LMS 27220 Third Open

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LMSLondon Midland & Scottish Railway 27220 Third Open
LMS 27220 20180725.jpg
LMSLondon Midland & Scottish Railway 27220 Third Open
Built By LMSLondon Midland & Scottish Railway Wolverton
Status In service
Number 27220
Other numbers M27220M
Built 1945
Designed By StanierWilliam Stanier, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway 1932-1944
Diagram 1999
Lot 1401
Type QF, TO
Length 57ft
Weight 30T
Seats 56 third
1968 Arrived on SVRSevern Valley Railway
1976 M.S.C.Manpower Services Commission overhaul


27220 is one of three SVRSevern Valley Railway-based examples of the LMSLondon Midland & Scottish Railway Third Open (TO), which was designed by Sir William StanierWilliam Stanier, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway 1932-1944. Building of this class began in 1938, although the Second Word War delayed the production of later batches with the final examples being completed by BRBritish Rail or British Railways. The LMSLondon Midland & Scottish Railway Open Third carriage has a length of 57ft, shorter than a BRBritish Rail or British Railways Mark 1. It seats 56 passengers at seven pairs of tables either side of a central aisle and is also fitted with two toilets at one end of the coach.


27220 was built in July 1945 at Wolverton as lot number 1401 to diagram number 1999.[1] It saw service with the LMSLondon Midland & Scottish Railway and later with the BRBritish Rail or British Railways London Midland Region as M27220M[2].


27220 and sister coaches 27218, and 27270, were all rescued intact from Didcot Yard in 1968, having been acquired by the SVRSevern Valley Railway Company,[note 1] the Warwickshire Railway Society and Mr GW Ledger respectively. All three coaches arrived on the SVRSevern Valley Railway on 28 August with several other vehicles.[3]

Although Bewdley station was still in use for BRBritish Rail or British Railways passenger services in 1968, the SVRSevern Valley Railway was able to rent the Goods Yard in that year to provide a location for stock restoration with a team of volunteers being assembled and led by Bob Timmins, a former professional sign writer and coach painter. In late 1979 27220 became the first of the LMSLondon Midland & Scottish Railway coaches to be restored, with Bob Timmins carrying out the repainting in LMSLondon Midland & Scottish Railway crimson livery.[4]

On 1 December 1976 the SVRSevern Valley Railway began a Manpower Services Commission job creation programme, initially to renovate up to six coaches. Both 27220 and 27270 were in need of repanelling with 27220 being the first to receive attention from the 6-man M.S.C.Manpower Services Commission team. Repanelling was completed by the following summer; once the coach moved into Bewdley Paint shop half the team continued with the fitting out and repainting with the rest of the team moving on the next project, LMSLondon Midland & Scottish Railway Buffet Car 9355. 27220 returned to the LMSLondon Midland & Scottish Railway set in the autumn.[5]

After a further five years in service, 27220 was removed from service in autumn 1982. Although still in reasonable condition, some of the M.S.C.Manpower Services Commission work required completion. This included removing all the paint from the panel joints so they could be welded up. The roof was also resealed and the windows re-bedded, followed by repainting in the L.M.S. lake livery as before, on this occasion at Bridgnorth.[6]

Another visit to Bewdley paint shop followed in 1986, initially just to re-bed the gutters which were about to part company with the coach. However some top stringer replacement was also needed above the doors. The paintwork was then patched up, the result being described as "...only passable from a distance, but at least it doesn't rain in.[7]

By the early 1990s 27220 was long overdue for attention having faded to a completely different colour from the rest of the LMSLondon Midland & Scottish Railway set. Another visit to Bewdley was required with frame repairs and exterior panel patching required before repainting. Internally the flaking ceiling could only be remedied by burning it off and starting again. On this occasion the coach was also re-upholstered. Late in the overhaul the toilet roof tank was found to be rotten; fortunately a visitor to the paint shop advised that he was involved in producing such items in fibreglass and was able to supply a new tank at a reasonable price.[8]

In March 2002 27220 entered Kidderminster for 'a good rub down and a fresh coat of paint'. However problems were soon encountered, including several hundred loose screws and a wobbly corner post, the latter caused by a poor repair by the M.S.C.Manpower Services Commission team in 1977 which had allowed water to rot the wooden joints. The gangway canvas also needed replacement. After five weeks and 525 manhours of labour, both paid and voluntary, 27220 returned to traffic in the last week of April.[9]

In June 2007 a 5-yearly refurbish of the LMSLondon Midland & Scottish Railway set was in progress and 27220 was shunted out of the set for attention at Kidderminster including some minor repairs. The following week the 2007 Storm Damage saw the rest of the LMSLondon Midland & Scottish Railway set trapped at Bridgnorth until Easter of the following year. With the repairs completed including a partial repaint, 27220 was put in the Carriage Shed to 'harden off'.[10]

In late summer 2013 27220 was withdrawn with leaking roof vents and a rusted roof tank. During the winter shutdown the rotten tank was removed and sent away to a local firm where it was copied in stainless steel, while the roof vents were also re-bedded.[11]

During 2016 much of the C&WCarriage & Wagon team's efforts were focussed on preparing the LNERLondon & North Eastern Railway set for the September 'Pacific Power' event to a tight deadline. Unfortunately this was briefly disrupted by a shunting mishap which resulted in BRBritish Rail or British Railways Kitchen Car 1682 and 27220 both suffering gangway damage. 27220 was the worst affected, being sent to Bewdley for a gangway transplant and gutter repairs which in turn stopped work for two months on both GWR Brake Composite 6562 and GWR Restaurant Third 9654.[12]

27220 is now owned by SVR(H) and forms part of the LMS Maroon set (Set L). The other two LMSLondon Midland & Scottish Railway Third Opens are now also owned by SVRSevern Valley Railway(H).

See also

List of carriages


  1. 'Company' assets were originally owned by the Guarantee Company. By the time of the Eighth Edition of the Stock Book (1990), ownership had been assumed by SVH(H).


  1. Jenkinson & Essery (1977) p. 131.
  2. Longworth (2019) p.284.
  3. SVRSevern Valley Railway Stock Book Third Edition
  4. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 14, Bewdley Restoration
  5. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 43, 44, 45
  6. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 65, 68
  7. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 81
  8. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 110
  9. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 141
  10. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 160
  11. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 184, 186
  12. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 197, 199