BR 1853 Restaurant Miniature Buffet

BR 1853 Restaurant Miniature Buffet
BR 1853 20150320.jpg
BR 1853 in 2015
Built By BR Wolverton
Status In use
Number E1853
Livery BR Crimson & Cream
Other numbers M1853, SC1853, W1853
Built 1961
Diagram 99
Lot 30670
Type RMB
TOPS code AN21
Seats 44 standard, 2 toilets
1999 Arrived on SVR


BR Mk 1 Restaurant Miniature Buffet (RMB) 1853 was built at Wolverton in 1961 to diagram number 99 of lot number 30670, one of 82 such vehicles built in five lots from 1957 to 1962. One of the later lots, 1853 was built with Commonwealth bogies. The Miniature Buffet coach was designed to provide quick snacks, being staffed by only one attendant in service. The coach seats 44 passengers at tables, and also has bench seats opposite the serving area. Two toilets were also provided. Many RMBs have survived in mainline use or with heritage railways.



1853 entered service in February 1962 in BR's Eastern region, numbered E1853. The carriage later saw service in other regions as:

  • M1853 from March 1964 in the Midland region
  • SC1853 from June 1977 in the Scottish region
  • W1853 from October 1983 in the Western region[1].

Until 1999 it was operated by Rail Charter Services[note 1][2].


Having been purchased by SVR(H), 1853 arrived on the SVR on 8 March 1999 from Bounds Green Carriage Depot (London) via Holyhead, being brought from the latter by 45110 which had worked the "Ynys Mon Express" return rail tour between Crewe and Holyhead the previous day. The carriage was in BR "Executive" livery (also known as "Raspberry Ripple" livery consisting of dark grey upper panels, off-white lower panels with a broad red stripe).[3]

1853 made a very unusual maiden voyage on the SVR. A then new EWS Class 66 locomotive, 66074, brought a train of 9 KPA bogie hopper wagons plus a KOA 'Piggyback' lorry transporter wagon onto the SVR on Saturday 17 March. The train ran the full length of the Railway to Bridgnorth. On the return trip which set off at 18.05 it dropped ballast at a number of locations, including south of Hampton Loade where the generators on board the Piggyback wagon were started up to demonstrate floodlit ballast dropping. The purpose of the trip was to demonstrate the system to representatives of Railtrack and infrastructure maintenance company GT Railway Maintenance (GTRM). Newly arrived RMB 1853 was attached to the train to accommodate the press and observers, as it was still fitted with air brakes compatible with the wagons. The total loaded weight of the train including the buffet car was estimated at 585 tonnes making it probably the heaviest train to traverse the branch at any time in its history. After the ballast was discharged it weighed about 285 tonnes.[4]

Later in 1999 1853 was repainted into crimson and cream livery in Kidderminster paint shop, in order to take the place in that set of sister coach 1856 which was by that time in tired condition. At the same time a three month refit was required after what were described as "some alarming 'main line' repairs" were discovered. With a short list of minor things left to finish, 1853 was handed into traffic in time to take part in the 1999 Christmas services.[5]

During early 2004 1853's motley collection of seats were re-upholstered by Ray and Muriel Wallington using moquette acquired at a modest price from Wolverton Works. The coach also received a wheelset change at Kidderminster, after which all the wheelsets were turned to the same size.[6]

Experience over the years showed that buffet cars and brake vans tended to suffer from over-used batteries. To counter this, a small diameter pulley wheel for the dynamo was bought from the North Yorkshire Moors Railway during 2006 and trialled on 1853. The trial was a success, with well-charged batteries becoming the norm on 1853.[7]

In late 2006 1853 came onto the mechanics' jacks for repairs to a blown steam pipe below the toilet. The pipe had rotted away due to a leaking lavatory waste pipe which had also caused rot in the vestibule floor and two fifty-five inch long timber joints under the lavatory walls. A five week repair and repaint was completed, apart from refitting the toilets, just in time for that year's Santa services. The work was then completed in early 2007.[8]

In 2015 1853 returned to Kidderminster Carriage Works for entered for attention to two areas. The gangways were drooping due to the wear to the support pin rubbers which required replacement, while a broken coil spring also required replacement. During 2017 another broken spring was also noted and replaced.[9]

1853 is normally used in Set C, the BR Crimson & Cream running set.


Hornby (model R4067) and Bachmann produced OO models of the RMB in Maroon, the Hornby version as E1863 and Bachmann models capable of carrying that number.

See also


  1. A post-BR privatisation era business name for the former BR Special Trains Unit, distinct from Jeremy Hosking's company "Rail Charter Services Ltd which was incorporated in June 2020


  1. Longworth (2013) p.24.
  2. 1853 on Railway Heritage Register On-Line (Retrieved 9 September 2020)
  3. SVR News 129
  4. SVR News 131
  5. SVR News 133, 135
  6. SVR News 147, 148
  7. SVR News 156
  8. SVR News 152, 153
  9. SVR-Online forum, Kidderminster Carriage Works Update