BR 1856 Restaurant Miniature Buffet

From SVR Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
BRBritish Rail or British Railways 1856 Restaurant Miniature Buffet
BR 1856 20220422.jpg
BRBritish Rail or British Railways Restaurant Miniature Buffet 1856 (April 2022)
Built By BRBritish Rail or British Railways Wolverton
Status In use
Number E1856
Livery BRBritish Rail or British Railways Maroon
Other numbers M1856, W1856 (in preservation)
Built 1961
Diagram 99
Lot 30670
Type RMB
TOPS code AN21
Seats 44 standard
1989 Arrived on SVRSevern Valley Railway


E1856 is a BRBritish Rail or British Railways Mk 1 Restaurant Miniature Buffet coach (RMB). This type of coach was designed to provide quick snacks, being staffed by only one attendant in service. It seats 44 passengers at tables, and also has bench seats opposite the serving area. Some examples including 1856 were refurbished during service, the improvements including the installation of fluorescent lighting.

1856 in service

1856 was built at Wolverton in 1961 to diagram number 99 of lot number 30670. It was fitted with Commonwealth Bogies which enabled running at 100mph, and was also briefly fitted with a payphone while in service.

1856 entered service in February 1962 in BRBritish Rail or British Railways's Eastern region, numbered E1856. The carriage later saw service in the Midland region as M1856 from June 1967, returning to the Eastern region by 1982.[1] It was eventually withdrawn from service on 27 September 1988, having run 75,206 miles since its last classified repair on 7 July 1987 at Wolverton where it received one replacement bogie[2].

1856 in preservation

The SVRSevern Valley Railway's first RMB, sequentially numbered sister coach 1855, had been acquired some years earlier by a member of the L.M.S. & B.R. Coach Fund. 1856 arrived on the SVRSevern Valley Railway on 16 November 1989 from Cambridge, having been acquired by SVR(H) after a three year search. Despite the short period of use since its last repair it required several months of work, including some welding on one side to consolidate an earlier BRBritish Rail or British Railways repair, and complete redecoration inside and out. Several of the doors also had to be repaired, necessitating welding the aluminium window fixings and replacing a number of wooden panels.[2]

During a snowy night in February 1996, 1856 suffered a break-in at Bridgnorth, the thieves "…making off with lager and chocolates, leaving a trail of spilled Smarties and Kit-Cats from platform 2 to the Cleobury Mortimer Road bridge". Several days' work were required to repair the damage to the buffet's wall and hatches; at the same time the new boiler was also 'flame-proofed' to stop it scorching the wall.[3]

In spring 1999 the SVRSevern Valley Railway acquired a third RMB, 1853. By that time 1856 was looking in tired condition after nearly 10 years in SVRSevern Valley Railway service. The decision was therefore taken for 1853 to be painted crimson and cream so it could replace 1856 in set C, with 1856 then being allocated to another set after overhaul.[4] By 2002 it was further decided that 1856 would be outshopped in BRBritish Rail or British Railways's GW livery as used on BRBritish Rail or British Railways(W) Mark ls during the 1957 to 1961 period.[5] It re-entered service as W1856 in set GW2, the GWRGreat Western Railway Chocolate and Cream running set, in November 2003 having received major repairs to the ends, new battery boxes and substantial re-plumbing.

In 2006 1856 transferred into the Severn Valley Limited dining set (set S) in 2006, taking the place of LMS 149 Buffet Car which had been running in chocolate and cream livery since 1996 and increasing the seating capacity of that set by 17.[6] Subsequently 1856 reverted to use in set GW2.

In spring 2016 1856 stood in for sister coach 1855 in set M which also included crimson and cream composite 16267. Both vehicles were described as "equally sunburned" and "some four years overdue for painting". Later that year the worn out fluorescent lighting was removed and replaced by the original style 'bulls eye' lamps with which it was first fitted in 1961.[7]

In summer 2018, completion of work on LMS 149 Buffet Car allowed 1856 to be withdrawn for its 'due by date' mechanical overhaul.[8] This included removal of the bogies which were sent away for tyre turning, while the overhaul revealed a hidden broken coil spring which was replaced. Other work undertaken included Buckeye replacement, vacuum cylinder overhaul and gangway plunger inspection. By summer 2019 1856 was still in BRBritish Rail or British Railways(W) livery but had returned to use in set M, taking the place of 1855 which required attention. Shortly after it transferred to set N, allowing Gresley Buffet 643 to be withdrawn for light overhaul and re-varnishing.[9]

In 2021 SVRSevern Valley Railway News was finally able to report that 1856 was receiving a full repaint, having "...bounced from one set to another standing in for other buffet cars during overhauls, always looking the odd one out in the BRBritish Rail or British Railways(W) colours". In August 2021 it was repainted at Kidderminster into BRBritish Rail or British Railways maroon livery with black ends, as it would have been entered service in 1961, also reverting to its original number E1856.[10] The repaint was in anticipation of its eventual incorporation into set M, when sets were reformed and buffet services re-introduced after the COVID-19 pandemic.[11]

Ironically, as a result of its repaint the previous year, no BRBritish Rail or British Railways(W) liveried buffet car was then available for use in the GWRGreat Western Railway Chocolate and Cream running set during the April 2022 Spring Steam Gala so 1856 temporarily returned to that role, once again "looking the odd one out" in its smart new maroon livery.

E1856 remains owned by SVRSevern Valley Railway(H).

See also


  1. Longworth (2013) p.24
  2. 2.0 2.1 SVRSevern Valley Railway News 94, 96
  3. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 119
  4. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 135
  5. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 142
  6. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 155,156, 163
  7. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 193,194
  8. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 202
  9. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 206, 207
  10. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 215
  11. Branch Lines, August 2021