After restoration work spanning 12 years, LMS ‘Period 1’ Vestibule Third No. 7828 has been returned to service. The National Railway Museum owned coach is on long term loan to the LMS Carriage Association, based at Rowsley on Peak Rail. The LMSCA undertook to complete a partial restoration dating from the 1980s, but in fact much more work was needed to repair the 1925 Derby built vehicle to a condition where it could be used in service.
After storage for a number of years, agreement was reached with the LMSCA to adopt the coach for restoration. This meant postponing work on their own carriages, but now 7828 is the sole example of a fully restored LMS coach from the first design period, which is capable of being used in service.
This extensive restoration included:
• Renewal of 60% of the roof, recanvassing and installation of new ceilings
• Widespread body frame repairs on both sides and full repanelling
• New external mouldings made and fitted
• Reconstruction of the outside doors
• Repairs and partial replacement of the rotted interior panelling and laying of new flooring
• Gathering parts for and restoring to use the toilet compartments
• Complete retrim (upholstering) of the seats
• Manufacture of replica tables
• Producing a new full set of light fittings
• Re-glazing of all windows
• Paint and finishing in original livery with newly made decals
Marmoleum FR was chosen for the flooring in the 7828 restoration, exactly the product used on board the coach in 1925. Alan Taylor stated “We also chose Marmoleum FR due to its easy to clean and soil hiding properties as well as it being extremely hardwearing.”
Now 91 years old, 7828 is ready to be enjoyed by the travelling public on Peak Rail, which operates from Matlock to Rowsley South in the UK. The restoration has required the volunteers of the LMSCA to develop skills in materials conservation and replacement of components, as well as establishing sources that will help their next restoration project, a 1935 built LMS Period 3 Third Open, 9125, which will also feature Marmoleum FR.
Reconstruction of this heavily converted coach is expected to start in 2016 and intended to be complete within 5 years at an estimated cost of £40,000. The LMSCA welcomes new members and volunteers as well as funds to assist this unique project. Their aim is to have a representative operational fleet of carriages of LMS origin and to become the central source for their study and restoration.
Adapted from LMSCA’s original press release