1990s On-Train Catering

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Two articles in FR Magazine in 1991 described the introduction of trollies for FR catering.[1] [2] Apparently a trolley had been used for a while in the late 70s on the fourth carriage set but presumably fell out of use when the timetable changed to only require three sets. The 1991 trollies are described as "a world apart" from this earlier trolley. The fourth train set trolley was bought in 1977 from Enk Company in Bern, specialists in metre-gauge catering.[3]

The 1991 trollies had an on board tank of hot water and an electrically operated pump which fed the water into Maxpac cups. The trollies were rented "at very advantageous terms" to the Railway. Alcoholic drinks were also available from the trolley. A range of spirits (in miniatures) together with mixers, canned beer, cider and lager was supplied. Draught beer had become a thing of the past. Apparently sales had not justified its retention with the associated regular cleaning of the beer lines.

The insulated water tanks for the water also included a battery to supply the electric water pump. While the water tanks with their electrical heating elements were plugged into the mains in the store at Porthmadog the battery charged up.

Another reason for changes in the catering was that new regulations would with the old system have required all the operators to undertake hygiene training. The new range of goods on the trollies was all pre-packed.

After the positive announcement about trollies in the Summer 1991 FR Magazine the following one reported that the trollies had been withdrawn temporarily following damage to the coachwork - a case of teething troubles where the teeth marks were visible. [4] Although the withdrawal of the trollies was described as temporary the FR Magazine is silent on their fate for the next few years. Perhaps renting them had been a good decision.

Although trollies have not reappeared on the FR they are used on the WHR.


  1. ^ "On-Train Catering-1", Ffestiniog Railway Magazine, Issue 133, page(s): 22
  2. ^ "2-Trolley Pulling", Ffestiniog Railway Magazine, Issue 133, page(s): 22
  3. ^ Ffestiniog Railway Magazine, Issue 077, page(s): 02
  4. ^ "Sales", Ffestiniog Railway Magazine, Issue 134, page(s): 46

See Also[edit]

Buffet Car Duty

Buffet Car Attendants (1960s)