LNER 7960 Kitchen Composite

LNER 7960 Kitchen Composite
LNER 7960 20160503.jpg
LNER Kitchen Composite 7960
Built By LNER Doncaster
Status In service
Number 7960
Other numbers 9162, SC9162E, DE321021
Built 1936
Designed By Gresley
Diagram 187
Lot 673
Type RC
Length 61ft 6in
Weight 42t 15cwt
Seats 12 first, 18 third (as built)
1980 Preserved on SVR
2015 Restoration completed


LNER Kitchen Composite (RC) 7960 was designed by LNER CME Sir Nigel Gresley and built at Doncaster in 1936 to LNER Diagram 187.[1] It was originally equipped with an anthracite-electric kitchen to serve meals into separate First and Third class saloons seating 12 and 18 respectively.


7960 in service

7960 was renumbered as 9162 as part of the LNER's 1943 re-numbering scheme. On Nationalisation in 1947, BR initially allocated an E prefix to indicate its LNER origin, with a further re-numbering to SC9162E after 1951.[2] It remained in use in the former GNS area of the LNER until the 1960s. Its regular diagram was Aberdeen to Inverness, northbound serving breakfast, dinner on return.

Following withdrawal from passenger service it was converted to a Mess Coach for Scottish Region track workers, as departmental number DE 321021 from December 1963.[1] The third class saloon was most altered to three sleeping compartments with a side corridor, and the former first class to a messroom complete with coal burning stove. Surprisingly the kitchen remained largely untouched although at some stage in its life the anthracite-electric cooker had been replaced with gas.

7960 in preservation

7960 arrived painted black and in run down condition on the SVR, from Perth in late 1980, having been purchased privately by Mr John Giles. The ownership later passed to Mr Phil James who spent the next 20 years painstakingly restoring it to original condition. Sadly he died before he was able to complete the lengthy restoration, and in January 2011 7960 was generously gifted by his widow Louise to the SVR Rolling Stock Trust (now The SVR Charitable Trust. Final completion of the kitchen and pantry took place in 2015, and 7960 entered service in May 2015. Phil James and Paul Bennett created a very interesting website, hosted by the Great Western (SVR) association which may be found at 7960 pages

On 5 April 2016 a contentious bronze sculpture by Hazel Reeves of Sir Nigel Gresley was unveiled during a ceremony at King’s Cross station in London.[3] 7960 was one of the stars of the show, on display on Platform 8.[4]

In 2019 7960 was used in "The Gin Train" and other similar events, where it was billed as "our 1936-built luxurious first class carriage (once hauled by the Flying Scotsman)"[5]

In 2022 gangway repairs followed a shunting accident. Also, a gas engineer has isolated two burners on the oven and installed heat-resistant extraction fans, which now allow 7960 to offer hot-work cooking when chartered[6].

See also