Great Northern Railway Lavatory Composite Brake 2856

GNR coach no. 2856 had a rare appearance outside the VCT museum during filming last week. This latest filming assignment was the 8th time that this venerable coach, built in the 19th century, has taken pride of place in front of the camera.

2856 was built by the Great Northern Railway at Doncaster in 1898. Four compartments are provided, two for each class, but only the First Class passengers had access to the central toilets. A composite steel and timber underframe is carried on two steel bogies with oil axleboxes and Mansell wheels with woodblock (teak) centres within a steel rim. Gas lighting was provided and two large gas storage tanks hang beneath the coach centre.

After withdrawal the coach was relegated to departmental use and was finally withdrawn for scrapping in 1970. Two years later, however, it was saved, finally arriving at the Railway, via the North Yorkshire Moors Railway in 1995, and in time was acquired by VCT. With restoration almost complete the coach suffered an horrendous arson attack but the Trust persevered and by 2004 the coach was finished to the magnificent standard that is visible today.

To see the full remarkable story of 2856, click here to visit the VCT website. These photos show the extent of the restoration from dereliction to exhibition standard.

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Photos: VCT

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