They could be in service next summer
A pair of very rare vintage coaches have been introduced to the fleet at Ecclesbourne Valley Railway and could be in service by next summer.
The team at the Derbyshire railway are in the process of sprucing up the vintage carriages for passengers to enjoy.
Consisting of a 1935 First Class Railway Car and a 1910 Saloon Carriage, the new recruits were a “spontaneous” long term hire by the company.
Ecclesbourne Railway commercial manager, Leigh Gration, said: “We are still in the planning stages in terms of what the services will be.
“It was a last minute opportunity to grab them.”
Mr Gration described both vintage vessels as very rare and said they were a unique addition to the fleet.
The older of the two cars, the Saloon Carriage, was originally built by the Great Northern Railway.
At the time, it was used to accommodate passengers with disabilities.
“It was called the ‘invalid saloon’, which is obviously not appropriate now, but it would have been used by people who wanted to privately hire it for disabled relatives,” Mr Gration said.
He said the large windows at the back of the carriage give a “panoramic view of the stunning Ecclesbourne Valley.”
Divisional managers would also have used the windows to survey the tracks while the carriage was in motion, he said.
The other train is a First Class Railway Car whose purpose was to wine and dine passengers in style.
Inside, there are 12 “massive luxury first class seats” resembling comfortable armchairs seated around wooden tables.
There’s also a small bar area, restaurant and a kitchen in side the carriage, built by London North Eastern Railway.
Volunteers at Ecclesbourne Railway are in the process of cleaning the carriages.
Once that is complete, Mr Gration said they aim to make them available for private hire for parties, birthdays and corporate events.
Keep an eye out on the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway website for updates on how the carriages are getting on.