GWR 80969 Inspection Saloon

GWR 80969 Inspection Saloon
Severn Valley 1940's Weekend (9236474289).jpg
GWR 80969 Inspection Saloon
Built By GWR Swindon
Status In service
Number 80969
Other numbers DW80969
Built 1948
Designed By Hawksworth
Diagram Q13
Lot 1701
Type Nondescript, INSP
Length 52ft 0in
Weight 31t (approx)
Seats 23 (as now used)
1973 Preserved on SVR


80969 is one of six 52ft inspection saloons (INSP) built at Swindon as lot number 1701 to diagram Q13.[1] It was ordered under FW Hawksworth’s tenure as GWR CME, although it has little visual similarity to his other carriage designs.[2]


80969 in service and preservation

80969 entered service in January 1948 in what had by then become the BR Western Region. As a Departmental vehicle allocated to the Western region it carried the number DW80969. It later moved to the Scottish Region, where it ended service at Cowlairs, Glasgow in 1973.

80969 in preservation

80969 arrived on the SVR at Bewdley on 6 April 1973, having been privately purchased by a member of the Great Western (SVR) Association. It was initially painted in BR all-blue livery and used as the General Manager’s office.[3][2] By 1977 ownership has been assumed by another private individual. 80969 then received an overhaul in summer 1978. The interior was stripped and re-varnished, while the plumbing and gas cooker were also overhauled. The exterior was repainted into Hawksworth era Chocolate and Cream livery and new carpets were fitted, with the overhaul being completed just in time for a return to service as an Observation Car in the September 1978 Enthusiasts weekend.[4]

80969 was used in the filming of Series 7 Episode 1 of Father Brown, first broadcast on 7 January 2019.[5]

In March 2019 it was outshopped from Kidderminster Carriage Works after a light overhaul where work took place on the water tank, pipework and upholstery, together with a repaint. 80969 continues in use as an Observation Car, normally being attached to the end of a rake of carriages for private hire or ‘cream tea’ specials.[6] It seats up to 23 people and is furnished with armchairs, settees and tables in the two saloons, which are separated by a corridor off which are found a toilet, small kitchen and guard’s office. It is finished in GWR 1942-47 livery, with the coat of arms insignia flanked by 'GREAT' and 'WESTERN'.

It is owned by Geoff Page.[7]

Sister vehicle GWR 80972 Inspection Saloon is also resident on the SVR.


Interior views of 80969

See also


  1. Railway Heritage Register Carriage Survey
  2. 2.0 2.1 SVR Stock Book Ninth Edition
  3. SVR News 28
  4. SVR News 48-49
  5. Review of episode on BBC iPlayer
  6. SVR Website
  7. Traffic notice 7 May 2022