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LMS bogie Third class gangwayed vestibule coach no 27249

 
Above: LMS bogie vestibule carriage 27249, immaculate after a full repaint at Caverswall Road on 12 July 2006 
A typical carriage designed by Sir William Stanier FRS for use on mainline services of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway, its type would have been familiar on through services calling at Stoke-on-Trent for about thirty years. This particular third class coach was one of a design (diagram D1999) which was first produced at Derby works in 1938 but production soon switched to Wolverton works in Buckinghamshire. None were built during the Second World War but construction resumed in 1945. Coach number 27249 was the last one in a batch of 100 (lot 1401) produced at Wolverton during 1945/6. But the time production ceased a couple of years later, 433 coaches had been produced to this design. Fifty-seven feet long, weighing 30 tons each, a timber frame supports a steel outer skin, and extensive use is made of polished wood in the interior, which seats 56 passengers at tables in an open saloon with door vestibules at each end but small toilet compartments only at one end.

Above: LMS vestibule third class carriage identical to number 27249 when built

Livery when new was LMS crimson lake (a rich red-maroon) with yellow lining and elaborate shaded numbers. 27249 had its number prefixed and suffixed "M" after nationalisation in 1948 and would have received a livery of cream around the windows and crimson below. Sometime after 1956 M27249M would have reverted to a maroon livery all over, with yellow and black lining. Rendered obsolete by all-steel coaches long before its useful life was over, M27249M was sold from BR service to the Foxfield Railway in 1967 and was delivered by rail. It saw extensive use in the early days of passenger services, for which a handbrake wheel was fitted in place of one of the tables. The bodysides were completely repanelled during the late 1980s and repainted in LMS livery similar to its as-built condition. In addition the interior was completely restored, with new seat coverings replacing the original moquette, but one of the toilet compartments was converted to form a store cupboard. In 2002 the ends were repanelled, the gangways fully overhauled and the paintwork refreshed. In 2006 27249 received a full repaint in LMS livery. It now sees limited use on service trains, has been a dining vehicle on Wine & Dine trains, and has proved a popular and pleasant venue for cream teas. 

For the Vintage Carriage Survey entry for LMS third number 27249 see: http://vintagecarriagestrust.org/sd/730.HTM

Above: Hand shunting LMS carriage 27249 at Blythe Bridge on 6 September 1978

Four other carriages identical to 27249 have been preserved: 27218 and 27220 are fully restored and in regular use at the Severn Valley Railway. Two others have been preserved after use as exhibition vans, which involved the loss of much their interiors. 27234 is at the Strathspey Railway and 27162 at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre.

Above: The LMS carriage 27249 when previously restored, on 30 May 1994

Above: An unusual broadside view of the LMS carriage 27249 at Caverswall Road on 12 July 2006

Below: LMS crest on the newly restored carriage 27249, on 12 July 2006


For more information on the Foxfield Steam Railway, its passenger services and special events please see the official website at http://www.foxfieldrailway.co.uk.