BR 1667 Restaurant Buffet
|BRBritish Rail or British Railways 1667 Restaurant Buffet
BRBritish Rail or British Railways Restaurant Buffet 1667
|BRBritish Rail or British Railways(W) Chocolate & Cream
|E1667 NE1667 M1667
|Arrived on SVRSevern Valley Railway
|Outshopped as a Kitchen Car
W1667 is a BRBritish Rail or British Railways Mark 1 Buffet Restaurant carriage (RB). Unlike the Restaurant Miniature Buffet (RMB) carriage which was only intended to provide quick snacks, the Buffet Restaurant carriage included a full kitchen facility as well as a buffet counter. In regular service they were normally paired with an Open First to provide additional seating for diners, having 23 loose chairs themselves. Unusually an 'emergency exit' door was provided in the seating area which can be seen between the first and second windows in the pictures.
During service many RB's including 1667 were refurbished (becoming RBR) to fit in with BRBritish Rail or British Railways's new corporate InterCity image and blue/grey 'raspberry ripple' livery. The modifications included the installation of fluorescent lighting and the removal of bulkheads to improve illumination levels, and the use of brighter colours and 'wipe-clean' surfaces and seating. Doors were also installed between bars, pantries and kitchens which allowed for manning by fewer staff. A Hornby model of 1667 in the InterCity livery has been produced; a picture of the coach in service in this livery also exists (external link).
BRBritish Rail or British Railways Mark 1 Buffet Restaurant carriage (RB) No 1667 was built by Pressed Steel in to Diagram 24 as part of Lot 30628. 1667 entered service in BRBritish Rail or British Railways's North East region in 1961. It originally carried the number E1667, becoming NE1667 in May 1965 when that region received its own prefix. It then reverted to E1667 in January 1968 when the North East and Eastern Regions were amalgamated. By 1972 the coach had been reallocated to the Midland Region, becoming M1667. A final transfer back to the Eastern region as E1667 took place in August 1985.
1667 arrived on the SVRSevern Valley Railway in December 1999 ex Rail Charter Services, to replace sister carriage 1678. Shortly after arrival it received a repaint and had the steam heating reinstated. It initially served as spare kitchen car, but was brought into service as part of the Severn Valley Venturer just before the 2001 Autumn Steam Gala when regular Kitchen Car 1682 was 'red carded' with gas plumbing issues.
1667 entered the Bewdley paint shop in November 2003 with the intention of creating a backup restaurant car for GWR Diner 9615. By this time 1667 was in a very poor condition, requiring major bodywork repairs and a totally new kitchen including a newly designed roof-mounted water tank. The BRBritish Rail or British Railways-era ETHElectric Train Heating equipment was also removed and replaced by steam heating. With the bodywork complete, it left the paint shop in September 2004 while work continued on the kitchen refurbishment. It returned to the paint shop between November 2005 and January 2006 for external painting and varnishing. A move to the Kidderminster carriage repair works followed where further work was carried out including the removal of redundant under-floor equipment and welding to make good BRBritish Rail or British Railways-era corrosion of the solebarsThe outer member of a vehicle's underframe, running from end to end below the body. By 2007 1667 had been fully restored.
1667 then became a regular part of the Severn Valley Limited set. In summer 2010 it returned to Kidderminster for an upgrade to the kitchen area. The loose floor mats were replaced by proper non-slip flooring, a custom-designed catering cupboard was installed to replace various loose catering tables, and a new linen cupboard was also fitted. Minor work in 2012 included plumbing repairs following frozen pipes during the previous winter and the fitting of new set of higher amp/hour batteries more suitable for a catering vehicle.
A few days before Mother's Day in 2016, 1667 suffered a cracked seam in a stainless-steel tank, resulting in water flooding down the wall. A contractor with specialist welding equipment was brought in to carry out a temporary repair in situ, with a more permanent repair planned for the following winter, involving the tank being taken down for an in-depth welding session and improvements to the bracing supporting the floor of the tank.
1667 continued as the Severn Valley Limited kitchen car until use of the dining train was halted for two years by the Covid pandemic. At the start of 2022 it entered the Kidderminster paint shop to be restored to useable condition. External work lasted until March and included overhauls of door hinges, locks, and window mechanisms and repairs to both gangways, followed by repainting. Internally it was further remodelled and branded a Kitchen Car, with the bar and all seating removed. New linoleum flooring was fitted and the kitchen completely cleaned by a combination of volunteers and a specialist contract cleaning company. The work was completed in time for a test cooking run in mid-July on the rear of a service set, with 56 working volunteers acting as 'guinea pigs' in Diner Third 9654 on the day.
- Gaugemaster Retail
- Longworth (2013) p.21.
- Railway Heritage Register Carriage Survey
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