GREAT Central Railway-based restored Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway wooden-bodied carriage No. 946 is to feature in a commemoration in Edinburgh to mark the end of the First World War.
The 50-seat coach is being prepared for the 600-mile journey on a 60ft Duncan Milner Haulage low loader from its home at the Nunckley Hill Museum on the Mountsorrel branch to Leith, where a solemn assembly honouring the former Royal Scots Regiment in the heart of its home community is to take place in front of the Malmaison Hotel and the Scottish Merchant Navy Memorial on Saturday, November 10. It will also appear outside Sheffield Victoria station on Sunday, November 11.
The 1888-built carriage is not only one of the last of the type in existence, but it has special significance in that it is similar to those involved in Britain’s worst-ever rail disaster, at Quintinshill on May 15, 1915, when 435 troops and passengers were killed, burned or maimed in a five-train collision.
Just 50 officers and men of the 7th battalion of Royal Scots survived out of the 500 who set out from Larbert to continue a delayed journey to Liverpool docks to embark for the Gallipoli campaign.
Mainly wooden-bodied on a mostly timber frame, with tanks beneath the floors to supply the gas lighting, the coaches were considered to be a big fire risk, and by the First World War most had been removed from GCR passenger service, but some were nonetheless called up for war service by the Government’s Railway Operating Division. The fire risk fears came true at Quintinshill.
Read more in Issue 247 of HR – on sale now!