Midland Railway six-wheeled Composite coach

The Midland six wheel carriage

Midland Railway number 358
British Railways departmental number DM284677
Date built 1886
Length 34' 0" (10.360m)
Width 8' 6" (2.590m)
Weight 15 tons (15.2 tonnes)
Seats 32 (when restored)

Internal layout: Full width compartments without a side corridor

CURRENT STATUS:  Not currently available for filming     In workshop at Ingrow.

This carriage was built at Derby and has a central baggage compartment, two First Class and two Third Class compartments.

The Worth Valley branch line was part of the Midland Railway, so this type of carriage would have carried passengers up and down this line in the early years of this century.

The Midland was one of the first railways to consider passenger comfort for the poorer traveller. In 1872 James Allport, General Manager of the Midland Railway, brought in major reforms to help them. The Midland scrapped Second Class travel, provided third class carriages with the luxury of upholstered seats, and carried third class passengers on every train. By 1875, nearly 84% of the passengers travelling on the Midland Railway were Third Class ticket holders.

The two First Class compartments of this coach would have had six well-upholstered winged and elbowed seats, three to each side of a compartment. These would have been finished in a top quality cloth. The two Third Class compartments would have had seats upholstered in woollen repp, buttoned and stuffed with horsehair. Even in the Third Class the width between the partitions was quite generous, allowing room for people's legs.

It is not known when this coach was withdrawn from British Railways' passenger service but it was finally based at Edge Hill Motive Power Depot, where it was used as a Stores Van by the Signal & Telegraph Engineer. It was purchased by the Vintage Carriages Trust from British Railways in July 1968, travelling to Keighley by rail on its own wheels.

At present only the exterior of the vehicle has been restored, and then only cosmetically. Restrictions on space and demands on time and resources have meant that for many years it had been stored outside in what is known as the "shoddy manure dock road" at Ingrow. As such access to the vehicle was severely restricted and only with the completion of the carriage workshop at our Museum was it possible to contemplate its removal. Due to lack of access a crane had to be used to lift it out.  A filming commitment during 2000 prompted a brake overhaul, provision of correct two-level footboards (albeit on one side only!), and generally being made fit to run. A further filming assignment in 2001 saw the livery changed to something approximating to our MS&L coach (also involved in the filming, but with its livery remaining strictly untouched!), but lettered "LNWR".  In 2007 the carriage was repainted maroon. 

This is the only Midland vehicle on the Worth Valley Railway, which was of course a former Midland branch. It's also one of only three surviving Midland Railway six-wheeled passenger-carrying vehicles still on their original chassis - so it's an important vehicle! Full restoration is intended. This will be expensive. For this reason, this Midland carriage is behind other projects currently being progressed, but will be attended to as soon as we can.



Filming credits for this carriage:

He Knew He Was Right;  Turner - the man who painted Britain;  The Way We Live Now;  Possession;  The Railway Children (1970 EMI version); The Virgin and the Gypsy

Carriage Survey entry for this carriage

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