Old Gentleman’s Saloon

Perfect for small parties, this carriage is sure to offer your guests an experience of heritage luxury…

This coach was built for party travel in 1871 by the Stockton & Darlington Railway as a six-wheeled 3rd class saloon with clerestory roof. After being taken into North Eastern Railway stock in 1876 and numbered 1661, it was converted to an inspection saloon for the use of the Locomotive Superintendent at Gateshead Locomotive Works. It was normally hauled by the locomotive “Aerolite” (this locomotive has also been preserved and can be seen at the National Railway Museum).

In 1904 the coach was lengthened by 10 feet with an adjoining small attendants/kitchen compartment added to the end and placed on a new bogie frame, becoming the personal saloon of the North Eastern Railway’s Locomotive Superintendent, Wilson Worsdell.

The photographs below show the coach as rebuilt with smaller rounded windows than those present today and long bench seats, not evident in its present guise.

In 1934 the coach was rebuilt again by the London & North Eastern Railway with larger end observation and side windows. This is the form in which the coach is seen today with the main saloon seating 15 passengers, mostly on individual chairs.

The coach was withdrawn from traffic in 1969 and was purchased for preservation by Society Member, John Dawson. The coach found fame as the “Old Gentleman’s” carriage in the 1970 EMI feature film “The Railway Children” In the 1990s ownership of the coach passed to Chris Lawson who paid for the carriage to be externally restored to its LNER condition by British Rail Engineering Ltd at York.

In the years following this the coach, due to its age, has been used sparingly on the KWVR, being used mainly for private parties and on vintage train days when, occasionally, cream teas are served.

Latterly the coach has been reunited with the story of the “The Railway Children”, taking on its role as the “Old Gentleman’s Saloon” to both the Waterloo Station and Kings Cross productions of the story in London.

Additional Information

  • The cost of the carriage includes a Day Rover Ticket for all your guests, therefore no additional tickets need to be purchased.
  • Everyone in your group must commence and end their journey at the same station.
  • The cost of drinks is additional to the cost of the hire.
  • The carriage seats up to 14 people
  • Price includes a full day hire during the allotted timetable.


Prices for the hire of the ‘Old Gentleman’s Saloon’ is by quotation only. Please inquire via email, group.bookings@kwvr.co.uk, or telephone, 01535 645214, 09.30 – 16.30 Monday – Friday for more information on the hire of this carriage.


Looking to add a catering option to your booking? We have a number of menu options available to suit your budget and preferences.

Please note that weekday bookings are only allocated on coloured dates on the timetable, dates marked in white are unavailable. Peak dates are those marked inside a yellow box on the time table attached here.

Absolutely everything went well. The overall atmosphere of the day was brilliant!

– Adam and Zach Naylor

Thank you once again for making our happy day even more wonderful. Thanks to your friendliness and outstanding service our little journey was such a pleasure

– Anonymous

For a package and further details to suit your individual needs, please contact the Group Bookings Team by email group.bookings@kwvr.co.uk or call Haworth Station 09.30 – 16.30, Monday to Friday on 01535 645214 and we will be happy to provide you with a competitive quote for a day that will be truly memorable.