BR 16169 Composite Corridor

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BRBritish Rail or British Railways 16169 CompositeCarriage having more than one class of seating, ie First and Third or latterly First and Standard. Corridor
BR 16169 20220716.jpg
BRBritish Rail or British Railways CompositeCarriage having more than one class of seating, ie First and Third or latterly First and Standard. Corridor 16169 (July 2022)
Built By BRBritish Rail or British Railways Derby
Status In service
Number M16169
Livery BRBritish Rail or British Railways Maroon
Other numbers M7169, SC7169
Built 1961
Diagram 126
Lot 30665
Type CK
TOPS code AA31
Seats 24 first, 18 standard
1989 Preserved on SVRSevern Valley Railway
2007 Trapped at Arley
2008 Stored
2019 Returned to service


16169 is a BRBritish Rail or British Railways Mark 1 Corridor CompositeCarriage having more than one class of seating, ie First and Third or latterly First and Standard. (CK) carriage. The term 'composite' refers to the use of more than one class of seating, in this case four first class compartments and three second class compartments. For the second class compartments, BRBritish Rail or British Railways followed the seating plans used by the pre-nationalisation companies in each region, with LMR and ER carriages generally having seats with arm rests allowing six passengers per compartment while WR and SRSouthern Railway carriages had no arm rests permitting 8 passengers per compartment.[1]

16169 in service

16169 was built at Derby in 1961 to diagram number 126 (AA201), lot number 30665. It entered service in the Midland region numbered M16169,[2] in maroon livery with black ends. The practice of adding a yellow stripe above the first class areas was adopted shortly after that time, with 16169 probably receiving this modification at a depot when around two years old.[3]

During the 1970s BRBritish Rail or British Railways introduced the TOPS numbering system. This required unique identifying numbers for all assets. To avoid potential conflicts, wholesale renumbering of certain ranges of coach numbers was carried out, including CKs numbered 15xxx and 16xxx which became 7xxx.[4] The coach therefore became number M7169. It was subsequently reallocated to the Scottish region in January 1986.[5]

7169 underwent its last works overhaul in January 1986. After running a further 59,595 miles on cross-country services, it was withdrawn from active service on 2 December 1988 at Heaton, Newcastle[6][1].

16169 in preservation

7169 arrived on the SVRSevern Valley Railway from Heaton via Oxley in Wolverhampton on 16 August 1989 carrying BRBritish Rail or British Railways's blue and grey livery, having been purchased by SVR(H) as one of two carriages acquired to increase the available first class accommodation. At the time the SVRSevern Valley Railway was still creating fully matched 'sets' of carriages. Prior to its arrival, the initial plan was for 7169 to be used in either the 'BRBritish Rail or British Railways/LNERLondon & North Eastern Railway' or 'GWRGreat Western Railway/BRBritish Rail or British Railways' sets, as they were then described, until appropriate pre-grouping vehicles with first class accommodation could be restored.[1][6] However, within months of arrival it had undergone the necessary 'light repairs' and been repainted into BRBritish Rail or British Railways maroon '1963 condition' (including the additional yellow first class stripe),[3] going on to see regular use in the BRBritish Rail or British Railways Maroon set under its original number of M16169.

By 2006 the overhauls of seven of the carriages in set M had recently been completed or were in progress. 16169, which was due to be the eighth, was described by the Railway Heritage Register Carriage Survey as "externally very shabby and due for refurbishment". In particular, the double-glazed windows in the first class compartments had become so misted up that the compartments had been declassified to second class. In that year, while nominally still in service, a number of windows were removed and refurbished ahead of a planned overhaul and return to the maroon set.[7] However in 2007 it was withdrawn from service and moved to Arley for use during the 1940s events to provide additional shelter for children should it rain. It became trapped at Arley by the 2007 Storm Damage. By the time it was retrieved and moved to Kidderminster in late 2008, it had effectively 'died', with swollen doors and mouldy seats. It underwent a health check with the intention of returning it to availability as spare vehicle for the LMSLondon Midland & Scottish Railway set, including receiving some attention to compartment ceilings and veneers.[8] However in the event it did not run again in service for some years, spending time in storage with moves to the paint shop in winter 2012 and 2013 while the C&WCarriage & Wagon team "nibbled away at some of its tasks to edge it nearer to working life again."[9] It was photographed in July 2015 stored in the carriage shed awaiting further work.

By early 2017 the decision had been made that 16169 needed to be returned to service so that identical 16267 (which had 'borrowed' 16169's seats some years earlier) could be retired for major welding repairs and new doors. Work therefore began on overhauling 16267's old seats for use in 16169. In March 2017 16169 was moved outside Kidderminster Carriage Works, initially for welding repairs, with other jobs both internal and external continuing as events permitted.[10] Spring 2018 saw it outside the Kidderminster paintshop after work to make it waterproof with a newly painted roof. In September 2019 it was in the paint shop receiving further repairs before proper painting could begin, which was completed by November 2019. After a delay awaiting time on the jacks, 16169 was moved onto accommodation bogies in March 2020 to allow its commonwealth bogies to be worked on[11][12]. Further delays due to the second COVID-19 lockdowns meant that plans to return 16169 to service in time for the 2020 'Steam in Lights' could not be met, with the coach finally being shunted out of the carriage works for test running on 11 January 2021.[13]

16169 returned to service in spring 2021, although a few weeks later it was briefly withdrawn again after an issue was found with the dynamo 'motoring' (being driven by the batteries, rather than putting power into them, as the result of a wiring fault). This was resolved by replacing all the heavy-duty cables from the dynamo to the regulator and battery box, with 16169 returning to duty in Set M[14].

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 SVRSevern Valley Railway Stock Book 9th Edition
  2. Longworth (2013) p.112.
  3. 3.0 3.1 SVRSevern Valley Railway News 94
  4. Longworth (2013) p.9.
  5. Longworth (2013) p.80.
  6. 6.0 6.1 SVRSevern Valley Railway News 92
  7. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 156
  8. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 164
  9. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 179, 182
  10. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 200, Winter 2017
  11. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 210, 'Kidderminster Carriage Works update, 'SVR Online Forum
  12. Branch Lines newsletter, September 2020 (Retrieved 29 August 2020)
  13. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 213
  14. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 215