LNER 24105 Open Third

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LNERLondon & North Eastern Railway 24105 Open Third
LNER 24105 20220514.jpg
LNERLondon & North Eastern Railway Open Third 24105 (2022)
Built By BRCWBirmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Company (or Metro Cammell) for LNERLondon & North Eastern Railway
Status Operational
Number 24105
Other numbers 13317, E13317E, DE320957
Built 1936
Designed By GresleySir Nigel Gresley, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the London & North Eastern Railway 1923-1941
Diagram 186
Lot 5922
Type TTO
Length 61ft 6in
Weight 31t 0cwt
Seats 46 third + 4 wheelchairs
(64 third as built)
1961 Withdrawn for ER Control Train
1980 Preserved
1998 To traffic as wheelchair coach
2016 Ownership passed to the SVRSevern Valley Railway Charitable Trust
2017 Overhaul


LNERLondon & North Eastern Railway 24105 is a GresleySir Nigel Gresley, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the London & North Eastern Railway 1923-1941 Vestibule Third Open Corridor, or Tourist Open Third (TTO). As built it seated 64 passengers in one large saloon, with a small entrance vestibule at one end and a larger vestibule with two toilets at the other. Officially these carriages were meant for excursion work, but most of them seem to have quickly gravitated into general passenger service.

After passenger service it became part of a Cold War emergency control train. Since preservation it has been converted into a wheelchair-accessible adapted carriage.


24105 was built in 1936 as part of Lot 5922 to Diagram 186.[note 1] 24105 was renumbered as 13317 as part of the LNERLondon & North Eastern Railway's 1943 re-numbering scheme. On Nationalisation in 1947, BRBritish Rail or British Railways initially allocated an E prefix to indicate its LNERLondon & North Eastern Railway origin, with a further re-numbering to E13313E after 1951.[1]

It was withdrawn from passenger use in 1961 to be modified to act as the control and apparatus car in a mobile control train for use in the event of war. It was given the DepartmentalRolling stock used for the railway’s own functions (engineering etc.) rather than for general passenger or goods traffic. number DE320957 from June 1963[2] and was based at York with LNER 43600 Open Third. The modification included the blanking out of many windows and the fitting of double doors to one side of the larger vestibule.

24105 in Preservation

LNER Gangwayed Brake 4236 was acquired by EMF member Bob Marrows in 1985 and had served as The Erlestoke Manor Fund sales coach at Bewdley.

After withdrawal from Control Train status in 1980,[2] 24105 was originally purchased for preservation by VSOEVenice Simplon Orient Express, then based at Carnforth. However a swap of the two vehicles was quickly arranged, with 24105 moving to the SVRSevern Valley Railway on 6 October 1980. After arrival it became the EMF's sales coach, spending the rest of that decade in static use at Bewdley where it carried a maroon livery.

By the end of the 1980s the SVRSevern Valley Railway had several dedicated 'invalid saloons' intended for use by parties of wheelchair passengers, but unless one happened to be marshalled in a particular set, disabled passengers would have to ride in the guard's van. Work had begun on converting BR BG 80776 to a passenger carrying vehicle for up to 16 wheelchair users with limited seating for other users, although again this would initially serve as a dedicated 'invalid saloon'.

Around the end of the decade, Bob Marrows offered 24105 to the The LNER (SVR) Coach Fund. The Fund's Richard Gunning later wrote that as the Fund already had several similar vehicles, he was initially 'not particularly interested' until witnessing 'a distressing incident' during the 1989 Mince Pie Specials, when a wheelchair-bound passenger was required to travel in a cold and crowded luggage van. This reinforced the need for there to be a wheelchair-friendly vehicle in each train set, with wide doors, a ramp, and space for a few wheelchairs among the ordinary seats. The double doors fitted during 24105's Control Train service were still present, making it a good candidate for this type of conversion. Bob Marrows concurred with the idea, and after much thought and discussion, a new 'Diagram 186A' was produced. The Control Train modifications to 24105's original Diagram 186 would be retained, with an extra half-door added on the opposite side to facilitate wheelchair access for between four and six wheelchairs, with 46 ordinary seats retained[3].

Restoration 1991 to 1997

Preliminary restoration work began in 1991, although only slowly until work on LNER 643 Buffet was completed. The extra half-door (modified from a door donated by the NYMR-based L.N.E.R. Coach Association) was added in July of that year, the conversion work being paid for from the proceeds of the Autumn 1990 SVRA Wolverhampton Branch raffle on behalf of the LNERLondon & North Eastern Railway (SVRSevern Valley Railway) Coach Fund. Other work was mainly confined to the underframe and one end, while the other end continued in use as the EMF shop.[4]

Serious work began in October 1992 with a regular 'gang of four'. Late 1993 saw new floorboards laid. Much of 1994 was occupied in installing wiring, building the bulkheads, and cladding the saloon. In mid-August 1994 24105 visited Kidderminster where it became one of the first items of rolling stock to be turned on Kidderminster Turntable,[note 2] as well as visiting the Carriage Repair Works to be lifted onto accommodation bogies while its own bogies were refurbished. The turn facilitated work on the side of the carriage not previously adjacent to the platform. [5]

A single toilet, described by a wheelchair user as "tight but manageable" completed the interior. The missing windows were reinstated and much new teak panelling fitted to the exterior. The entirely new but authentic looking interior included a new floor, ceiling and green and grey Rexinean early form of vinyl used by the LNER for wall coverings in teak coaches wall cladding. It was completed with tables, oval mirrors, coat hooks, BRBritish Rail or British Railways pattern wall lamps and luggage racks. It was also equipped with reasonably accurate reproductions of the GresleySir Nigel Gresley, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the London & North Eastern Railway 1923-1941 "High Backed" seats. 24105 entered traffic on 6 February 1998, although minus its luggage racks. These were finally fitted in time for a press-launch launch in front of BBC cameras on Good Friday, 10 April. The restoration was made possible by much commercial and private sponsorship, a large public contribution raised via sales and sponsored walks, plus substantial donations from Bewdley Round Table, The SVRSevern Valley Railway Company and the SVRSevern Valley Railway Association.[6][7].

During 2007 24105 underwent a quick overhaul including a rub down, attention to the lining and revarnishing. All 48 seat armrests were also re-upholstered.[8]

In March 2016 The LNER (SVR) Coach Fund donated 24105 to the Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust Ltd for future safekeeping as part of the SVRSevern Valley Railway's operating carriage fleet.

2017 overhaul

A major overhaul commenced on 3 January 2017. Roof board refastening meant a complete strip-down followed by rebuilding with new canvass (fitted 4 July 2017), rainstrips and tacking covers. Also completed was the obligatory window re-sealing with new retaining beading and fresh sealant. A section of frame was found to be rotten due to a leaking window seal and this, together with some panels have been repaired. The old varnish was removed, the woodwork restored to its original colour, sanded, linseed oiled and varnished; lining and signwriting were completed. Internally the lighting was improved with LED bulbs and reproduction LNERLondon & North Eastern Railway wall lamps whilst the Rexinean early form of vinyl used by the LNER for wall coverings in teak coaches was either cleaned or where necessary, replaced. The rather tired tables received a re-varnish and were covered in linoleum in lieu of the old Rexinean early form of vinyl used by the LNER for wall coverings in teak coaches. New seat frames and ends were constructed, and the seats and backs re-covered in reproduction LNERLondon & North Eastern Railway fawn patterned moquette to bring it up to standard. The toilet was remodelled to improve its ambiance, increase available space, and simplify the plumbing. The overhaul was completed in October 2017.

See also


  1. Longworth (2018) p.175. gives the builder of Lot 5922 as Metro Cammell. Other sources including the Railway Heritage Register give the builder as BRCWBirmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Company at Smethwick. Articles by the LNERLondon & North Eastern Railway(SVRSevern Valley Railway) Coach Fund in SVRSevern Valley Railway News have referred to both (eg SVRSevern Valley Railway News 95, BRCWBirmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Company and SVRSevern Valley Railway News 163 Metro Cammell). The LNERLondon & North Eastern Railway(SVRSevern Valley Railway) Coach Fund web page states 'either or'.
  2. The turntable was only connected to the SVRSevern Valley Railway network on 31 July and was not officially opened until the Autumn Steam Gala in September.


  1. Longworth (2018) p.175.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Longworth (2018) p.473.
  3. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 95, Spring 1990
  4. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 101, 104
  5. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 108, 113
  6. LNERLondon & North Eastern Railway SVRSevern Valley Railway Coach Fund
  7. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 126, 127
  8. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 158