Third class five compartment coach to Diagram 15
Wooden bodied, six-wheeled chassis
The restoration of North Eastern Railway five-compartment third class coach No. 2051 is certainly not one for the faint hearted! One of around 1,000 such vehicles built at York in the 1880s, it had a relatively short life in regular service as bogie coaches quickly started to appear in growing numbers from the mid-1890s onwards. However, it was one of many similar six-wheeled coaches that were kept for use as strengthening coaches at busy times, and for excursion trains, lasting on these duties until the end of the First World War. The chassis was then scrapped, but the body was sold to a farm near Darlington for use as an outbuilding. Here it survived, in remarkably good condition, for a century before being acquired by the Locomotive Conservation and Learning Trust.
The restoration will require the creation of a new six-wheel underframe but, with the wheelsets and running gear already available, this is not as huge a task as it might otherwise have been.
The picture to the left shows a typical North Eastern Railway Diagram 15 at around the turn of the last century, while it was still in service. The livery was an attractive dark crimson , offset with cream or gold leaf lining, and it is in this form that No. 2051 will emerge in just a few years' time.
Looking at the view above, you would be forgiven for thinking that returning No. 2051 to traffic would be an insurmountable task; however, beneath those layers of bitumen paint lies a solid coach body in perfect condition. Even more surprisingly, the interior of the vehicle is in a fantastic state of preservation, with some of the original signs still legible over a century since they were last read by passengers!
Telephone: 07792 556919
Address: Kirkby Stephen East Station,
Cumbria CA17 4LA