Surviving pre-Mark 3 sleeping cars

Discussion in 'Railtours & Preservation' started by AY1975, 23 Aug 2018.

  1. AY1975

    AY1975 Member

    14 Dec 2016
    I see from the National Rifle Association's Facebook page that Mark 1 Sleeper Second 2592 was taken from the National Shooting Centre at Bisley, Surrey on Monday by low loader to Booth's at Rotherham for scrapping, and is to be replaced by a redundant ex-Caledonian Sleeper Mark 3 in the autumn to provide member accommodation at the NSC.

    AFAIK 2592 was the last remaining SLSTP that was in reasonable condition, and leaves just eight surviving Mark 1 sleeping cars, of which five (SLSTP 2500 and Sleeper Firsts 2108, 2110, 2127 and 2131) are at Carnforth in a derelict condition and probably destined for scrap fairly soon if they haven't already gone. That would just leave Sleeper Composite at the Bluebell Railway and SLFs 2080 at Peak Rail and 2132 at Llangollen.

    There are also a number of LMS sleepers still in existence, plus at least three GWR cars and one LNER car at Bo'ness. Understandably, as Mark 3 cars have been going spare these have been snapped up by preservation groups to replace Mark 1 or older vehicles.

    Sleeper trains used to play a crucial role on the rail network, and still do on the few routes that still operate. Sleeping cars are thus an important but often overlooked part of our railway heritage.

    Realistically, their only use on preserved railways is as volunteer accommodation. I believe that a few railways have considered using them as camping coaches, or even running trains all night up and down the line with sleeper berths on offer to re-create old-style sleeping car trains, but so far neither idea has ever really caught on.
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  3. gordonthemoron

    gordonthemoron Established Member

    4 Sep 2006
    Milton Keynes
    I believe that the the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway has 2 sleepers for self catering accommodation at Ravenglass
  4. theblackwatch

    theblackwatch Emeritus Moderator

    15 Feb 2006
    That is quite disappointing news. There was a piece in Rail Express a few years ago on Mk.1 sleepers with the headline 'Endangered Species' and it certainly seems that is still the case. A number of lines have 'upgraded' from Mk.1 to Mk.3 sleepers (or consnstructed a purpose-built building, such as the KWVR where 'Stanier House' replaced a pair of vehicles which were sent to MC Metals). How safe are the Bluebell./Peak Rail/Llangollen ones?
  5. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

    20 Oct 2014
    Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
    Has the NRM not got one? If not, why not?
  6. YorkshireBear

    YorkshireBear Established Member

    23 Jul 2010
    And while disappointing from a heritage perspective that accommodation is fantastic.
  7. EbbwJunction1

    EbbwJunction1 Member

    25 Mar 2010
    If you're talking about the two coaches at Ravenglass station ("Elmira" and "Maid of Kent"), they're both Pullman coaches, not Sleepers. This is an abridged version of the information on their web site:

    "They were both built as Ambulance Cars by the London and North Western Railway fo0r use in the First World War, and purchased by the Pullman Coach Company in 1918. They were initially first class cars and later, in 1948, third class cars, they were retired from Pullman services in 1960. British Rail then converted them for use as Camping Coaches and they were assigned to Ravenglass. However in the mid 1960's they were moved north up the coast to Seascale. However, they were never as popular in Seascale and when British Rail decided to axe the Camping Coach scheme they were returned to Ravenglass before being removed from the coach registry in 1968."

    I had a look in one of them in May, and very nice they are, too.
  8. Journeyman

    Journeyman Established Member

    16 Apr 2014
    The Mark 1 sleeper is certainly a very endangered species, and I think it would be a crying shame if it became extinct. The problem is that, like EMUs, they don't have an obvious useful role in preservation, besides static exhibits.

    The last surviving wooden-bodied LNER sleeper is currently being restored at Bo'ness. As BR modified it quite a lot, and it survived in service until 1972, it's being restored in blue and grey livery. The intention is to have it accessible to the public as a museum exhibit, as it's obviously significant in the history of Scottish railways.
  9. kje7812

    kje7812 Member

    1 May 2018
    Edinburgh or Kidderminster
    5 by my count:
    242 at the WSR
    9082 at Peak Rail
    9083 at Didcot
    9084 and 9085 at the SVR
    Of course the latter 4 were all built by BR in 1951!

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