A GREAT Western Railway coach built in 1887 will be restored at Didcot Railway Centre.

The coach, number 820, was built as a Broad Gauge Convertible and was delivered to the museum on Station Road at the weekend after a successful bid to the Science Museum Group.

On Facebook, the museum said: “The coach body was designed to fit within the standard loading gauge and to be mounted on a standard gauge underframe but originally entered service on a broad-gauge underframe.

Herald Series: (Didcot Railway Centre)(Didcot Railway Centre)

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“This was done to meet an immediate need for more broad gauge stock while ensuring that the coach bodies could be re-used when the broad gauge was finally abolished in 1892.

“Originally built as a ‘Tricomposite’ vehicle having first, second, and third class compartments, and a luggage compartment, the second class compartment was downgraded to third in about 1907.

Herald Series: (Didcot Railway Centre)(Didcot Railway Centre)

“The coach was withdrawn from passenger service around 1952 becoming a departmental vehicle.”

The coach had been preserved Bristol Museums Service before ending up at the National Railway Museum’s depot in Shildon.

It was transported by road from Shildon to Didcot West Yard and, once the necessary checks had been made, by rail to the museum.

Herald Series: (Didcot Railway Centre)(Didcot Railway Centre)

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The museum now hopes to restore the carriage to operation use so it can be added to the museum’s small fleet of Victorian carriages.


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