Diagram 216 third class open saloon
Wooden bodied, 'Teak' finish
Not in public service, available for filming
This coach was built for use on the Great Eastern section of the London & North Eastern Railway and, like many coaches used on these routes, it was built to the shorter length of 52ft 6ins, rather than the standard 61ft 6ins that was more widely used on the East Coast Main Line and elsewhere. This is particularly noticeable as there are only six large windows on each side, rather than the eight used in the longer versions to the same design. Built in 1936, it was part of one of the last of this type of coach to be built to suit the shorter underframe, with the manufacture of 52ft 6in coaches coming to an end in 1938.
It is designated a Tourist Third Open (TTO), as it has an open saloon with a total of 12 bays of four seats, six on each side in line with the windows; each bay is also fitted with a table. The 'Tourist' designation indicates that it is equipped with bucket seats.
The coach saw regular use with on the London & North Eastern Railway, and later with British Railways, for three decades before being withdrawn from passenger service. This was not the end of the story, as it was then used as part of a breakdown train at March, spending another three decades at the former engine shed.
When it was acquired by its current owner and moved to Kirkby Stephen East in 2002, it was in a very sorry state and little more than a shell; the interior had been completely gutted and the exterior was very poor. Thanks to the dedication of the team of volunteers at Kirkby Stephen East, the coach has been completely restored to its Art Deco splendour and is immaculate both inside and out!
The view above shows the superb interior nearing completion; compare this with the photograph to the right, which shows the dilapidated state that the shell was in at the time of the coach's arrival at Kirkby Stephen East. Over a decade and a half of dedicated work has been required to return the coach to 'as built' condition.
Finally, the image below shows the part restored interior prior to fitting out.
Telephone: 07792 556919
Address: Kirkby Stephen East Station,
Cumbria CA17 4LA