1719E 'Beavertail' Observation Car
The 1719 'Beavertail' is one of two observation cars built at Doncaster in 1937 for the "Coronation" high speed train services between London and Edinburgh. This was a revolution in rail services that set the pattern for all future high speed trains in the UK and elsewhere.
As such, 1719 is amongst the most historically important carriages in the UK. 1719 only ran in its original form for 2 years before the war when high speed sets were stored. They remained in store until 1948, when various vehicles returned to service as general passenger stock. They never ran as a full set again, and the observation cars saw only occasional use on charter trains until transferred to the West Highland lines in 1956.
Their original observation end gave limited views so the decision was taken by British Railways to rebuild them with a more angled end window. 1719E was rebuilt in 1959 at Cowlairs works Glasgow and emerged with its maroon livery. It is to this form that recent restoration returned the vehicle. 1719E continued in service until 1968, when it was bought by the Lochty Private Railway. Here it trundled up and down until that railway closed in 1990. It has since been restored and now runs on the Great Central Railway.
Great Central Railway
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Restored by Railway Vehicle Preservations
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Page Last Updated: 13 May 2013