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British Railways Mark 1 RBK M1779

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This vehicle was built as a Mark 1 Restaurant First (RF) carriage for the Midland Region of British Railways, entering service in May 1962 numbered as M334. One half of the carriage was laid out with capacity for 24 diners in four bays of 2+1 Pullman-style fixed seats at a spacing of 7ft-2in. around large tables suitable for full silver-service dining from the adjacent pantry and kitchen. The kitchen contains a gas-fired stove and oven with grilles and steam-ovens and warming ovens capable of cooking meals for several diners at various sittings on a lengthy journey. The table service and drinks were prepared in the adjacent pantry. The vehicles, when built, were the first British Rail dining cars to have fixed seating.

Thirty-seven vehicles were built to Diagram 17; the first four from Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon works, and the remainder built by British Railway Workshops Ashford (underframes) and Swindon (body and interior).

Towards the late 1960s the changes in on-train catering and customer demands made the operation of the RF vehicles very restrictive. British Railways undertook to modify all but two of the RF vehicles to become Restaurant Buffet Kitchens (RBK). Two of the four seating bays were removed and the area used to install a buffet/bar counter accessed from a door in the pantry bulkhead.

M334 was converted to an RBK in June/July 1970 and renumbered M1779 and continued to be operated by the London Midland Region of British Railways until it was withdrawn in September 1982. Purchased the following year by the Midland Railway Trust it arrived at Butterley circa 1983 and was returned to use in ‘The Midlander’ dining train operating on the railway. In recent years, the vehicle fell out-of-use due to the condition of the kitchen floor and the unreliable kitchen cooking equipment. The vehicle was purchased in mid-2016 and arrived at the railway on 25th November 2016.

The vehicle is to be returned to its original RF configuration with 24 first-class Pullman dining seats and new kitchen appliances installed.

Number of seats :12
Builder: British Railways Ashford/Swindon Built: 1962
Class or Type: RBK (Restaurant Buffet Kitchen) Works No:
Weight: 40t Running No: 1779
Brake Type: Vacuum Operational Status: Under Restoration
Owner: Chris Nesbitt Arrived: 25/11/16
WyvernRail PLC, Ecclesbourne Valley Railway. Wirksworth Station, Coldwell Street, Wirksworth, Derbyshire. DE4 4FB. 01629 823076. © 2017