Midland Railway 6 Wheeled Composite, no. 358

The only Midland Railway carriage on our Midland Railway branch line, 358 is now on the road to recovery.

Coach 358 was built at Derby in 1886 and had a central baggage compartment flanked by two First Class and two Third Class compartments. The Worth Valley branch line would have witnessed this type of carriage in the early years of last century. As the Midland Railway was one of the first railways to provide third class carriages with the luxury of upholstered seats, not only were there two First Class compartments of this coach with six well-upholstered winged and elbowed seats, three to each side of a compartment, but also the two Third Class compartments would have had seats upholstered in woollen repp, buttoned and stuffed with horsehair.

The coach had a long life in service and was finally withdrawn from Edge Hill where it was used as a Stores Van by the Signal & Telegraph Engineer. It was purchased by the Vintage Carriages Trust (VCT) from British Railways in July 1968, travelling to Keighley by rail on its own wheels.

In preservation only the exterior of the vehicle had been restored. This is the only Midland Railway vehicle on the Worth Valley Railway, which was of course a former Midland branch. With this omission in mind and other restoration projects complete, the decision was made in 2013 to restore this historical vehicle to its former glory and so it entered the VCT workshop at Ingrow West and work is now well advanced on its renovation.