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Vintage Coaches. Pre and Post 1948 Carriages

Discussion in 'Heritage Rolling Stock' started by iowcr3429, Jan 17, 2020.

  1. Robin

    Robin Member

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    I guess that as a life member of the GW(SVR)A whose primary objective is the preservation and restoration of the SVR's GWR carriages, I probably qualify as a carriage wibbler too! That said, I am pragmatic about the SVR using their newer rolling stock; we can't operate five sets of 1930s GWR carriages because like most other railways, we simply don’t have enough of the 'right stuff'.

    In passing, the majority of in-ticket SVR locos are in BR livery (mostly owners preference) and Mk1s were in common use in the last days of the line. So apart from being the stock that older visitors actually remember in service, Mk 1s are appropriate for the line* and to most of the locomotives, certainly more so than the LNER set, even if they don’t match the 30s appearance of the stations.

    Regarding 'vintage good, Mk1 bad', Paul is of course entitled to his opinion. Personally I am happy with a mixture. To pick a random railway with both, I enjoy an occasional ride in the Worth Valley’s excellent and growing L&Y set, but I’m not sure I would want to spend a full day in it. As a tourist rather than a wibbler, there is a lot to be said for settling back in a comfortable Mk1 seat afterwards!

    *OK, maybe not RMBs but we’ve done that to death already.
     
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  2. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    To return your pointedness, nowhere did I say I preferred grey (which I don't) so please do not ascribe this view to me as a debating point. It intrigued me to see how grey paint emphasised external design features where there are some to emphasise.

    Another debating point of yours is that somehow I "wilfully ignore" the practical and operational difficulties. Most certainly I do not but I do feel that, for some reason you appear to over play them. There is a posting above which praises the high capacity and light weight of older vehicles. Similarly the posting of @Sidmouth is worthy of study.
     
  3. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Now this is better stuff! One point I would say is don't underestimate tourists. Quite a few do recognise the "real thing" when they see it without specialist knowledge.
     
  4. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    They might make a distinction, (although I've expressed doubts before with respect to the last generation of the big fours' coaching stock and wooden panelled Mk1s) but I'm sceptical it will make any difference to a return visit, certainly compared to, say, the cleanliness of the coaching stock, irrespective of its age. And absorbing the extra costs of vintage stock, for no financial gain, just because we prefer vintage stock, is the very definition of WIBN surely?
     
  5. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Hardly W.I.B.N. to suggest that sights have been set too low in some aspects. Agree with thoughts about cleanliness.
     
  6. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Believe you me, Mum will be very picky about the standard of carriages, catering and toilets - and you need to get these right to get return visits.

    From going out with my family, I can name the lines Domestic Facilities Management might be tempted back to & which ones she wont
     
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  7. mdewell

    mdewell Member

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    Which was surely the whole point of railway companies historically showing off new designs in 'works grey'.
     
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  8. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Heard today that Roger Williams, one of the leading lights of our C&W department has passed away. He did so much, but in particular, the Bulleid carriages (of which we now have four in traffic) serve has his memorial, including 1947-built 5768 which entered traffic last year.

    Tom
     
  9. iowcr3429

    iowcr3429 New Member

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    From past experience I can say that I used to enjoy travelling back down to Salisbury in a light and airy NSE mk2 coach with all the windows open from Waterloo. I travelled in a mk1 compartment one day where the seat was so comfortable I didn't wish to get out and there is some very good vintage coaches on preserved railways.
    From reading posts from this thread many people have different ideas. What is coming out is the need for whatever railway to be able to put coaches away in the dry at the end of the day to stop long term rot. As long as which ever coach the railway can put into service is clean and in good condition that is the main thing.
     
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  10. Cartman

    Cartman Member

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    I like both Mark 1 and the early Mark 2 coaches and also vintage and pre nationalisation coaches. There is a place for both and in my opinion the vintage coaches are best kept for special occasions and the everyday services run with the 1/2s. As long as they are clean and well restored that is the main point.

    The excellent point has been made that only a few railways started early enough to be able to grab ore nationalisation coaches while they were still around in decent condition and most started when only Mark 1s could be got.

    Also, the first mark 1s are now getting on for 70 years old and the first 2s are now over 50 so they are now heritage vehicles in their own right and deserving of preservation as well as being useful and practical
     
  11. Cartman

    Cartman Member

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    Another couple of points, the Isle of Wight was a special case as, due to loading gauge restrictions, only narrow bodied pre group coaches could be used there so they never had anything else.

    While we are on liveries, I think any attempt to paint panelling on a mark 1 would look terrible. The LMS briefly did this on the first few Stanier coaches and I thought that looked wrong too. Mark 1s I like in maroon and 2s in blue/grey, some of these have been done crimson and cream which looks totally wrong. I also don't like Mark 1s in Pullman colours.
     
  12. gwalkeriow

    gwalkeriow Well-Known Member

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    Is this what you mean about the first Stanier coaches?

    https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&id=0F9165434D344E301981EFADABF56086CE95C481&thid=OIP.AkZ9DjIUgBgucph33KPcIQHaEY&mediaurl=https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7193/6908029676_ed6eaae905_k_d.jpg&exph=1212&expw=2047&q=lms+coach+7511&selectedindex=6&ajaxhist=0&vt=0&eim=1,2,6

    Personally I think it looks magnificent and a great credit to the Severn Valley Railway.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2020
  13. Cartman

    Cartman Member

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    I'm not saying it's not a super job, it is, but I don't think that style of lining suits that style of coach. The later, simplified style with just the lining at waist level and above the windows did.
     
  14. Robin

    Robin Member

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    An update following on from my last post. Late last year the GW(SVR)A acquired Hawksworth Brake 2242, ex-Quainton Road and formerly owned by Denis Howells. The Association’s recent newsletter noted that "It will also fulfil a particular need on the Severn Valley Railway being able to form a large brake in Great Western Set 2 releasing Collett Brake 5883 for Great Western Set 1."

    I wasn't aware that we had two GWR sets in addition to the dining set and the toplight nondescript saloons, so asked on the SVR-Online forum. It transpires that GW2 is the main modern (1938 to 1947) set in use at present. The SVR is in the process of forming a GW1 set made up of 1910 to early 1930s stock in the older liveries. Both sets will ideally consist of a buffet, an invalid vehicle and composite and a brake composite plus three full thirds and a large brake third.

    Apart from finishing the overhaul of 2242, a lot of work will be required to complete GW1 including conversion of a buffet, but in the fullness of time we should see two better matched GWR sets in use.
     
  15. gwalkeriow

    gwalkeriow Well-Known Member

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    This is what sets the SVR apart from most railways, as it was formed in the mid to late 60s it was able to acquire GWR and LMS coaches in more or less out of service condition. Since then it has expanded both fleets with additional vehicles for departmental use and use as a grounded body. Most have been rebuilt true to their as built condition but they have not been afraid to convert a number of vehicles during the rebuild stage to fulfil different roles.

    Oh and did I mention they have also created a full LNER set from departmental vehicles. The SVR has not been content just to sit on their laurels, they have probably restored more vehicles from departmental use than any other Railway.
     
  16. pete2hogs

    pete2hogs Member

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    It's known as 'being realistic' - something which in other contexts you are quite strong on?

    The public won't care. They want a carriage that is comfortable and clean , not quirkily historic. As my local railway has discovered. Yes., items like the Bluebell's LNWR saloon will do fine - maybe not so much an LCDR or GER third class suburban four wheeler unless the run is very short.
     
  17. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Cleanliness should be met everywhere. However the rest is just more "he would say that wouldn't he".

    Of course plenty will not notice but plenty will. One of the latter who stuck in my memory was the visitor who looked through the open droplight with its leather strap and set in a grained wood door. "I'm having my Eric Ravilious moment" she remarked to no-one in particular. (Ravilious painted a celebrated view of the Vale of the White Horse seen from a G.W.R. 3rd. compartment.) Similarly a couple who set out to travel on all Network Rail lines, publishing a record on YouTube which included an occasional detour to a tourist line. "Come and see our carriage; it's sumptuous" said the young lady who thought the Brighton 3rd. concerned must have been a 1st. She must have travelled in a heck of a lot of railway carriages in the course of her journeys.

    It was good to learn that the S.V.R. are continuing to develop and expand their pre 1948 stock
     
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  18. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    The SVR have and Are but also understand the humble Mk1 in which they have invested heavily. They are historic in there own right (over 15 years since the last loco hauled stock went) and the important link they have with the age of steam.

    I’d argue that without them the SVR would be a poorer place - the collection tells quite a story of railway history over a 60-70 year period, something it wouldn't without the Mk1s so they have a place even in more historic collections.
     
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  19. Southernman99

    Southernman99 New Member Friend

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    This is only my oppinion but I find that the SVR has the best collection of pre grouping coaches. With railways like IOWSR and Bluebell having the best pre grouping coaches.
    The one thing about a Mk 1 is it will take a beating. Our 2 sets are our prime use sets. The Gresleys and the LMS set are used generally as the 3rd set with the GW set as the gap filler when maintenance schedules come around.

    We have had the same reaction from people commenting that a bog standard SK which has just had new upholstery must be first class. It does show up the "new"railway somewhat that fresh upholstery and a compartment is first class.
     
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  20. michaelh

    michaelh Well-Known Member

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    I travel the full length of the Welsh Highland Railway 2 or 3 times a year. Every train I use seems to include the green painted vintage wooden WHR vehicle. I have seen anyone in it - even when the modern vehicles are well filled.
     

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