LMS 27270 Third Open

LMS 27270 Third Open
LMS 27270 Bewdley 20150320.jpg
LMS Third Open 27270
Built By LMS Wolverton
Status In service
Number 27270
Other numbers M27270M
Built 1946
Designed By Stanier
Diagram 1999
Lot 1402
Type QF, TO
Length 57ft
Weight 30T
Seats 56 third
1968 Arrived on SVR


LMS Open Third 27270 (QF /TO) was designed by Sir William Stanier and is one of three examples on the SVR. Building of this class began in 1938, but the Second Word War delayed the production of later batches.

The coach has a trussed steel underframe mounted on two LMS 4-wheel bogies, with a wooden frame body covered in sheet steel panels.[1] At 57ft in length it is shorter and lighter than a typical BR Mark 1 coach. It seats 56 passengers at tables either side of a central aisle, with two toilets in one of the two end vestibules. At the centre of the carriage a wooden partition with an open doorway separates the first four pairs of tables, labelled in the original Diagram as a "Smoking compartment", from the remaining three pairs in the "Compartment" at the toilet end.[2]



27270 was built in March 1946 at Wolverton as lot number 1402 to diagram number 1999.[3] It saw service with the LMS where it carried the later style LMS maroon livery with small scroll numbers and flat-topped "3's" denoting the class.[4] Service continued with BR's London Midland Region as M27270M[5].


27270 was one of seven vehicles to arrive on the SVR from Didcot Yard on 28 August 1968, having been rescued in working order and acquired in a 'package deal' by various groups and individuals. 27270's first owner was recorded as G.W. Ledger, while the other six vehicles comprised two GWR and four LMS coaches including sister LMS Third Opens 27218 and 27220.[4]

From the time of their arrival it was always intended that all the LMS carriages would eventually be restored to full LMS livery.[4] 27220 had been restored in that manner by 1971, but in 1972 the decision was made for 27270 to receive only a "quick repaint" in "standard maroon".[6]

27270 remained under the same ownership through 1974.[7] By late 1976 a number of the LMS coaches were in poor condition, including 27270 which needed completely re-panelling and re-upholstering. Around that time a Manpower Services Commission ("M.S.C.") job creation programme was being negotiated to renovate up to six coaches for the SVR, with 27270 being one of those selected.[8] After some delays while funding issues were sorted and other vehicles received attention, the M.S.C. team finally began the major overhaul of 27270 at the end of 1977, by which time the carriage had become SVR company property. Extra timber had to be put into the framing as the original had become so full of screw holes that it was no longer possible to fix panels onto it, and a section of rotten timber had to be replaced. The carriage was completely re-panelled using galvanised sheeting rather than the rust-prone mild steel sheeting as originally built; an interesting 'feature' in the final result being that one side had welded joints and was therefore smooth-sided while the other side had the joints beaded over with half-moon beading due to the M.S.C. team having lost the services of their welder! The interior was also completely re-upholstered and the exterior repainted, after which 27270 re-entered traffic at Easter 1979.[9][10]

The carriage ran for several years with no problems, but was withdrawn at the end of 1985 and stored at Eardington due to leaking gutters and windows. It was also found that incorrect primer had been used during the M.S.C. overhaul, resulting in the paint "falling off in newspaper sized sheets". 27270 moved to the dock siding at Bridgnorth in autumn 1986 to be made watertight and was then repainted in Bridgnorth paint shop, on this occasion in LMS pre-War livery including round top 3s on the doors. It re-entered service on Easter Sunday 1987.[11]

During 1991 a number of carriages suffered from wheel flats. 27270 was the worst affected, being so severe that "you could actually see it bouncing on the rails". A replacement wheelset was fitted at Kidderminster Carriage Works.[12]

At the end of March 1995 the LMS set was vandalised at Kidderminster. The other carriages were quickly returned to service after swapping some spares, but the damage to 27270 resulted in it being withdrawn from service as it was already approaching its '10 year overhaul'.[13] This took place at Bewdley Carriage and Wagon Department as a long term project. The body overhaul required work to the framing, although the 1978 galvanised main side panelling was completely re-used with only patch repairs. The four exterior doors were re-built and re-skinned, the latter modification strengthening the door to make it longer lasting. New stainless steel toilet tanks were also fitted. The carriage was re-upholstered in 'Network South East' moquette, with all the interior and veneer surfaces being re-varnished at the same time, the overhaul being completed in the second half of 1996.[14][1]

27270 returned to Kidderminster paint shop in early 2002, having been losing paint from the galvanised panels over the last 12 months. No major structural issues were found, although a number of panel joints required re-welding before a complete repaint in LMS 1945-style maroon livery was carried out, the whole exercise taking 2 months. The destination board brackets had been missing since being destroyed and lost during the M.S.C. job creation scheme; appropriately their replacements were made by a lad on a Work Experience placement.[15]

Another visit to Kidderminster Carriage Works took place in 2008. One of the stainless steel toilet tanks had been leaking and was removed and returned to the maker for attention. At the same time various other repairs were carried out, among them resolving another issue left over from the M.S.C. overhaul. The anti-rattle skates and springs on the sliding windows, which help stop the windows from derailing on their runners, had been omitted during fitting. As well as rattling, the sliding windows had fallen out several times, usually onto the table or on one occasion onto the grass by the lineside! A batch of new brass skates were made in house and new springs ordered. In September the carriage was re-finished in LMS 1945-style maroon livery, the yellow chrome lining and lettering applied six years before being protected by careful masking.[16][1]

27270 is owned by SVR(H) and sees regular service in the LMS Maroon set (Set L).

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Notice displayed in 27270
  2. Longworth Volume 2 (2019) p.283.
  3. Jenkinson & Essery (1977) p. 131.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 SVR Stock Book Second Edition
  5. Longworth (2019) p.285.
  6. SVR News 25
  7. SVR Stock Book Fifth Edition
  8. SVR News 41
  9. SVR News 48-52,118
  10. SVR Stock Book Sixth Edition
  11. SVR News 81-84.
  12. SVR News 100
  13. SVR News 114
  14. SVR News 118-119
  15. SVR News 141
  16. SVR News 161, 164