Railway Vehicle Preservations
Ironically, of all the Gresley coaches in our collection, this is the only one that is a simple third class passenger vehicle; the type that was once most numerous! 23981 was built by the Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Co. for the LNER in 1936 and finished in varnished teak. It was one of many identical vehicles with the open seating layout (four seats round a table) that was to become so dominant in british carriage design until recent times. It remained in service (renumbered 13279) until 1965, when it was converted to a departmental staff changing coach, numbered DE321070. It spent the next 39 years at Perth in the company of 24080 (above) until acquired for preservation by an RVP member in 1994. Moved to the GCR, ownership was transferred to RVP and it currently awaits its turn in the restoration queue. It is hoped to find grant funding to quickly rebuild this vehicle as, being a high capacity carriage, it would be useful for use on the GCR. In any case it is intended to restore it to varnished teak condition, and it presently is next in the restoration queue and will be started after completion of 24278.