The Swindon & Cricklade Railway's Vintage Train Project
Taff Vale Railway 1st/2nd composite No 73

Background The Taff Vale Railway was one of the oldest and most extensive of the South Wales companies. While it is rightly remembered as a 'coal railway' for its intensive traffic from the South Wales pits, it also ran passenger trains from its earliest days. The Taff Vale was taken over by the GWR in 1922. Taff Vale No 73 being prepared to go to Appleby Heritage Centre
No 73, stripped of old paintwork and some unsuitable replacement panels, ready to go to the Appleby Heritage Centre.
Taff Vale No 73 on its return from Appleby Heritage Centre
9th July 2009 - No 73, back from the Appleby Heritage Centre and on its own wheels. Seen here with some of the people taking part in the restoration at the railway.
Taff Vale No 73 in Blunsdon car park
16th October 2013 - No 73 in the car park at Blunsdon, with new seating and other components being loaded. It looks very small beside a diesel shunter!



More detail on Welsh Railways Research Circle web site
Carriage
No 73
No 73 is believed to be unique in preservation. While other Taff Vales carriages have been preserved, none have the 1st/2nd composite layout of No 73.
Subsequent life Once sold out of railway service, No 73 was converted as a dwelling and sited on land in Swindon used as the 'overwintering' quarters for a fairground family.
      Here, it was excellently maintained and became the home of the family's 'granney', who steadfastly refused to leave for the rest of her life.
      When it became vacent, it was offered to the railway and was moved to Blunsdon in 1985.
At the railway Here, as a 'grounded' body, it served as an office, First Aid room and store for some 20 years. Thanks to the efforts of one member in particular it was meticulously maintained, providing an excellent subject for restoration as a railway vehicle. The decision to do so was taken in 2005, when the Vintage Train Project was officially launched.
      Events then moved comparitively quickly. A grant of 20,000 was secured - sufficient for restoration of the basic vehicle. The work was awarded to the Appleby Heritage Centre and, after stripping the unwanted paint from the exterior, No 73 went away towards the end of 2006. In its absence, a suitable chassis was secured (from a GWR Fruit D), and a further grant of 6,000 allowed it to be sent to Appleby, where it was overhauled and shortened by 2ft 3in to fit the coach body. No 73 was delivered back to the railway on 9th July 2009.
      Since then, work has concentrated on internal fitting-out and adding suitable brake gear.
As at November 2013, the coach visited the car park at Blunsdon to take on board all the new seating, armrests and various smaller components. The other major task is to finish external paining and livery details.
S&CR
main page
Project
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Cambrian
No 110
Toplight
No 7545
N London
No 111
Taff Vale
No 73
Brake
No 422
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