BR 34562 Brake Second Corridor

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BRBritish Rail or British Railways 34562 Brake Second Corridor
BR 34562 20210604.jpg
BRBritish Rail or British Railways Brake Second Corridor 34562
Built By BRBritish Rail or British Railways Wolverton
Status In service
Number W34562
Livery BRBritish Rail or British Railways Crimson & Cream
Other numbers M34562, SC34562
Built 1955
Diagram 181
Lot 30095
Type BSK
TOPS code AB21
Seats 24 (or 32) standard
1974 Entered preservation


34562 is a BRBritish Rail or British Railways Mark 1 Brake Second Corridor (BSK). It seats 24 or 32 passengers in 4 compartments[note 1] and includes one toilet. Around half the carriage is taken up by a small Guard's compartment and a large luggage area.

34562 in service and preservation

34562 was built at Wolverton in 1955 to Diagram 181 (AB201), Lot 30095. It entered service in the London Midland region in May 1955 as M34562. In June 1971 it was reallocated to the Scottish region and renumbered SC34562.[1]

In 1974 SC34562 was acquired from BRBritish Rail or British Railways's Cowlairs Works where it was awaiting an overhaul.[2] Unusually it was still in as-built condition externally, with the pressed-in edges to the windows, never having been fitted with the aluminium repair frames.[3] It arrived on the SVRSevern Valley Railway from Scotland on 13 May 1974 carrying BRBritish Rail or British Railways's Inter-City Livery; the owner at that time was recorded as SVRSevern Valley Railway Member Charles Newton who had already bought 46521 among other items of rolling stock.[4]

One side of the carriage was quickly repainted into BRBritish Rail or British Railways crimson and cream livery, although not varnished. After several years' service in 'half and half' livery, the second side was repainted in June 1977 and also varnished, the first Bridgnorth paintwork where this was done.[5] By August 1977 M34562, as it had become again, was recorded as being in the ownership of The 75069 Fund.[6]

After several more years in service, 34562 was withdrawn in September 1981 for overhaul, with the intention of being returned to service for the start of the 1982 season.[7] In the event, work was hampered by exceptionally bad weather over that winter (the overhaul being in the open air at Bridgnorth), and it became a seven month heavy rebuild including several new panels, rehung doors and the most comprehensively stripped and revarnished interior to date.[8].

In mid-1987 34562 was known to need four doors re-skinning and was taken out of service for an expected five-week overhaul at Bridgnorth. In the event all but one of the ten doors required attention and seven months later the Bridgnorth C&WCarriage & Wagon team were attempting to complete the painting and varnishing outdoors in mid-January. A number of other internal jobs were also carried out including the upholstery, with a return to service taking place in April 1988.[9]

In 1996, after a further eight years of service with the inevitable wear and tear, 34562 was one of the carriages used in filming Oh Doctor Beeching!. Hugh McQuade commented in SVRSevern Valley Railway News that "I understand the BBC were looking for red and cream coaches in rundown condition to represent the 1950s-60s state of the railways. Well, at the time, the Mark 1's were almost brand new and branch lines would probably not have seen them in great numbers as pre-nationalised ex-main line cast offs would have predominated. Never mind - it's a comedy, not a documentary."[10]

By summer 1997 34562 was back at Bridgnorth for another heavy overhaul. This was a more protracted affair taking some two and a half years to complete, partly due to the first occurrence of a problem since found on other Mark 1s, namely corroded floor supports.[11]. A light overhaul followed in late 2005.[12]

A further overhaul began in 2013. By this time the upholstery was life-expired and all four compartments were re-covered in a regal blue moquette known as 'timetable' as used by South West Trains. In order to save on budget, the carriage was converted to the Western Region seating arrangement involving removing the fold-up armrests from the seat backs, repadding the hole and making a new back panel. Following this change 34562 was given a 'W' prefix instead of an 'M', something it never carried in service.[13] In summer 2014 34562 went to Bristol St. Philips Marsh depot for tyre turning, after which it its planned lift repair programme was carried out, including steam heat, vacuum brake, bogie and drawgear repairs as required. The reprofiling of the tyres also required the bogie and coach ride heights to be reset. 34562 was completed in September 2014 and became the first coach to be weighed on the C&WCarriage & Wagon department's portable weighing machine.[14]

In winter 2019, 34562 was selected for use in the new Christmas "Steam in Lights" trains, requiring the positioning of two generators in the luggage cage. These fitted through the doorways by a margin of ¾in but left no room for the operator to get into position to work them. A section of the wire mesh cage wall was therefore carefully removed with an angle grinder in such a way that it could be welded back in later on. A hole also had to be cut in the corridor floor for the power cables to leave the cage and connect to the LED lights outside the coaches, which was done in such a way that the hole could be plated over but still re-used in future years in required.[15]

By 2022 it had one pair of luggage doors locked out of use with a broken door stile, and other doors showing signs of distress. An overhaul in 2023 was being considered.[16]

34562 is normally in Set C, and is still owned by the The 75069 Fund.

See also


  1. Those in the Western and Southern regions seated eight per compartment, other regions seated six per compartment


  1. Longworth (2013) pp.159-160.
  2. SVRSevern Valley Railway Stock Book Eighth Edition, February 1990
  3. SVRSevern Valley Railway News123
  4. SVRSevern Valley Railway Stock Book Fifth Edition, September 1974
  5. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 47
  6. SVRSevern Valley Railway Stock Book Sixth Edition, August 1977
  7. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 61
  8. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 63, 65
  9. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 87, 88, 89
  10. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 123
  11. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 123, 125, 128, 129, 152
  12. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 152
  13. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 182
  14. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 184, 188
  15. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 210
  16. Branch Lines, December 2022