BR 1856 Restaurant Miniature Buffet

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BRBritish Rail or British Railways 1856 Restaurant Miniature Buffet
BR 1856 20150320.jpg
BRBritish Rail or British Railways Restaurant Miniature Buffet 1856
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


The BRBritish Rail or British Railways Mk 1 Restaurant Miniature Buffet coach (RMB) was designed to provide quick snacks, being staffed by only one attendant in service. The coach 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]

1856 was withdrawn from service on 27 September 1988, having run 75,206 miles since its last classified repair on 7 July 1987 at Wolverton where it received one replacement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.

1856 in preservation

Having been acquired by SVR(H), it arrived on the SVRSevern Valley Railway on 16 November 1989 from Cambridge. 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]

In spring 1999 sister RMB 1853 was also acquired by the SVRSevern Valley Railway. 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.[3]

In 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.[4] It re-entered service as W1856 in set GWR2, the GWRGreat Western Railway Chocolate and Cream running set, in November 2003 after major repairs to the ends, new battery boxes and substantial re-plumbing.

It then transferred into the Severn Valley Limited dining set (set S) in 2006, replacing LMS 149 Buffet Car which had been running in chocolate and cream livery since 1996.[5] Subsequently 1856 reverted to use in set GW2.

In August 2021 it was repainted into BRBritish Rail or British Railways maroon livery at Kidderminster prior to its eventual incorporation into set M, when sets reform after the 2020 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.[6]

It remains owned by SVRSevern Valley Railway(H).

See also

List of carriages


Railway Heritage Register Carriage Survey
SVRSevern Valley Railway Stock Book Ninth Edition

  1. Longworth (2013) p.24
  2. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 94,96
  3. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 135
  4. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 142
  5. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 155,156, 163
  6. Branch Lines, August 2021