In common with most hertage railways, the K&ESR has acquired a number of these vehicles over the years. The Mk1 was British Railway's first standard corridor coach and was in production from 1950 to 1964. Their standard dimensions are 63 ft. 5 ins. long by 9 ft. 3 ins. wide. They have all welded steel bodies, Pullman gangways and buckeye couplings.
The Mark 1 was initially regarded as a ‘quick fix' by the preservation movement to give more time for the restoration of more historic stock. The ‘fix' certainly worked in the short term, and the availability of corridors facilitated on board catering and other revenue enhancing services. However in the longer term the all-steel bodywork has produced maintenance challenges as a result of body corrosion. This is not always easily addressed but the K&ESR has developed the necessary repair skills and our Mk 1 stock is being steadily renovated to a very high standard.
Standard abbreviations are:
BSO - Brake second open
CK - Corridor composite
RMB - Restaurant miniature buffet
RU - Restaurant unclassified
SK - Second corridor
TSO - Tourist second open
Built Wolverton 1961, Lot Nº. 30702; to K&ESR 1998. Purchased for preservation in 1993 and previously on the Llangollen Railway. A much used carriage in regular service every operating day. Recently received considerable repairs and internal refurbishment.
Built Wolverton 1957, Lot Nº. 30350; seats 48; to K&ESR 1977. Four compartments have been upgraded to First Class configuration at the K&ESR, but it retains its nominal SK designation.
Built Doncaster 1953, Lot Nº. 30043; seats 64; to K&ESR 1977
This popular carriage was in almost continuous service between 1977 & 2013. Withdrawn for a major reconstruction that saw significant amounts of bodywork framing replaced with new and almost complete recladding of the exterior steel skin, it returned to service in December 2016.
Built by BRCW 1956 to Diagram 93. Lot Nº. 30207. Renumbered DB977412. Purchased for preservation on the Avon Valley Railway 1988. To Long Marston 1988. Hired to North Norfolk Railway 1991 and to KESR spring 1999. Subsequently purchased by KESR autumn 1999. Withdrawn from service and used as a static buffet at Bodiam Station for some years, it underwent a heavy overhaul during 2008-10 which involved replacement of three-quarters of the body side cladding and extensive interior renewals. It re-entered service on 30th April 2010.
Built Ashford/Swindon 1960, Lot Nº. 30575; seats 33; to K&ESR 1979. This vehicle carried HM the Queen Mother during her visit to the railway in 1982. Nº. 69 ran for many years in Pullman livery, named Diana, as part of the Wealden Pullman set. In 1993 the coach emerged from the carriage works as Sc1955 in carmine red and cream. The coach received an extensive electrical rewire in 1997 and was fitted with a bar and reverted to Pullman colours. It now has a fully operational kitchen to modern hygiene standards and forms a permanent part of the Wealden Pullman set.
Built Doncaster 1956, Lot Nº. 30170; seats 39; to K&ESR 1981. This brake vehicle arrived at the K&ESR after departmental service. It has received an extensive body overhaul and has been repainted in the same livery as No 63 for use on service trains. The luggage comaprtment was refurbished for use by wheelchair passengers during 2010.
Built in 1956 as part of the same batch as Nº. 73. Petros is of great significance as it was the very first vehicle in the UK to be adapted for use by mobility impaired people. The vehicle was donated to the K&ESR by BR to mark the Year of the Disabled in 1982. Much of the conversion work was undertaken at Stewarts Lane depot by BR apprentices under the direction of a founder member of the K&ESR's C & W Department, who himself has a disabled son and named Petros at their request . The coach was inaugurated into service by the late Queen Mother on a visit to Tenterden. During 1986 the guard's compartment was reinstated to give the vehicle additional flexibility. With virtual continual use since 1982 it became overdue for a complete overhaul and this was undertaken from 2010.
Built 1957, Nº. 85; BR Nº. 4640. TSO built York 1957; Lot Nº. 30753; seats 64; to K&ESR 1986. This vehicle came to the K&ESR from the Scottish Region and entered service still in BR livery. Once repainted, the vehicle has seen a great deal of K&ESR use.
Built Wolverton 1956; Lot No. 30317; seats 42; to K&ESR 1987. Formerly on the Mid Hants Railway.
BR No 1987 ; RU
Mk 1 Unclassed Restaurant Car built 1961 at Swindon to Diagram number 23.
Lot number 30632. Later numbered ADB975982, No K&ESR number allocated. Bought from the Bluebell Railway with donations received from Wealden Pullman customers. Currently awaiting workshop space for restoration.
BR Nº. 21238; BCK
Built Swindon 1961; Lot Nº. 30669. (Not numbered with the K&ESR running fleet.) Adapted as sleeping car; to K&ESR 1995. This vehicle was in service with the Western Region until 1988. It was then transferred to private ownership for the ambitious Travelling College where students could travel as they studied. When the the College went into receivership in 1991, the train was purchased by the Bluebell Railway who resold some carriages, including Nº. 21238, which was purchased by a group of K&ESR volunteers for use as a Mess coach. It is ideal for this purpose having been refitted at Cardiff Cathay's depot as a staff sleeping car to modern standards. At Tenterden the brake and luggage areas have been refitted as a kitchen and sitting room.