27001 — LMS Design Period 3, Corridor Brake Third

27001 built in 1950

Originally constructed as a third class corridor brake carriage (BTK) to an LMS design after nationalisation at the ex-LMS Wolverton Carriage and Wagon works to diagram 2161. Sold direct out of revenue earning service, no BR departmental or TOPS designation. Dimensions 57' 0" x 9' 0".

27001 (LMS code 'CH', BR code 'BTK') was  constructed after nationalisation to an LMSR design as a third class corridor brake in 1950 at the LMSR Wolverton Carriage and Wagon Works to diagram 2161 and is one of a batch of 125 to lot 1506. After withdrawal, sold direct from revenue earning service, no BR departmental or TOPS numbers allocated. Dimensions 57' 0" x 9' 0".

Photograph 419: John Leather

Photograph 419: John Leather

The completed exterior of 27001 has taken three years from initial purchase. For an albeit LMS designed carriage an early decision was taken to paint the carriage into BR maroon livery, which is true to the prototype. Internally 27001 is stripped to the frames rewiring being amongst the next jobs to be tackled. It is intended to restore seating to a two by two open plan initially.

Photograph 417: Alan Taylor

Photograph 417: Alan Taylor

The window glass and fixings were all removed, renewed and resealed, old plate glass was replaced by the latest safety type. The small sliding windows of the final LMS design, all had to be dismantled in order to get them to work properly again. At the right of the photograph is the 'new' frosted toilet window recovered from a 1949 all metal LMS CK (CBC) body discovered during our first visit to Scotland.

Photograph 416: Derek Mason

Photograph 416: Derek Mason

As is common with most carriages after many years of service, the toilet end floor was rotten and the underframe beneath it was found to be badly corroded. This whole section was gutted and repaired with new materials as necessary. The all welded underframe can be seen in the picture undergoing treatment with anti-corrosive paint. This design of LMS carriage is nicknamed 'porthole' due to the shape of its toilet windows, which were a change of design by BR from the LMS original. A more substantial change was the omission from the design of a bottom 'stringer' into which all the side framework of the carriage sides was located. The 'portholes' were designed without 'stringers' such that the vertical side frame members were bolted into metal sockets welded directly onto the solebars. This can just be discerned from the upper left of the photograph. The durability of the teak framework has ensured that the basic body structure is in very good condition and consequently has required little work except for inspection and cleaning.

Photograph 415: Harvey Coppock

Photograph 415: Harvey Coppock

After purchase by two LMSCA members, some roof work was undertaken at Swithland on the GCR, but the bulk of the external bodywork restoration began after arrival at Darley Dale. The first job was prevention of water ingress via the roof and ventilators, once completed work on body panels began in earnest. Although substantially intact, some areas had already been re-panelled and a decision was taken not to re-panel the whole body but to repair it as necessary. The frame of one brake door was fractured beyond repair and this was replaced with a similar one recovered ffrom an LMS BGZ which had been scrapped. All the locks were refurbished and all the doors removed, repaired and re-hung. It is satisfying to hear the familiar non-metallic 'Ker-lunk' so reminiscent of wooden bodied stock once again.

Photograph 421: Derek Mason

Photograph 421: Derek Mason

An interior view showing conversion to open layout for main line use. The original corridor side was on the left but no original compartment fittings remained. The seating was upgraded to 1960s Pullman style removed from redundant stock. The walls were re-panelled and varnished and the ceiling wallpapered. The electrical system was modified to a dual 24 volt d.c. and 240 volt a.c. system. Fortunately as events progressed no major changes were undertaken to the brake area.

Photograph 420: Derek Mason

Photograph 420: Derek Mason

It was the 71000 Loco' Group's intention to modify 27001 to main line support coach status. Work to effect this new role began and included removing the remaining compartment, conversion of the toilet into a kitchenette, preparations to convert the brake end into a bar area and replacement of the LMS buffers by the standard BR oval type. The conversion work was only partially completed however as work on 71000 itself became a greater priority and the eventual banning of wooden bodied stock running on the main line made further effort pointless. 27001 then languished in store for a number of years albeit forgotten, as this view depicts.

Photograph 418: Roger Bulmer

Photograph 418: Roger Bulmer

Sale by BR to the Manchester Ship Canal Co. as a mobile office involved loss of three out of the original four internal compartments.  Holes were drilled through walls and framework to accommodate security bars and locks on doors and windows. Livery during this time was green and 27001 had the dubious honour of being named 'Rover' by the canal company. Seen here at Loughborough after purchase by the 71000 Locomotive Group.