- This article is about the current 23. During the period of the original WHR the number was carried by the carriage that is now WHRL Coach No. 10
|Seating||42 x 3rd|
|Built by||Ashbury Carriage and Iron Company|
|Body Width||6 ft|
This carriage has carried the following numbers:
- NWNGR 12
- WHR 24
- FR 23
It now operates on the WHR(C) as No. 23
Built in 1894 by the Ashbury Carriage and Iron Company, Manchester. This coach was built for the North Wales Narrow Gauge Railways as a "Summer Coach" and numbered 12. It had half height doors and dimensions were Length: 29"11" Width: 6" Height:7'5". In 1922 the NWNGR became part of the Welsh Highland Railway and the carriage was numbered 24 in the combined F&WHR series. This coach, with others, was cut down in height to facilitate through working the FR's old Moelwyn Tunnel to Blaenau Ffestiniog. In 1926 the coach passed into Festiniog Railway ownership in exchange for three ex-WD bogie coal wagons. At some point after this transfer it was re-numbered 23 in the FR series and the Ashbury Corridor which previously had carried the number 23 became No 24 in the combined series.
In 1955 No 23 along with Coach 12 (now Van 5) formed the first train to run on the newly reopened Festiniog Railway. The original preservation livery was green and ivory with red ends.
In the mid 1960s a steel underframe was fitted and the body was rebuilt with panelled sides rather than matchboarded. At the same time the half height doors were replaced with full doors with droplights (some ex-No.21). The doors were made at Watson's Birkenhead to drawings made by Fred Boughey. The remaining paint was burnt off and the carriage was then varnished in the pseudo-teak livery.
Other preservation era liveries have included the standard maroon and maroon & cream liveries of the 1970s and 80s. During the late 70s the coach spent some time painted in the green and ivory livery to celebrate 25 years of FR preservation.
23 has now been restored back to its 1920s condition (with the exception of the full doors which it retains) in "Colonel Stephens" livery with "Welsh Highland Rly" lettering. As announced in May 2001, it has now made a permanent return to the WHR, following overhaul and repaint at Boston Lodge. 23 is now regularly attached to the Blaenau end of one of the main WHR carriage sets.
It made a return visit to the FR for the FR50 celebrations. Following No. 23's return to the FR for the 2004 Vintage Weekend, it was partnered with Van 2, Carriage 1 and Prince on the Welsh Highland Railway (Caernarfon) Superpower Weekend in September 2005. On Friday 16th September 2005 this rake reached Rhyd Ddu.
Since the completion of the WHR and its connection to the FR, 23 has made many appearances back on the FR at special events.
- General Rule Book