Appeal for help with restoring railway coach

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Members of the Bramley Line Heritage Railway Trust are appealing for help to restore a 136 year old railway coach that used to operate on the Wisbech Branch at the end of the 19th Century.

The coach, built in 1876 in Peterborough for the Great Eastern Railway, is number 20 of a type called a Brake Third. Historical research by the Trust has established that it used to operate on the March-Wisbech-Kings Lynn line. It is the aim of the Trust to restore the coach to full working order so it can once again carry passengers on the Bramley Line.

The coach has been kindly offered free to the Trust but it will cost about £1,000 to get it transported to a secure site where restoration work can begin. Once this has happened, a full estimate of the cost of restoration can be made.

Trust Engineering Coordinator David Bunting explained “If we have enough volunteers with the expertise and skills, much of the restoration of the wooden body work and interior can be completed here. Otherwise we may have to ship the coach out to a specific heritage restoration group to do the work for us. Specialist heritage skills will, nevertheless, have to be bought in to restore it to passenger service.”

Trust Chairman Simon King added “we hope that the restoration of this coach will attract grant funding but we will still need to raise a significant part of the cost ourselves. We are grateful for donations of money and any other help to restore this coach”.

Anyone interested in helping with the restoration project or making a donation can ring 07951 769 180. Details are also available from the Wisbech Tourist Information Centre and Wisbech and March libraries.