Victorian Passenger News!

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The Museum is extremely pleased to confirm that it has acquired its first dedicated passenger vehicle which after restoration will be used in operational service at Cottesmore.

The vehicle was built by Ashbury & Co. in 1869 for the Great Eastern Railway under their Diagram 400 as a four wheel, five compartment open third class carriage. It ran as No.514.

The coach was retired and found its way to a garden in Newport on the Essex & Hertford borders where it was well cared for. In the early 1970’s the coach was acquired by the South Cambridgeshire Rural Railway Museum and used for volunteer accommodation.

The coach has survived extremely well, complete with chassis and some of the original internal fittings. The roof has been protected with steel sheets and the state of preservation is good.

The coach body and chassis will be arriving at the Museum in the next few weeks and will enter the workshop for restoration work to begin on an accommodation wagon. It is the intention to replace the running gear and braking system following the original plans which are thought to survive.

The length overall is such that the coach is little longer than that of the brake van currently used for passengers but with a carrying capacity of around five times greater. This will allow the Museum operations to keep up with the continued growth in visitor numbers.

The Museum would welcome volunteers keep to play a part in the restoration of this particular exhibit – quite unlike the rest of our collection. If the project is of interest, please contact us for further details.