BR 34754 Brake Corridor Second

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BRBritish Rail or British Railways 34754 Brake Corridor Second
BR 34754 20150307.jpg
BRBritish Rail or British Railways Brake Corridor Second 34754
Built By BRBritish Rail or British Railways Wolverton
Status In service
Number DB975128
Livery Maroon (unlined)
Other numbers W34754, E34754, ADB 975128
Built 1955
Diagram 182
Lot 30157
Type BSK
TOPS code AB21 (as built), QPV
Seats N/A (24 standard as built)
1997 Arrived on SVRSevern Valley Railway


34754 began life as a BRBritish Rail or British Railways Mark 1 Brake Corridor Second (BSK), seating 24 passengers in 4 compartments. A more detailed description of the BSK can be found under sister coach 35219. It was later converted by BRBritish Rail or British Railways into a mess & tool van, a role it still fulfils for the SVRSevern Valley Railway's Permanent Way department.

34754 in service

B34754 was built at Wolverton in 1955 to Diagram 182 (AB21), Lot 30157. It entered service in the Western region as W34754 in May 1956, moving to the Eastern region and being renumbered E34754 in September 1968.[1]

In January 1973 it was converted for DepartmentalRolling stock used for the railway’s own functions (engineering etc.) rather than for general passenger or goods traffic. use as a breakdown mess & tool van at Cambridge, receiving the DepartmentalRolling stock used for the railway’s own functions (engineering etc.) rather than for general passenger or goods traffic. number ADB 975128 and TOPS category code QPV. The new internal layout consisted of the toilet and the first two passenger compartments in their original locations, a kitchen, handwash and overall drying area, a mess room, and locker/tool area[2].

34754's DepartmentalRolling stock used for the railway’s own functions (engineering etc.) rather than for general passenger or goods traffic. number

Longworth (2013) states that E34754 was allocated departmental number ADB 975127 with ADB 975128 'carried in error'. It similarly states that E34414 (see below) was allocated departmental number ADB 975128, with ADB 975127 'carried in error'. However other sources suggest that E34754 carried ADB 975128 in use, including pictures on (see links below).

34754 in preservation

UpIn reference to the direction of travel means towards the major terminus (i.e. towards Kidderminster on the present day SVR) to the mid-1990s, mess facilities for the Permanent Way staff while working lineside consisted of a brake van with no washing or toilet facilities and only crude cooking arrangements, with tools being carried in a separate tool van. Permanent Way Manager, Gerry Carter therefore began investigating the possibility of acquiring a tool/mess coach to improve the conditions for his staff.[2]

The first coaches that Gerry inspected had either been robbed or vandalised. However in mid-1997, two of SVRSevern Valley Railway's full-time C&WCarriage & Wagon staff visited the North Norfolk Railway to inspect carriage bogies for possible purchase. A conversation revealed that the NNR had acquired ADB 975128 for its bogies only, although the body and interior were complete. The coach was inspected at Peterborough where it was in store, after which a deal was struck whereby the SVRSevern Valley Railway's P-Way volunteers would purchase the coach body for £500. The entire coach including the bogies would then be transported to the SVRSevern Valley Railway, with the NNR sharing the transport costs including the return of the bogies back to Norfolk.[2]

The coach arrived at Kidderminster on, or shortly after, 30 October 1997.[note 1] It was quickly lifted to enable the bogies to be returned, with ADB 975128 being place on a temporary set of bogies as part of the same lift. The Kidderminster C&WCarriage & Wagon staff offered the use of the Kidderminster paint shop over the Christmas break which allowed the roof to be striped, repaired and repainted. The next few months were spent in Kidderminster yard while a start was made on stripping out surplus parts of the interior and replacing rotten bodywork.[2]

An ambitious plan was developed to convert the coach to a driving trailer with 'Blue StarAn electro-magnetic form of multiple working equipment widely used by BR in first generation diesel locomotives and multiple units whereby multiple like-coded vehicles are capable of running under the control of one driver. A blue star coupling code is normally indicated on the front of the vehicle.' multiple working equipment and driving desk fitted, with the intention that it could be used to drive with the train locomotive at the rear. A new internal layout would comprise the Driving end, emergency equipment in the first compartment, a passenger compartment, a kitchen/mess room, a handwash / overall drying area, a toilet relocated to the middle of the coach (approximately where the original guard's compartment was), and the tool area (potentially including a generator).[2]

In late September 1998 the coach, still on its temporary bogies, was moved to Bridgnorth where the conversion would be carried out. Around the same time J.J. Smith was informed of a similar coach 34414 (later ADB 975127) which was in storage at Scunthorpe and due to be scrapped. A visit by Gerry Carter and Brian Bessey confirmed that although it was in poor condition, it stood on a good set of bogies for which Railtrackprivate sector owner of the national railway system from 1994 until 2002, created as part of the privatisation of British Rail. Succeeded by Network Rail wanted £1,000. It was due to be transferred to the scrap yard the following day, but quick negotiations confirmed it was easier to purchase the whole coach, which was transported to the SVRSevern Valley Railway around the end of October 1998. The body of 34754 was transferred onto the bogies from 34414, with the body of 34414 then being broken up in early 1999.[2]

The internal conversion was subsequently completed by owners The SVR Permanent Way Fund‏‎‏‎, partly funded by £1,500 from the SVRA.[2] Although use as a driving trailer has not happened in practice, it sees regular use as the Civil Engineers' Mess and Tool Van. It carries the DepartmentalRolling stock used for the railway’s own functions (engineering etc.) rather than for general passenger or goods traffic. number DB 975128 (rather than the ADB 975128 it carried when preserved).

See also


  1. The contemporary report in SVRSevern Valley Railway news gives the arrival date as 30 October 1997; the 1998 Stock Book states 17 November 1997.


  1. Longworth (2013) p.161.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 SVRSevern Valley Railway News 128, pp. 36-38, Permanent Way Tool/Mess Van, Cedric Jameson