Carriage 22

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Carriage 22
Coach 22a.jpg
In current livery. Photo: Martin Ellis
Type Compartment Third
Seating 42 x 3rd
Home Railway FR
Status In service
History
Built by Ashbury Railway Carriage and Iron Co.
Built 1896
1982-4 Rebodied
Technical
Length 32 ft 6 in
Body Length 30ft
Frames Steel
Carriages

Carriage 22 is a third class bogie vehicle built for the FR in 1897. Rebodied in 1984, it bears little resemblence to its original appearance.

Background[edit]

Carriage 22 was built by the Ashbury Carriage and Iron Company in 1897, it was one of a pair of "tourist" carriages, identical to No. 21 as originally built.

An alternative view is that Nos. 21 and 22 were bought for some £315 each for the quarrymen's train after critical remarks were made about the poor conditions in the Quarry Workmen's Carriages by the Mines Inspectorate in their report of 1895.

Nos. 21 and 22 were known as the "yellow carriages" and this was confirmed by the yellow paint, with a possible admixture of nicotine, which was cleaned out of No.22 in the summer of 1958. There were well-worn vertical brass match-striking plates on the door posts. The seats were hard with a sharp edge in the back to make you sit up straight. The knee room was fairly lamentable, so they became known as 'zip-fasteners' because of the need to interlock the knees of passengers on either side. The vehicles did not give any impression of an intention to use it for the better class of tourists.

... in 1897 a new bogie carriage, vacuum fitted, was placed in traffic in the Autumn. It was number 21, a seven compartment all-third class coach, with matchboard sides and no end balconies. There was only one partition above the seats, dividing the carriage into unequal parts, and the length was 30 feet over the body. Accommodation was nominally 56 seats, giving it the largest capacity of any carriage on the line.[1]

Post Preservation[edit]

No 22 was restored to traffic in 1958 when much yellow paint was stripped from the interior. There were well-worn brass match strikers on the insides of the door jambs, so it may safely be taken that this was a smoking carriage.

Having lost the tension in the wooden underframe, a pronounced sag appeared in the body shape, so it became known as "the banana van". It held 56 in some discomfort; guards had to load the middle compartment first, shut the door, then load the side compartments, shutting the doors, ending with the compartments over the bogies. This was because the doors jammed and if you had loaded the ends first, you could not shut the middle doors.

Post preservation rebuilds[edit]

It received a steel underframe in 1967. On withdrawal in 1982, it was decided to replace the body with a new wooden frame with a roof profile similar to the Barns. The rebuild was completed in mid season 1984.

It has been down-graded to carry 42 passengers (from the original 56) and while it still works well enough, the backs of the seats have a ridge to make you sit up straight in the best Victorian style and there is not enough leg room for anyone above 5ft 6ins high. This results in taller passengers having to interlock their knees.

During late 2008, the vehicle re-emerged from the carriage works after a full repaint. At this time the ends changed from maroon to black.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Boyd, James I.C. (1975) [1959]. The Festiniog Railway 1800 - 1974; Vol. 2 Locomotive and Rolling Stock and Quarry Feeders. Blandford: The Oakwood Press. ISBN 085361-168-8.  p360