30005 — LMS Period 1, Kitchen Car

30005 built 1924

Constructed as a Full Kitchen Car (RK) at the LMS Derby Carriage and Wagon Works to diagram 1697. After withdrawal from revenue earning service, converted in 1956 to the London Midland Region Track Recording Coach. Renumbered to departmental stock as DM395223. TOPS code: QXX. Dimensions 50' x 9' 3".

30005 (LMS code 'KC', BR code 'RK') was constructed in 1924 as a full kitchen car at the LMSR Derby Carriage and Wagon Works to diagram 1697 and is one of a batch of 8 to lot 65. Renumbered from 3286 in 1933. After withdrawal from revenue earning service, converted in 1956 to the London Midland Region Track Recording Coach. Renumbered to departmental stock as DM395223. TOPS code: QXX. Dimensions 50' x 9' 3".

Photograph 484 : British Railways

Photograph 484 : British Railways

Built at Derby in 1924, the coach began its career as a full Kitchen Car BR type code RK (LMS type code KC). In total, 73 kitchens in six lots to diagram 1697 were all built at Derby between 1924 and 1932, the final one in 1932 being a replacement for one damaged in the Leighton Buzzard crash.

Photograph 483 : Patrick Kingston/John Tuffs

The Track Recording Coach conversion (DM395223) made in 1956, consisted of removing one of the corridor connections and replacing it with three observation style windows. A large pantry and half the kitchen at the same end were removed to enable installation of track geometry recording equipment and observation end windows, some side lookouts were also installed in this area.

Photograph 574: Chris Cornell

Photograph 574: Chris Cornell

30005 stars in ITV's Midsomer Murders in the episode Death of a stranger

(with thanks to Chris Cornell of The Watercress Line for this information and the photographs)

The coach was hired by the TV company and taken by road for the segment filming which took place in Black Park situated close to Pinewood Studios. For the filming, the company also re-fitted the interior as shown below.

Kitchen Car 30005 in Black Park on the set of 'Death of a Stranger'. Many people are in evidence on location whilst the episode was in production, the main character played by John Nettles can be seen descending the steps.

Photograph 575: Chris Cornell

Photograph 575: Chris Cornell

This particular end of 30005 was modified to accommodate the instrumentation and observation end for the Track Recording coach. The instrumentation has long since been removed and the empty space is seen here fitted out for its role in the  'Midsomer Murders' mysteries.

Photograph 485: Colin Fearnley

Photograph 485: Colin Fearnley

Deterioration arrested, and now resplendent in the summer sunshine at Rowsley after out-shopping from the new carriage shed. DM395223 regularly attracts attention from passers by who are intrigued by the lookouts and are curious to find out their function.

Photograph 514: Alan Taylor

Photograph 514: Alan Taylor

Alan not having got a good enough carriage 'fix' on the Saturday,  duly arrived on Sunday and set to work spraying the chassis and ends black, before painting the 'custard' bit. Harvey Coppock painted one side whilst Alan did the other. It was a race to see who would finish their side first. Harvey eventually won, but I put that down to the fact that he had the mobile scaffolding whilst Alan had the steps. Next time he'll get a 'two feet wide' brush!

Photograph 510: Alan Taylor

Photograph 510: Alan Taylor

After remedial work, making DM395223 watertight, as a first for the LMSCA, it was decided that we would out-shop it in 'blood and custard' livery. But before then the underframe would have to be painted black gloss. This photograph shows the toilet and coupe end which with the exception of internal fittings is substantially in its original condition.

Photograph 496: Alan Taylor

Photograph 496: Alan Taylor

Once the Mess Coach was complete the RK was put into the carriage shed to dry out since there were several broken windows and leaking roof. One of the first jobs was to seal the roof and bodywork. A recovered 'Stones' ventilator was fitted to replace one smashed by vandals whilst at the Mid-Hants. Derek finished off the sealing whilst Harvey replaced the numerous windows and droplights also recently smashed. John and Alison applied red oxide primer to the various rusty bits, as you do, before applying the undercoat.

Photograph 495: Alan Taylor

Photograph 495: Alan Taylor

The LMS Kitchen Car (RK) arrived at the same time as the South Yorkshire shunters. Instead of putting the carriage under tarpaulins it was decided to give it a quick repaint, sealing it from the weather. At the time, Peak Rail's Mess Coach (DM395923) was undergoing the final stages of its refit, so time was made to sort out the inside of the RK by having a major clear and brush out with the help of Sid, Dave, John and Alison.

Photograph 487: Alan Taylor

Photograph 487: Alan Taylor

This is the sight when DM395223 arrived at Rowsley south. The lack of any apportunity to correct deterioration and the results of acts of vandalism are evident from the boarded up windows and rusty paintwork. On arrival we decided fairly early on that something had to be done quickly to this unique carriage in order to stop any further deterioration in order to secure its future.

Photograph 428: Iain Pate / WARCAW Group

Photograph 428: Iain Pate / WARCAW Group

Whilst on the Mid-Hants it became increasingly difficult to work on DM395223 because of its location and lack of use. The final ignominy was its transfer to Alton where it became particularly susceptible to vandalism. Damage incurred there included graffiti, broken windows and theft. Something had to be done for this unique carriage, and quickly!

Photograph 426: Derek Mason

Photograph 426: Derek Mason

Other 1956 'improvements' such as conversion from LMS to BR droplights were made but the remainder of the interior remains substantially unchanged. The carriage is currently dual braked, dual heated and in later years its bogies were up-rated for 100 mph running, a DMU style speedometer being fitted to the end of one wheelset. It is in this form that the coach was regularly attached to the rear of normal service trains in order to monitor the state of the track, in this guise it survives today.

Photograph 414: Derek Mason

Photograph 414: Derek Mason

The former London Midland Region Track Recording Coach (DM395223) was purchased from The WARCAW (Winchester and Alton Carriage and Wagon) Group. Located on the Mid-Hants Railway since 1985, the Group were very concerned at the lack of long-term prospects for the coach and its accelerating deterioration following movement to a site vulnerable to attacks of wanton vandalism. The Group's fears were realised as the photograph here illustrates.