A grant has been received to help start work on the restoration of this carriage. We still need donations too.
The Ashbury Railway Carriage & Iron Company
has been formed to lead the restoration of these wonderful carriages.
Please make a donation and help restore this coach!
This vehicle was built in 1893 by The Ashbury Railway Carriage & Iron Co. for the North Wales Narrow Gauge Railways (later the Welsh Highland Railway). It was one of a pair (Nos. 9 & 10) known as Corridor Coaches by the staff, although there was no end connection nor side corridor. Both had doors at each end and glazing all along each side. Both were built as all 3rd Class carriages, but in circa 1910 a partition had been added to No. 10 enclosing a small 1st Class section. The Corridor Coaches were noted for being very smart and well proportioned.
Like Russell, the Corridor Coaches were cut down in 1923 to fit the restricted Ffestiniog Railway loading gauge. This was done by lowering them on their bogie bolsters and cutting the sides above the windows; this reduced the roof height and spoiled their neat external lines. Vacuum brakes were subsequently fitted in place of the Westinghouse brakes in order to operate them with other FR stock. Nos. 9 & 10 were possibly renumbered according to the WHR/FR numbering scheme to 23 and 25 respectively (however, Boyd states that the numbers became 35 and 36); the numbers are not evident in photographs from the period so there is some uncertainty.
In 1927, No. 10 was converted into a licensed buffet car, the first such vehicle on a British narrow gauge line. This made it a very popular asset on the line. The 3rd Class section was modified to include a serving counter with an urn for making tea. The urn was only heated at Beddgelert and Rhyd Ddu, getting rather cooler between the two.
When the line was requisitioned for the war effort in 1941, the vehicle was sold for use as a summer house. It was cut into two parts and used as an L-shaped out-building, the raw open end being panelled over. It survived in this form in a garden near Waenfawr until donated to the WHR and transported Porthmadog in 1987. Remarkably, the original bogies survived, although, like Coach No. 8, major rebuild on a new steel underframe will be required.
With the arrival of its new steel chassis, the restoration of No.10 has now started, and at the same time a facsimile to replace the long-lost NWNGR No.9 is being be constructed. The twin will be built to the original dimensions of No.9, somewhat larger than No.23 (10), which is being rebuilt to its WHR dimensions.