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LNER Rolling Stock
Tourist Third Open No 43600

43600 was purchased by the LNER (SVR) Coach Fund, and with then privately owned 52255, came to the SVR in 1980. The Coach Fund was involved in the mid-1980s in the external restoration of both these carriages to 1935 livery. Together with Buffet Car No 643 (separately owned by the SVR Holdings Company), these three vehicles provided the Gresley presence on the SVR for many years. Their high seating capacity means they work hard for their living in daily SVR public service. The interiors of these Third Opens remain very much a compromise with their BR Mark 1 seating. The Trust Company’s LNER Carriage Group has detailed plans for giving 43600 the ‘Gresley touch’, these plans having been inherited from the LNER (SVR) Coach Fund, which had already started fund raising prior to 43600’s transfer to the Trust.

An 80-year-old LNER carriage which has been completely restored to its historic best was unveiled in a unique ceremony at the Severn Valley Railway (SVR), featuring a live performance by renowned harpist David Watkins on the station platform.The restoration of the SVR’s LNER teak train carriage No. 43600 aimed to recreate many of the original features of the vehicles and included fitting new seating, authentic LNER pattern moquette, new lighting, tables, luggage racks, coat hooks and mirrors, along with fresh wall coverings reflecting the LNER’s use of rexine, an early form of vinyl.
The completed restoration project was funded by the SVR Charitable Trust (SVRCT) and was first started by the LNER Coach Fund over 30 years ago. The work also coincided with the SVR’s major overhaul and re-varnish of the carriage as part of its maintenance cycle.

To officially welcome carriage No.43600 back onto the Railway, harpist David Watkins serenaded the crowd at Bridgnorth station on Sunday, 23rd November during the engine’s service layover. Mr Watkins has a close family association with railways as his father, Donald, was a senior designer at the Armstrong Whitworth Scotswood works in the 1930s where he designed the first diesel electric railcar, the ‘Tyneside Venturer’. The ceremony at Bridgnorth was also attended by Tim Godfrey, the grandson of Sir Nigel Gresley, the LNER Chief Mechanical Engineer, and Tim’s wife, Ann. In its renewed form, Diagram 186 Tourist Third Open (TTO) No. 43600 is a significant enhancement on the SVR’s popular ‘Teak Train’, comprising vehicles designed by Sir Nigel for the former Great Northern Railway and the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER), giving a more authentic ‘Gresley touch’ to the interior.

One notable technical innovation is that carriage No. 43600 will be the SVR’s first full use of LED lighting in a carriage, substantially reducing the power demand and, therefore, saving considerable sums on the battery requirements. The engine has been an innovator before; when built in York in 1934, TTO 43600 was one of a batch of carriages with the first welded underframes reducing the vehicle weight by about one ton, compared with riveted construction. No. 43600 is probably the sole survivor of the batch.

Carriage details

Built: 1934

Built at: York

Built by: LNER

Designer: H N Gresley

Diagram no: 168

Lot no: 599

No's carried: 43600, 13354, E13354E, DE320960

Type:  TTO

Gresley 43600.jpg
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