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GNR 3rd No. 459

GNR No. 459 in store in the Buffer Depot

Robert Frise - GNR No. 459 in store in the Buffer Depot

This vehicle has similar origins to GNR Brake 3rd No. 1470, although its precise early history is not known. It was taken into LNER stock at the grouping in 1923. After withdrawal from revenue service in April 1940, it was used as a mess and tool van for British Rail's North Eastern division. It was renumbered DE900178 and sent to York, initially reserved by the National Railway Museum for possible retention for the York Museum. It was stored in the carriage sidings at Leeman Road opposite the museum. The NRM eventually decided not to accession this carriage into the national collection and released it for sale.

July 1976 saw the coach purchased by the Society and brought to Quainton. Unfortunately it had been vandalised while standing at York and all the good droplight end fittings had been removed by smashing the doors. It really did look a sad sight, some initial work was carried out shortly after arrival to tidy it up externally. Inside the dividing partitions were gutted when the carriage was converted to a mess and tool van, at one end there are shelves divided into small sections for pipe fittings when used by British Railway's plumbers. One of the roof lights retains its original blue glass engraved smoking. The figure 3 has been disclosed on the doors, as well as the number X459, though the X is not yet clear. It is believed the missing digit is another 4, from the LNER number 4459. Major work is required to this vehicle and it is now in store pending restoration.

On this 6-compartment Great Northern Railway carriage there is a brass crescent shaped stamping on the solebar close to the centre axle with the number 5 on it. On the GNR Full Brake there is a similar one with a 6, but there is not one on the GNR Third Brake. We have always wondered what these were for, as they are on both sides of each vehicle. At a recent Shildon open day it was noticed that there is a similar one on the East Coast Joint Stock bogie third, but that one is a 12. The ECJS was a joint stock grouping of railway companies to compete with the West Coast Joint Stock from Euston. The East Coast companies were Great Northern, North Eastern and North British starting from Kings Cross, whilst the West Coast were just the London & North Western and Caledonian starting from Euston. Competition for the for the fastest run to Aberdeen was especially fierce in the 1890's Race to the North, and it is possible that some of our vintage carriages were used, certainly their type was used. Further enquiries have produced the theory that the numbers represent the optimum working pressure for the gas light system. Quite why a vehicle with 6 lamps would work at 5 units, when another with only three lamps (the full brake) would work at the slightly higher 6 units is not clear, further research is required.

Vintage Carriage News - Quainton News No. 28 Spring 1976
Good News from the C & W - Quainton News No. 29 Autumn 1976

Origin :- GNR Date Built :- 1901 Number :- GNR - 459
LNER - 4459
Diagram :- 243 Lot :- -
Type :- 6 Wheel 3rd Builder :- GNR Doncaster Owner :- QRS
Status :- Under restoration Location :- Up Yard Shed Accession Number :- W/0018
Arrival Date :- 1976

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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Page Updated: 10 May 2019