WHRL Coach No. 10
|WHRL Coach No. 10|
|Buffet Car (also called Waenfawr coach)|
|Built By||Ashbury Co.|
|Length||30ft (9.14m) |
|Width||6ft (1.8288m) |
Originally air braked, converted to vacuum. Will be rebuilt with both.
This vehicle was one of a pair (Nos. 9 & 10) built in 1893 by The Ashbury Railway Carriage & Iron Co. for the North Wales Narrow Gauge Railways (later the Welsh Highland Railway).
Both had doors at each end and glazing all along each side. They were built as all 3rd Class carriages, but around 1910 a partition had been added to No.10 to provide a small 1st Class section.
The coaches were cut down in 1923 to fit the restricted Ffestiniog Railway loading gauge. This was done by lowering them on their bogie bolsters and cutting the sides above the windows.
Renumbered in the WHR/FR scheme, it appears that 9 became No.25 and 10 No.23.
In 1927, 10/23 was converted into a licensed buffet car, the first such vehicle on a British narrow gauge line. The 3rd Class section was modified to include a serving counter with an urn for making tea. The urn was only heated at Beddgelert and Rhyd Ddu.
In 1936, WHR Summer Coach 24 passed to the Festiniog Railway in exchange for three ex-WD bogie coal wagons and it seems it was then renumbered 23. Apparently from that time the WHR and the FR each had a carriage numbered 23.
When the WHR was requisitioned for the war effort in 1941, the buffet car was sold for use as a summer house at Waenfawr by demolition contractor George Cohen. It was towed on two solid-tyred bogies by a traction engine from Dinas, the journey taking a whole day. The carriage was cut in half after it was finally delivered to the field. It was donated to the WHR Ltd and transported to Gelert's Farm in 1987. Remarkably, the original bogies survived although a major rebuild on a new steel underframe is required.
With the arrival of its new steel underframe in 2005, the restoration of the buffet car has now nearly finished at Gelert's Farm. It has been rebuilt to its cut down WHR dimensions. This carriage entered service on May 2nd 2009 during the May Gala.
There was some discussion as to the number it would carry, and its reporting number.
The new carriage had been allocated its former WHR number, 23, but unfortunately the former WHR Summer Coach 24 was long ago renumbered 23 by the FR and a new replica Summer Coach has been constructed with the number 24. How this numerical impasse will be resolved remains to be seen. One option would be to recognise the priority of the Buffet Car as 23, renumber Summer Coach 23 to its former WHR number 24, and renumber the replica Summer Coach 24 as 27 or 28, the numbers of now scrapped open vehicles of this type. Another option would be to renumber the replica Summer Coach 21, the number of a defunct FR Ashbury. A third option would be to renumber the current FR 26 to 21, recognising that it bears no resemblance to the original Ashbury Summer coach but is now a new carriage and a near sister of 22, and give the vacant number 26 to the replica Summer Car.
Originally air braked, converted to vacuum.
Adapted from an original page at WHHR site.
- WHR Ltd
- WHR Ltd