Coach No. 42

Tourist ‘Toast-rack’

This coach was built in August 1923 by Robert Hudson Ltd of Leeds. The design was the same as for a World-War-1 (WW1) military coach used in the 600mm gauge trench railways. It was one of six coaches commissioned by the Colonel Stephens administration at a cost of £155 each. The coaches were built in three weeks, and when delivered, were painted in grey undercoat, later being painted in FR Style 'Lake'. They were numbered 37-42 in the 'joint' WHR/FR numbering scheme. They operated on both Welsh Highland and Festiniog Railways.

The coaches had a very similar underframe to the ex-WW1 Hudson bogie wagons used for the Beddgelert coal trafic, Consequently, between 1926-28, the coaches were robbed of parts to keep the coal wagons going. Two coaches survived this, Nos. 37 & 42. However, these ended up being stripped down after the war. No. 37 provided the frame for FR rebuilt coach No. 38 in 1972, leaving No. 42 in use for storage. Indeed, No. 42 housed the boiler of Quarry Hunslet 'Britomart' until mid-1997.

The restoration of Coach No. 42 is now complete and it entered service at the 25th Anniversary Gala (July 2005). Safety gates and chains have been fitted across each doorway, unlike the original which had open gaps as the photographs (left) show.

A similar replica also exists on the Festiniog Railway.

Specifications

Number 42  
Name Toastrack Coach  
Type Tourist Open Toast-rack.  
Builder Robert Hudson Ltd, Leeds  
Built 1923  
Wheel arrangement Bogie  
Brakes Air  
Length 19' 5.8m  
Width 6' 1.8m  
Seats 24  
Arrived W.H.R. 1997  
Owners WHR Ltd  

See Also