 1922, making it one of the last to be built by the North Eastern Railway.
This unique carriage was moved the 13 miles from a farm at Barton Hill adjacent to the main York-Malton A64 road where it has resided for over seven years.
2118 was for three decades resident at Bounds Green depot, north London, in Departmental use, initially as a work study carriage, then later as a degreasing vehicle. It was designated an Internal User vehicle (not allowed to leave the confines of the depot) for which it was numbered 040877. The spillage of solvents did little to conserve parts of the woodwork. When finally withdrawn (for the second time) BR Eastern Region initially thought it was a Hull & Barnsley Railway design. The H&BR was absorbed by the NER the year 2118 was built, a year before the NER passed into history a year later with the Grouping.
The moving of 2118 into the industrial premises means the carriage is under cover for the first time in over 40 years. It is also free of tarpaulins, again for the first time in 32 years. It is evident the carriage is in extremely poor condition and an assessment is to be undertaken to see what can be done initially to conserve it, pending a more thorough rebuild.
Atkins shed progress
The two carriages domiciled in the Atkins shed, Pickering station, are Tourist Third Open (TTO) 23956 and Restaurant First 189. The National Railway Museum’s TTO is having numerous jobs undertaken – recent attention has been refitting the glue blocks (these triangular wooden blocks are glued to the frame and also the teak panels, the latter having received attention to repair cracks) and also to the roof boards pending the fitting of a new roof sheet.
Meanwhile, the LNERCA’s flagship project, East Coast Joint Stock 189 is receiving considerable attention internally with the sanding down of the ceiling preparatory to final painting and adorning with Lincrusta friezes. This attention to detail will make 189 a showcase carriage when completed.
Hull College assists ECJS Dining Car 189
On Sunday 2nd May the LNERCA was visited by Graham Jessop from Hull College. This visit was organised through the LNERCA’s close relationship with the Hull & Barnsley Railway Stock Fund (H&BRSF), who have two carriages (No. 58 and No. 1), located at the college as part of apprentice training scheme.
East Coast Joint Stock 3rd class diner, No. 189 located at Pickering, requires some major items fabricating, such as the gasoliers in the saloons. The design of electric replicas, fabrication of a prototype, production run and installation will allow students to see the whole end to end process and will involve CAD design and 3D printing of various components. This project will be beneficial in the development of engineering skills in the students, the partnership bringing modern technologies to an 1894 built railway carriage.
This partnership is also important in the LNERCA meeting requirements from the HLF Cultural Recovery fund grant.
Graham was most impressed in the work on 189 and is excited in the college getting involved in a unique and historically important railway carriage. The LNERCA will be doing a presentation at the college once restrictions have been lifted.
The interior of 189 is currently masked off during the intensive sanding of the ceilings.
Please join and help us
If you are not a member of the LNERCA, do please consider joining. Your involvement, both financial and manually if possible, will be most welcome and you will be helping a tremendous cause. A quarterly newsletter comes with membership. Please see how to join on this website.
Our match funding initiative, supported by an anonymous donor, is still in being. All donations received up to June 30th 2021, including existing standing orders, will be matched pound for pound up to £50,000. Together with Gift Aid, this means that every £20 donation made will be worth £45 to the Association.
To take advantage of this match funding opportunity to support the Association, please consider making an on-line donation, either through our website, or by an internet bank transfer to our bank account which is with Lloyds Bank, sort code 30-63-64, account no. 27410460. Please use ‘MF’ followed by your surname as a reference. If we already hold a Gift Aid Form from you, there is no need for an additional one, but if we don’t, then please download one from our website (click here to download) and after completion, either post it to our Treasurer, Adrian Laming (4 Orchard Lane, Sowerby, Thirsk, YO7 1NE), or scan it and e-mail it to him (email@example.com).
Under cover – at last. We think this is the first time this unique carriage, NER 2118 dating from 1922, has been under cover for possibly 50 years. Now ensconced in our new Kirby Misperton facility, it is planned to bestow some conservation treatment on it whilst an assessment is made for a longer-term rebuild. (Murray Brown)
It’s not often you can see this sight in a railway carriage – inside 189 showing the sides draped with plastic sheeting to protect the varnished matchboarding. The upper clerestory ceiling and the lower ceilings are being sanded to perfection prior to final painting – and the adding of the Lincrusta decorative friezes which will run the length of the saloon on both sides of the lower ceiling and clerestory roof. (Murray Brown)
The mouldings around the clerestory toplights have been fitted in the pantry – another delightful architectural feature of this wonderful Victorian carriage. The pantry area was added in 1909, 15 years after the carriage was built, This addition reduced the number of seats to 33 in the main saloon area. (Murray Brown)
Pictured L to R: Dave Cullingworth LNERCA Secretary, (holding archive photo of Dining Car interior), Marcus Woodcock, LNERCA volunteer liaison and 189 project lead, Gordon Wells, LNERCA Trustee and lead on electrical items, Martin Barker, H&BRSF and Graham Jessop, Hull College. (Bruce Robinson, H&BRSF).
Two unique carriages join LNERCA fleet
Major news this month is that two significant and both unique carriages have come under the LNERCA umbrella. In addition, the LNERCA has signed a five-year lease on an industrial unit on the outskirts of Pickering. This will transform the activities of the Association, as well as relieve the ‘log jam’ found at the Atkins shed which is severely limited as to number of vehicles which can be placed inside for overhaul or maintenance.
Now owned by the Association is East Coast Joint Stock TK 377. It dates from 1907 and has been acquired from a member who has kept it on the Llangollen Railway for 20 years. 377 is the second East Coast Joint Stock carriage to join the fleet, a companion to RT 189.
Also coming under the LNERCA’s custodianship is Thompson-designed 1948-built RB 1706. Since 1986, it has been domiciled on the Llangollen Railway and the owning group has now placed 1706 in the care of the LNERCA.
Both 1706 and 377 will be moving to the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway.
The use of the superb additional premises near Pickering will provide both covered accommodation for ‘at risk’ vehicles such NER 2118, but will also house two other carriages on which work is progressing at RSR North East’s Spennymoor facility – Gresley TK 23896 and Thompson CL 88339. All three carriages will be moving soon to Pickering.
Also, the LNERCA is launching a new match funding initiative, supported by an anonymous donor, which works as follows. All donations received between April 1st and June 30th 2021, including existing standing orders, will be matched pound for pound up to £50,000. Together with Gift Aid, this means that every £20 donation made will be worth £45 to the Association.
To take advantage of this match funding opportunity to support the Association, please consider making an on-line donation, either through our website, or by an internet bank transfer to our bank account which is with Lloyds Bank, sort code 30-63-64, account no. 27410460. Please use ‘MF’ followed by your surname as a reference. If we already hold a Gift Aid Form from you, there is no need for an additional one, but if we don’t, then please download one from our website and after completion, either post it to our Treasurer, Adrian Laming (4 Orchard Lane, Sowerby, Thirsk, YO7 1NE), or scan it and e-mail it to him (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you are not a member of the LNER Coach Association, do please considering joining – the development of the Association is at an exciting time which augers so well for the future. Full details of how to join are on this website for which you will receive a quality quarterly newsletter and be contributing enormously to the future well-being of these historical, beautiful carriages.
113 years old and still going strong! This is another survivor from the famed East Coast Joint Stock organisation comprising the Great Northern, North Eastern and North British Railways which ran the Anglo-Scottish services. Corridor Third 377 is pictured on the Llangollen Railway. It ended its BR days as Departmental DE 320444. Photograph: Peter Lund.
A surviving LNER designed gem – the unique Thompson Buffet Car (RB) No. 1706. The owning group has placed this carriage in the custodianship of the LNERCA. Both this and TK 377 will be moving to the Embay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway. Photograph: Perter Lund.
A new exciting era for the LNERCA – an industrial unit on the outskirts of Pickering, pictured here, will house three of the LNERCA’s fleet – NER TO 2118, LNER TK 23896 and LNER CL 88339 – and will expand the restoration activities, supplementing those in the Atkins shed, Pickering.
Photograph: Dave Cullingworth.
Fox bogies to be finished at Pickering
The decision has been taken to complete the overhaul of the Fox bogies back at Pickering. These bogies, the type on which East Coast Joint Stock Restaurant Third 189 ran when built in 1894, had been moved to RSR North East at Spennymoor. These were dismantled and the wheelsets sent to Ian Riley Ltd at Castleton to have new tyres fitted.
However, the bogie overhaul stalled for various reasons, so in order to progress their completion, they have been brought back to the NYMR’s bogie repair facility, Kirby Misperton, near Pickering, where an assessment as to what is required will be undertaken.
Fox bogies, manufactured by Samson Fox Ltd, Leeds Forge Company, were an everyday sight in Victorian times but the advent of Nigel Gresley to Doncaster Works as Carriage & Wagon Superintendent in 1905 saw what became known as the Gresley bogie supersede the Fox variant.
The LNERCA was extremely fortunate to obtain a pair of Fox bogies – this was all due to the owner of a crane runner on the Colne Valley Railway, Martin Nixon, who kindly agreed to allow a swap to take place, the LNERCA providing two Gresley bogies in return for his Fox pair. Effecting a swap was itself a job and a half, involving a huge shunt at the Colne Valley Railway and two long distance road journeys.
The upshot, one day, means that 189 will be restored, to all intents and purposes, to its as-built condition, give or take some modern materials and, of course, no gas lighting!
One down, one to go
One side of the Composite Lavatory (CL) 88339 that is.
Jim Chittock, aided by his colleague Andy Meek, have all but completed the frame repairs on one side of the Thompson CL carriage at the Spennymoor premises of RSR North East. This is a milestone in the CL’s extensive repair, and work is starting imminently on the second side.
However, when the end panelling was removed, it has become apparent that all four corner pillar posts are in need of replacement. This is a classic example of discovering more work once a start has been made. This work will now be put in hand.
There will remain the small matter of providing, fitting and painting of a complete set of metal panelling for this unique 1947-built carriage which spent all of its working life until 1967 in Scotland.
One arrives, one goes away
It’s not every day that a restored LNER Gresley carriage arrives at the NYMR. However, this has just happened with the arrival of Full Brake (BGP) 70754, destined to become the ‘Education’ carriage at Goathland station. This is one of the components of the Yorkshire Magnificent Journey Heritage Lottery project.
Considering the derelict state of 70754 prior to its renovation, its transformation has nothing short of remarkable. Lee Sharpe Engineering at Wirksworth on the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway has turned this woebegone carriage into a head-turner.
70754 has been painted in NER crimson in keeping with Goathland’s period image. It has been fitted with a toilet and will replace the existing static vehicle which will be moved to Levisham, thus offering a toilet for disabled visitors at that station.
What is commendable is that the shelving in 70754, used to hold the pigeon baskets, has been retained. Indeed, top marks to Helena Fox, the NYMR Learning & Interpretation Officer, who is keen to retain as much of the pigeon paraphernalia as she would like to be able to show visitors a little of the vehicle’s raison d’etre. The LNERCA has supplied the carriage’s history for this purpose.
Meanwhile, making the journey south to the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway on the same transporter which brought 70754 to Pickering is Gresley TTO 43632, destined to become the carriage in the LNER set with space and a toilet for disabled passengers. An enormous amount of time and effort was put into this NYMR-owned carriage by LNERCA personnel in repairing the teak panels which will eventually be fitted.
Here are the dismantled Fox bogies, destined to go under ECJS RTO 189, residing in the bogie repair facility of the NYMR at nearby Kirby Misperton on the outskirts of Pickering. An assessment has been made of what work is required and this work is now proceeding under the supervision of manager Kelvin Whitwell. Photo: Nick Stringer.
Repairing the framing on the Thompson Composite Lavatory (CL) carriage 88339 inside the workshop of RSR (North East) Ltd at Spennymoor is Jim Chittock and his colleague Andy Meek. They are about to start work on the second side. The LNERCA has five carriages stored at this location whilst the carriage stable shed is completed at Pickering, though one or more of these carriages may well up at the new LNERCA covered accommodation in the Pickering area if successful negotiations are concluded. Photo: Nick Stringer.
Ah, slight problem! A close up of the corner pillar on 88339, clearly depicting replacement is the order of the day. Times this by four! Photo: Nick Stringer.
At least with the discovery of the past their sell by date corner pillars, the extent of the renovation on this unique carriage is now known. Jim Chittock, former carriage builder at York Works, is in the background. Photo: Nick Stringer.
A remarkable sight – and transformation. This was the derelict Gresley BGP obtained by the NYMR from the North Tyneside Railway as part of the Yorkshire Magnificent Journey project – where it will become the Education coach, stabled at Goathland. The work to turn the derelict Gresley into this gleaming vehicle was undertaken by Lee Sharpe Engineering, Wirksworth on the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway. Photo: Kieran Murray.
Compliments of the season to all regular and not-so-regular readers. We hope the latter will soon become regular! The website is updated monthly. We can guarantee 2021 will be full of surprises, with plenty of projects progressing.
LNERCA embarks on new restoration
A carriage which has not carried passengers for 60 years is to see work start on its completion so that the general public can once again savour its historical ambience.
Corridor Third (TK) 23896 was built in 1935, the year Gresley’s first A4 2509 Silver Link debuted and the year the ‘Silver Jubilee’ was inaugurated. It was also the year which saw the first canned beer and the first parking meters installed, both in America.
23896 later became 12328 in the 1948 renumbering scheme, but its mundane life became intriguing when in 1961, it was withdrawn and earmarked to become one of the secret mobile control carriages (numbered TDE 321008) for use in future hostilities where, along with three other Gresleys, it could be stabled in a remote location and used to control railway operations. This never happened and for many years, this carriage, painted black with whited-out windows, was secreted away in Doncaster Carr depot. In 1979, the government decreed these carriages were no longer required and they were put up for sale. TDE 321008 was bought by Resco Railways and remained at Doncaster until 1984 whereupon it moved to Steamtown Carnforth. It was here the LNERCA took over ownership and the carriage had a large amount of bodywork repaired, including the external teak varnished.
It came to the NYMR in 2005. Because much work has already been accomplished, it is a matter of ‘completion’ rather than ‘rebuild’.
The initial work will see the toilet partitions re-instated and the corridor screening renovated and replaced where necessary. This will be followed by the fitting of the compartment partitions themselves.
The carriage seats 64 and will be the first Gresley compartment carriage to be restored by the LNERCA. Its elevation to the top of the queue has been made possible by a generous benefactor who offered to match pound for pound funding raised – which the LNERCA members kindly rallied to the cause.
East Coast Joint Stock Restaurant Third 189
With the interior fully panelled out with match-boarding, attention has turned to fitting the specially made brass catches to the clerestory windows. The LNERCA is indebted to Oundle member Alan Anderson for undertaking to have these made. Two coats of varnish have been applied to the exterior. More coats are waiting the completion of the ornate lettering – well worth admiring if you are in Pickering – by Chris Johnson and warmer weather conducive to applying varnish.
LNER Fish Van E75167
Andrew Daniel has completed fitting new roof boards and the vehicle is now fully tarpaulined until the Spring when a new polyester fleece material will be installed on the roof in conjunction with Durashield. The large sliding doors, presently in store, will also emerge in warmer climes for fitting.
Tourist Third Open 43632
This NYMR-owned carriage is destined for conversion to enable disabled passengers to enjoy the NYMR and the LNERCA is supplying various components. The main job in December was the extraction of teak panels and repairing them. When the carriage first arrived on the NYMR, there was considerable plywood panelling and what teak was in situ was split – it is this which is being repaired to a high standard.
Tourist Third Open 23956
A start has been made on stripping this TTO for, in effect, a rebuild. External and internal panelling has been removed to gain access to the framing, some of which requires remedial attention. The roof canvas has been stripped off and will be renewed. It is over 15 years since the TTO made its restored debut and it is now time to put right the ravages of time spent out in the open.
Two of the clerestory fanlight catches are now in situ on the fanlights, only 42 left to do! The ornate beading that goes round the fanlight is yet to be machined and fitted. (Murray Brown)
The main saloon is now fully matchboarded, with two soaker coats of varnish. (Marcus Woodcock)
Mike Illingworth fitting the very last matchboard on the coach – in the attendant’s cupboard. The walls are now fitted and painted. (Marcus Woodcock)
The last of the roof boards on the LNER-designed Fish Van E75167 are put into place by Andrew Daniel on November 19, 2020. The fitting of the large sliding doors will take place in the Spring. (Marcus Woodcock)
REGISTERED CHARITY No 1183387