GNR 2701 Composite Corridor
|GNR 2701 Composite Corridor|
GNR (LNER) Corridor Composite No 2701
|Built By||GNR Doncaster|
|Other numbers|| LNER: 2701N, 42701 |
BR: E42701, E42701E, CC157,
|Seats||21 first, 24 third|
|1958||Converted to camping coach|
GNR 2701 was designed by Nigel (later Sir Nigel) Gresley and built at Doncaster in August 1922 to GNR Diagram 164K as one of a batch of ten ‘Vestibule Composite’ carriages (the LNER generally used the term ‘Vestibule’ when describing corridor stock). It is a Corridor Composite (CK) seating 21 first class passengers in three and a half compartments and 24 in four third class compartments. It is the oldest of the 'Gresley Teaks' on the SVR, being the only one built before the LNER came into being in the 1923 grouping.
GNR 2701 in service
The carriage was involved in a collision at Retford during its first year of use, but survived and was returned to service. While in passenger-carrying service it was renumbered on a number of occasions. On grouping in 1923, the newly created LNER initially allocated a suffix to each carriage number based on the area of origin and accordingly 2701 became 2701N. This system proved unsatisfactory and in April 1925 the suffix was replaced by a numeric prefix, with 4 being the Great Northern section, resulting in a new number of 42701. On Nationalisation in 1947 BR in turn allocated a regional prefix to its newly inherited carriage fleet based on the area of origin with E being the Eastern Region, resulting in E42701. Finally the introduction of the BR Mk 1 stock in the early 1950s saw all carriages given a regional prefix to indicate the area to which the carriage was allocated (with E again being the Eastern region) and the letter denoting the pre-Nationalisation area of origin becoming a suffix, resulting in the final number of E42701E.
It remained in passenger carrying service until 1958 when, together with sister carriage No 69, it was converted at Stratford to a camping coach, renumbered CC157, and stationed at Mundsley until closure in 1964. It was then transferred into Departmental stock to be used as a Divisional Engineer Messing and Sleeping Coach for which it was given the number DE321089. Finally it was transferred into Internal User stock as number 041593, serving as a CCE Staff and Workshop coach. Its long and varied career on "The Big Railway" ended c1980 at Boston serving as the painter's bothy.
GNR 2701 in preservation
2701 was then purchased by the landlord of the Plough Inn, a few miles away at Swineshead. Following a difficult road transfer involving a lorry and two cranes recounted here it was to be converted to a dining room, but the project failed to gain planning permission. Despite an attempt to preserve it in Norfolk, 2701 was moved to another pub at Stoneyford Lodge in Derbyshire, also with the intention of use as a dining room, but this time the adjacent open cast mine was extended over its intended site.
2701 was purchased in 1994 by The LNER (SVR) Coach Fund from Stoneyford Lodge, with a view to restoration. The move to the SVR was achieved by Allelys with the aid of a lorry, two cranes and some difficulty. A video of the move can be seen here The Big Lift Initially there was some confusion over the identity of the carriage; the SVR Stock Book 9th edition describes the carriage as “Our example, assumed to be No 69…” and lists it as such.
Filming took place in October 2000 for an episode of the 2001 TV series “ Off the Rails” featuring Vince Henderson. The restoration of GNR 2701 was one of the items featured. In 2001 the Heritage Lottery Fund awarded a grant of £84k towards the cost of restoration, while in 2004 the SVRA raffle 'Bums on Seats' raised around £8,000 in aid of 2701 and LMS 7511 Restaurant First Open. GNR No 2701 entered SVR service in July 2008, being formally launched into service on 16th August of that year by Mr Tim Godfrey, a grandson of Sir Nigel Gresley. It was declared the overall winner in the Heritage Railway Association Carriage & Wagon competition 2009.
In late 2014 2701 received an overhaul and revarnish at Kidderminster Carriage works, being released to traffic in time for the start of the 2015 season.
Early in 2016, a principal supplier of 24 Volt LED lamp bulbs introduced a 40 Watt equivalent "golf ball" style bulb, the installation of which would improve lighting levels and reduce power consumption. A public appeal raised sufficient money to replace all of the lamp bulbs in the LNER carriages of set N. The electrician reports that since the replacement, Set N has required very little top up charging from battery chargers as the dynamos are now able to supply sufficient current to charge the batteries (as they should).GWR Corridor Third No. 1146). 
Railway Heritage Register Carriage Survey
- Longworth (2018) pp.175,368.
- LNER (SVR) Coach Fund
- Longworth (2018) pp. 368, 474, 476.
- SVR Stock Book 9th Edition
- SVR News 149
- Railway Heritage Register Carriage Survey