Mk 3a Convertible Sleeper

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BRBritish Rail or British Railways Mk 3a coaching stock entered service between 1975 and 1988. It featured a monocoque construction with an all-welded mild steel stressed skin, and was air-braked. These features make it unsuitable for operational use on a heritage railway such as the SVRSevern Valley Railway. However the SVRSevern Valley Railway has acquired a number of Mk 3a Convertible Sleeper carriages which are used as temporary accommodation. They are of two varieties, the Sleeper Either class (SLE) and the Sleeper Either class with Pantry (SLEP).

Current Mk 3a coaching stock

As of 2022 there are two Mk 3 sleepers still present on the SVRSevern Valley Railway:

Number Version Built Build location To SVRSevern Valley Railway by Current or usual location Railway Heritage Register Carriage Survey
10696 SLE 1983 Derby April 2007 Bewdley Down Yard 10696 on Railway Heritage Register On-Line
10713 SLE 1983 Derby April 2007 Kidderminster Diesel Depot 10713 on Railway Heritage Register On-Line

Both the Mk 3a carriages listed are owned by SVR(H).

Former Mk 3a coaching stock

Two other Mk 3a Convertible Sleepers were previously resident but have since been scrapped:

  • 10677: This vehicle arrived on the SVRSevern Valley Railway circa 2010.[1] Ten Mk. 3a Sleepers were exported to Denmark in 1987 and the saw regular use between Kobenhavn H., Aarhus and Aalborg C, and later on seasonal snow and ski trips from Copenhagen to Innsbrucke, before being declared surplus by Danish Railways following the opening of the Great Belt crossing. Danish Railways 50 86 7572 077-7 and the others were purchased by Angel Trains Contracts and returned via the Channel Tunnel, and on 30 November 1998 they were hauled by 47286 from Dollands Moor to MOD Kineton for storage.[2] 10677 arrived at the SVRSevern Valley Railway around May 2010 for spares recovery. It was stripped for spares at Kidderminster, the body leaving by low loader in April 2014 for cutting up at Lye.[3][4][5]
  • 10606: SLEP built in 1982 at Derby.[6] Photographed at Kidderminster in 2015 (see below), it has since been stripped for spares and by December 2017 had been sent to Kingsbury for cutting up.[4][7]
  • 10569: SLEP built in 1982 at Derby.[8] 10569 was first used in preservation on the VSOEVenice Simplon Orient Express set at Stewarts Lane. By 2005 it had transferred to the Northern Belle fleet, based at Crewe Carriage Shed. It arrived on the SVRSevern Valley Railway in May 2007 and was based in Bewdley Down Yard, carrying chocolate and cream livery and bearing the name 'Leviathan'. It left the SVRSevern Valley Railway by road from Kidderminster on 13 October 2022, reportedly for scrap.

Northern Belle Mk 3a coaching stock

Between 2017 and 2018 the SVRSevern Valley Railway entered into an agreement to stable this train. It included two sleeper vehicles:

Number Name Type Built Build location Notes RHR Carriage Survey
10729 Crewe BRBritish Rail or British Railways Mk 3a Convertible Sleeper 1980 Derby Staff sleeper 10729
10734 Balmoral BRBritish Rail or British Railways Mk 3a Royal Train Staff Sleeper 1984 Staff sleeper (formerly No 2914) 10734

By May 2018 all Northern Belle vehicles had left the SVRSevern Valley Railway.

Locomotive Services Limited ('LSL') Mk 3 coaching stock

On 25 November 2019 locomotive 47593 delivered eight Mark 3 sleepers for temporary storage outside Kidderminster Carriage Shed until March 2020.[9] The sleepers had been displaced from Caledonian Sleeper services by new Mark 5 sleeper stock, and bought by LSL for charter use.[10] During this period the Kidderminster Loop Line was closed for repairs to Falling Sands Viaduct and some carriage sets were stabled at the north end of the line, allowing space for the vehicles to be stored. The storage period has since been extended and other rolling stock delivered. As of December 2022 there were 10 vehicles at Kidderminster or Bewdley, ex-Caledonian Sleepers Nos 10504 and 10513 (Mark 3A SLEP), 10648, 10650, 10675 and 10683 (Mark 3A SLE) and ex-First Great Western carriages Nos 40106, 42319, 42583 and 46012. In November 2022, six of the carriages were used as a set for load testing visiting air-braked locomotive LNERLondon & North Eastern Railway B1 Class No. 61306 Mayflower.

See also

References

  1. Railway Heritage Register Carriage Survey 10677
  2. Railforums.co.uk
  3. SVR forum
  4. 4.0 4.1 Confirmed by David Williams, 15 January 2020
  5. Bendall, Simon via MK1. MK2. MK3. MK4. MK5. COACHES on Facebook
  6. 10606 on Railway Heritage Register On-Line
  7. Railway Heritage Register Carriage Survey 10606
  8. 10569 on Railway Heritage Register On-Line
  9. Express Points, December 2019
  10. CAF (Retrieved 16 January 2020)