BR 4509 Tourist Standard Open

BR 4509 Tourist Standard Open
BR 4509 20150320.jpg
BR Tourist Standard Open 4509
Built By BR York
Status In service
Number E4509
Livery BR Crimson & Cream
Other numbers GE4509
Built 1956
Diagram 93
Lot 30243
Type TSO
TOPS code AC21
Seats 64 standard
1982 Preserved on SVR


4509 is a BR Mark 1 Tourist Second Open (TSO), commonly referred to as an 'Open Second', and later re-named as Tourist Standard Open when BR rebranded Second class as Standard class during the 1980s. The designation "Tourist" referred to the use of 2+2 seating either side of a central aisle, as opposed to the 'ordinary' Standard Open (SO) which had 3 seats across, arranged 2+1 with an offset aisle. In practice the TSO was BR's default Open Second design with relatively few Mark 1 SOs being built, mainly for use as Second/Third class restaurant cars.[note 1]

The 'Open Second' includes 8 'bays', each with two tables seating 4 people, giving a total capacity of 64. One end of the coach has a larger cross-vestibule than the other in order to incorporate two toilets, with the external doors at that end being inset from the end of the coach to accommodate these. A third cross-vestibule was included midway down the coach to enable speedier loading and unloading of passengers.


4509 in service

4509 was built at York in 1956 to diagram number 93, lot number 30243[1] It was used in the BR Eastern region and carried the number GE4509, the prefix denoting that it was allocated for use on the Great Eastern lines.

4509 in preservation

4509 arrived on the SVR in June 1982 from York in working order.[2] It was originally owned by SVR volunteer ticket collector Austen 'Pop' White.

In September 1985 the coach was repainted from the 'BR blue and grey' livery in which it had arrived into the late 1960s version of BR maroon livery, with red ends and gutters, badges applied only if available, and cream end doors. A shortage of badges at the time meant 4509 initially had no badge.[3] The following year the tables were removed from sister coach 4550 and used to give a full complement to 4690, 4399, 4509 and 4545, the maroon set being regularly used for dining parties at the time.[4]

In march 1987 4509 was taken out of service and completely reupholstered with red tartan cloth (disposed of by Ilford Electric Multiple Unit Depot) in time for the Diesel Weekend.[5]

4509 was withdrawn for overhaul at Bridgnorth Carriage and Wagon in 1990. This took around a year and required the windows to be re-bedded. It also involved re-skinning all six doors and rebuilding their wooden frames which collapsed when the old skins were removed. The door jambs were also renewed and cutting and patching was carried out the bodysides alongside the doors and windows. The inside was completely revarnished or painted as necessary.[6]

The tartan cloth used in 1987 had proved to be short-lived compared with the traditional moquette,[7] and in 1997 4509 was reupholstered in moquette by a professional upholsterer, the materials and labour costing £4,220.[8].

During summer 1998, 'Pop' White passed away. Aged almost 90, he was still working as a volunteer at the time.[9] 4509 was bequeathed to his colleague and neighbour James Barker.

In autumn 2004 4509 was sent to Toton for tyre turning, and also received a full bogie overhaul[10] In 2006 the coach was sent away to Ramparts at Derby for welding work, particularly around the lavatory areas and gangways. The Ramparts' staff primed and prepared 4509 and returned it in a 'ready to run' condition, although still requiring finishing and interior decoration. After the seats were refitted it ran throughout the busy August and September months unadorned and in a 'shiny maroon half-gloss condition'; the curtailed overhaul meant that the lavatories were not renovated until winter 2006-07.[11]

Also during 2006, 4509 was donated to the SVR Rolling Stock Trust charity (which had been formed in 2001 and later became the SVR Charitable Trust). The Trust provided new batteries and a slow-speed charging device in that year as an additional improvement.[12][13]

During winter 2011-12 4509 was found to be leaking, requiring the roof vents re-bedded and two sections of damaged ceiling panel replaced. The six door locks were showing signs of wear and were replaced.[14]

In late 2012 it was arranged that 4509 would be repainted into crimson and cream livery, using 'restricted funds' from the Charitable Trust, in order to balance the seating capacity between Set C and Set M more evenly. A 'full service' was carried out ahead of this, but it transpired that 4509 would be needed in Set M for that year's 'Santa Heralds' so the coach was returned to traffic. It re-entered the paint shop in mid-January 2013 for the work to be completed.[15]

4509 is still owned by the SVR Charitable Trust. It is in regular service and is now normally used in the BR Crimson & Cream running set.

See also


  1. The TSO designation remained in use for Mark 3A and Mark 4 Open Standard carriages, although no 'ordinary' SO coaches were constructed after the Mark 2a in the mid 1960s.


  1. Longworth (2013) p.197.
  2. SVR Stock Book Ninth Edition
  3. SVR News 78
  4. SVR News 81
  5. SVR News 84
  6. SVR News 97, 99, 100, 101
  7. SVR News 121
  8. SVR News 124
  9. SVR News 127
  10. SVR News 149
  11. SVR News 155, 158
  12. SVR News 156
  13. 'BR Rolling Stock', SVR Charitable Trust
  14. SVR News 176
  15. SVR News 182, 184