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LNWR 1st Class Sleeping Car No. 112
The Original Coach
As built, this coach was No.112, and was renumbered as 5112, and was the fourth of the six to be built to Diagram D16. The LMS renumbered them first as Nos. 10334 - 10339, and then in 1933 they were allocated Nos. 478 - 483, though there is some doubt as to whether they ever carried these numbers, as they were all withdrawn 3 years later.
The First Changes
Conversion to a Cinema Coach
The area that was the attendant´s room, and part of the smoking room, became the battery room. Timber ventilation louvers were cut in full height on the compartment side, across approximately half the width of the window. On the corridor side, a pair of double doors were cut through on the first window, and half of the next panel. The projection room adjoins the ventilated room, and takes the rest of the smoking room, and half the first cabin space. The corridor has a raised section in the floor with steps at either end of the projection room. The projection room floor is also raised to the level of the top of the ramped floor in the cinema seated portion.
The original corridor width has been maintained for the full length of the coach, but from the projection room wall to the end of the 6th cabin, a ramp was installed for the width of the cabins, which had 7 rows of heater elements across its width, which presumably coincided with simple bench seating positions. The floor was then level until it reached the screen position, which would be approximately on the line of the wall between the last 2 cabins, at the front of the screen base, though the screen itself was set back to a line roughly half way across the last compartment window.
The original toilet space was expanded to fill the whole of the new end cabin, and the corridor side wall has been splayed, to maximize the new internal operators´ room space. The corridor external-side wall was further modified, with a window blocked by the front wall of the projection room, and a door then cut into the next spandrel panel. Another window was closed up adjacent to the screen.
When operated by the British Transport Film Unit from 1949, the coach was coupled to a generator unit, which was housed in an ex-LNER Brake 3rd. In 1971, the generator van was numbered DB 975056.
A photograph taken at Wimbledon Station in the 1950´s shows the coach to have been clad with steel sheet panelling. To make up the difference in thickness between the original timber and the steel sheet, all the external posts and rails had a 6mm [1/4”] hardwood batten pinned to them. This photograph also shows that the roof over the vestibule ends had been reshaped to terminate on the door line, whereas when built, the roof line at cantrail level was consistent throughout the length of the coach. The coach was fitted with a hand wheel to operate the brakes when the coach was stationary in sidings, and this has been retained, and is operational.
Following some ´heavy shunt´ damage to the chassis, the coach was withdrawn by British Railways in the early 1970´s. It was delivered to Quainton on the 10th July 1974 by track slew from the mainline (QN21 Autumn 1974).
Physical Condition Prior to HLF Funded Refurbishment
The Refurbished Coach
The compartment side has been reconstructed as originally built. The corridor side has had the doors that were cut into the side removed, and they have been re-sited so that they have a minimal impact on the overall appearance. The only features are the ´cut´ lines where the door edges show, but they have been moved where possible to coincide with the vertical bolection mouldings to minimise their effect, and the three projecting hinges per door have been painted in the colour of their background; some are different on either side, so that they do not show too much. There is no other external ironmongery on these doors, as they can only be opened from the inside. Access to the coach to open it for visitors is via the end vestibule doors.
The cinema area has a level section at the front to allow for a couple of wheelchair bound visitors to have access to the ´show´. The window patterns have been restored on the outside of the coach. Many of them are ´blind´ windows, with the window blind material suggesting that the internal blinds have been lowered. Internally, the panelling has been run across so that no window positions are defined. The former battery room is now a small clear space, and it is proposed to mount a small exhibition on the history of the coach, and the cinema coaches in general. The projection room has been retained, and refurbished to allow the projection of films in the original manner.
It is intended to install a plasma or LCD flat screen which can be linked to a computer to allow the playing of a DVD showing an introduction to the site, or for training films, or private hire presentations. A secondary screen position has been wired approximately 2/3rds of the way back up the ramp of the coach, should there be too many tall people in front. A ´minicom´ loop has been installed to assist hearing-impaired visitors, and provision has been made for supplementary small speakers to be fitted into the ceiling to boost speech from a lecturer. A pull down screen will allow for the projection of slides, overhead projection, or computer projection of ´Powerpoint´ presentations, or they can use the plasma screen. An adjustable overhead spotlight will allow a lectern to be highlighted, with the rest of the lights turned off. The coach has been fitted out with 27 padded lecture style tip-up seats and desks, carpeted floor, and indirect lighting.
Which coach do we have?
Research prior to the reconstruction had narrowed the coach down to 1 of 6, and when the interior cladding was removed the carpenters marks were found: V I I II (5112) which by good fortune is the coach illustrated in David Jenkinson´s book on LNWR coaches. (Carpenters usually used Roman numbers because they can be easily formed with a chisel). Earlier Quainton publications had referred to a possible identification of this coach as LNWR No. 36, but this now appears not to be the case.
The coach has been reconstructed, and repainted in the LNWR colours and fully lined out in the ´flake white and corn´ lining. The coach is located in the Rewley Road platform, and will provide a very useful addition to the Centre´s resources, particularly for educational purposes and commercial hiring when fitted out.
|Origin :-||LNWR||Date Built :-||1907||Number :-||LNWR - 112|
|Type :-||1st Sleeper / Cinema Coach||Builder :-||LNWR Wolverton||Owner :-||QRS|
|Status :-||Restored||Location :-||Rewley Road||Accession Number :-||W/0031|
|Arrival Date :-||1974|
Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
Page Updated: 24 September 2017