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Bogie Bolster Wagon Nos. 97

No. 66 as a Maharajah's saloon for the filming of "Jewel in the Crown"

Robert Frise - No. 66 as a Maharajah's saloon for the filming of "Jewel in the Crown"

No. 97 carrying rail in Down Yard

Tim Cook - No. 97 carrying rail in Down Yard

This bogie bolster wagon (plus four others, No. 64, 66, 98 & 99, which have been sold off the site) were purchased from the British Steel Corporation, Corby, arriving at Quainton in June 1982. They were used at Quainton for the "Indian" train in "The Jewel in the Crown", a film made by Granada Television. This award-winning television series was based on the novels of Paul Scott and chronicled the end of British rule in India between 1942 and 1947. The 14-part series took three years to prepare and many months to film. For several weeks filming took place here at Quainton. It was shown in 1984 and repeated in 1997, and has been available on DVD.

Filming took place at Quainton in 1983, when for several weeks in the summer the Up Yard resembled "Little India" with two very realistic (from the front!) stations, and different scenes being enacted. On each wagon replicas of Indian Railway Carriages were constructed by the filmset craftsmen and each vehicle was a superb example of the art of the makers, Watts & Curry Ltd. All the coach bodies were made of plywood on timber framing, which was exposed on the non-platform side. On the side facing the stations the plywood was covered with thin sheet metal and painted in Indian Railways brown-red paint, with white letters and numbers. No. 66 was the only carriage with both sides complete. Although it looked similar to the others from the platform, on the outside it was a resplendent Maharajah's saloon in blue and stone colour livery and a coat of arms on the centre panel. It was all most impressive.

No. 97, a third class carriage, had a wider body than the others and it had sashes and louvres on the non-platform side and was furnished inside with wooden benches and used in the massacre scene with plenty of "Kensington Gore", the trade name for theatrical blood. This was the only carriage kept after filming was finished, and for some time it served as an exhibit for visitors to see. However, as none of the carriages was built to last, it too began to fall apart and had to be dismantled.

When delivered to Quainton, Nos. 64 and 66 were from the Tube Works, and three, Nos. 97, 98 and 99, were branded for "Scrap Bar Traffic Only". Nos. 64 and 66 had Great Western type bogies and may therefore be a Swindon "Macaw B" bogie bolster wagon. The other three had British Rail bogies. However, as the original builders and number plates have long been removed, the original identities are not known. The wagons are 50' long, and were never fitted with vacuum brakes, but there are hand brakes on the bogies. The frames are trussed with four angle steel trusses and they retain the GW rings and hooks for securing loads. The British Steel Corporation built steel plate decking onto the frames, and each wagon has three fabricated and rivetted steel supporting cradles, as well as steel plate end sections, so as to make the vehicles suitable for the internal system at Corby.

Each wagon tares at about 16½ tons. Some of the bolster wagons must have been in BR service until the 1970s judging by the repair plates they carried. For example, No. 97 was repaired in August 1972, No. 98 in 1973 and No. 99 in March 1969.

After the filming was completed all were converted to carry various artifacts, with No. 66 converted to a boiler-carrier. No. 64 was sold off site in January 1995 to the film company which made the James Bond film "Goldeneye", and was used on one of the sets where a helicopter burst out of a train. Its current location is unknown. No. 66 and No. 99 were moved to the North Norfolk Railway during 2010, with No. 66 going for further use, and No.99 being broken up for spares. No. 98 has also been broken up for spares, with the bogies retained for use on other projects.

The Granada Television Filming - Quainton News No. 46 Spring / Summer 1982
The Wagon Train - Quainton News No. 47 - Autumn 1982

One of the bogie bolsters converted into a boiler carrier

Robert Frise - One of the bogie bolsters converted into a boiler carrier

Origin :- GWR / British Rail Date Built :- unknown Number :- 97
Diagram :- Lot :- Tare Weight :-
Type :- Bogie bolster Builder :- unknown Wheelbase :-
Owner :- QRS Status :- Available for traffic Location :- Down Yard
Accession No.:- W/0087 Arrival Date :- 1983    

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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Page Updated: 11 January 2019