The LNER (SVR) Coach Fund
The LNERLondon & North Eastern Railway (SVRSevern Valley Railway) Coach Fund was formed in summer 1976, initially to purchase LNERLondon & North Eastern Railway Brake Third Open 23834 (later 16600), then in use at Gateshead as a work study coach numbered DE 320942. This duly arrived on the SVRSevern Valley Railway, but unfortunately proved to be in worse condition than thought, resulting in a period of storage at Highley followed by eventual scrapping for parts recovery. Parts recovered from 16600 are incorporated in most restored LNERLondon & North Eastern Railway carriages on SVRSevern Valley Railway, but unfortunately no photographs of it have come to light.
In late 1978 the Fund’s next acquisition was LNER Composite Corridor Brake 24068, already at the SVRSevern Valley Railway under private ownership. Further purchases of LNERLondon & North Eastern Railway rolling stock followed, including Open Third 43600 and BTK (Corridor Brake 3rd) 70759. In 2010 ownership of these three carriages was transferred to the SVR Charitable Trust; at the same time the LNER Carriage Group was formed as a department within the Trust, having common volunteers with the Fund.
For a time the Fund owned GresleySir Nigel Gresley, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the London & North Eastern Railway 1923-1941 CompositeCarriage having more than one class of seating, ie First and Third or latterly First and Standard. Corridor Brake GNR 229 (later LNERLondon & North Eastern Railway 4229 and BRBritish Rail or British Railways mess van TDE 320700) which arrived at Bewdley in 1977 having been acquired by The 4150 Fund as a mess van. It was later used by the LNERLondon & North Eastern Railway (SVRSevern Valley Railway) Coach Fund as a workshop and was considered a candidate for future restoration for service. However in 1994 the Fund announced that 229 was to be sold, partly to fund the purchase of GNR 2701 and partly to free up space. It left for Llangollen in 1995, where its restoration in 2018 featured in Channel 4's TV Series 'Great Rail Restorations with Peter Snow'.
In early 2016, the Fund transferred ownership of Wheelchair Open Third (WTO) 24105 and GNR Composite (CK) 2701 to the SVRSevern Valley Railway Charitable Trust. The LNERLondon & North Eastern Railway (SVRSevern Valley Railway) Coach Fund continues to support the restoration and upkeep of all LNERLondon & North Eastern Railway carriages on the SVRSevern Valley Railway.
In autumn 1990 the “Wash & Brush UpIn reference to the direction of travel means towards the major terminus (i.e. towards Kidderminster on the present day SVR) LNERLondon & North Eastern Railway Style” SVRA Wolverhampton Branch raffle raised money the Fund, which was later used in the restoration and conversion of LNER 24105 Open Third. The Fund historically sought donations or sponsoring parts for particular projects, although these are now solicited through the SVR Charitable Trust by the LNER Carriage Group for tax-efficient giving.
The Fund frequently issues newsletters, now jointly with the Carriage Group. These are available online on the LNERLondon & North Eastern Railway (SVRSevern Valley Railway) Coach Fund website.
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 44
- Article in SVRSevern Valley Railway News 56, “LNERLondon & North Eastern Railway(SVRSevern Valley Railway) Coach Fund Notes”
- Coach Fund web site
- SVRSevern Valley Railway Stock Book 7th Edition
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 112
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 118
- Railway Heritage Register Carriage Survey
- LNER (SVR) Coach Fund Newsletter 51
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 97, 101