6815 — LMS Period 3, Corridor Brake Composite

6815 built in 1935

Constructed as a first class and third class corridor brake carriage (BCK) at the LMS Wolverton Carriage and Wagon works to diagram 1932. After withdrawal from revenue earning service, converted in 1967 to a Chief Civil Engineers Staff and Dormitory Coach for use with Southern Region ballast cleaners. Renumbered to departmental stock as DS70247. TOPS code: QPW. Dimensions 62' 0" x 9' 0".

6815 (LMS code 'CBB', BR code 'BCK') was constructed in 1935 as a composite (first and third class) corridor brake at the LMSR Wolverton Carriage and Wagon Works to diagram 1932 and is one of a batch of 35 to lot 861. After withdrawal from revenue earning service 6815 was converted to a Chief Civil Engineer's staff and dormitory coach in 1967 for use with Southern Region ballast cleaners and renumbered to departmental stock as DS70247, TOPS code, QPW. Dimensions 62' 0" x 9' 0".

Photograph 442: Harvey Coppock

Photograph 442: Harvey Coppock

Illustrates 6815 as first viewed by a small group of LMS carriage enthusiasts during a hastily arranged visit to Old Oak Common in October 1993. This carriage was one of the last LMS carriages to be disposed of by way of the BR tender list system. Had we not made a bid for it, 6815 would no doubt have eventually been dispatched to a scrap-yard in South Wales. There were two other LMS carriages at Old Oak at the same time, KDM395498 which the 'Darley Dale TK Group' subsequently purchased and DM395802 (also shown) was purchased for the proposed Ywstwyth Valley Railway near Aberystwyth.

Photograph 431: Colin Fearnley

Photograph 431: Colin Fearnley

After a successful bidding process delivery day arrived on March 22nd 1994, 6815 accompanied by a police escort passes through Baslow in Derbyshire on the final leg of the journey from Old Oak Common depot to Darley Dale.

Photograph 429: Colin Fearnley

Photograph 429: Colin Fearnley

6815 nearing its ultimate destination, but along the way it must first cross the picturesque medieval bridge over the River Wye in Bakewell.

Photograph 430: Colin Fearnley

Photograph 430: Colin Fearnley

Great care was taken by the driver of the Allelys Heavy Haulage low loader as the procession negotiated the centre of Bakewell and here captured swinging well over onto the opposite side of the main A6 road. Many local people stopped to gaze in wonder and surprise and some telephone lines which crossed the main road had to be lifted up to clear the roof ventilators. Despite all the care taken when 6815 arrived at Darley Dale there were several small branches caught in the roof ventilators !

Photograph 439: Derek Mason

Photograph 439: Derek Mason

Until the Peak Rail line was extended to Rowsley any incoming rail vehicle had of necessity to be delivered and unloaded at Darley Dale Station. This necessitated the complete removal of one of the crossing gates there.

Photograph 433: Derek Mason

Photograph 433: Derek Mason

Large numbers of wooden railway sleepers were laid between the tracks to construct a level area over which the tractor/trailer vehicles could pass. The whole exercise took three days and many man-hours to execute and therefore any such stock moves were planned to involve as many vehicles as possible requiring this operation.

Photograph 434: Derek Mason

Photograph 434: Derek Mason

In order to allow entry of long vehicles into the south yard at Darley Dale the crossing gates had to be unbolted and removed together with a large section of the boundary fencing. At 62 feet the length of 6815 is unique for an LMS day coach.

Photograph 435: Derek Mason

Photograph 435: Derek Mason

Once into the confines of Darley Dale south yard the task of manoeuvring the wide load between the yard office and the mess hut were considerable and the Allelys Heavy Haulage team had to keep a sharp look-out on both sides to ensure that neither facility was reduced to matchwood!

Photograph 436: Derek Mason

Photograph 436: Derek Mason

It must be said that the Allelys staff make tight manoeuvring appear to be so easy to an onlooker. Once safely drawn into the final unloading position, the task of detaching the tractor unit from the trailer could begin.

Photograph 437: Derek Mason

Photograph 437: Derek Mason

The tractor unit has been detached and driven away, the end of the trailer has been lowered to the ground and into a position between the rails ready for the assembly of the unloading ramp.

Photograph 438: Derek Mason

Photograph 438: Derek Mason

Due to the confines of the south yard, use of the tractor unit to facilitate unloading is impractical. 6815 is secured to the trailer winch will control its rate of descent and BR Mk1 restaurant car (1981), owned by Colin Fearnley and scheduled to leave Darley Dale on the same day, was used in conjunction with a diesel shunter for the unloading process. Arrivals and departures were always synchronised as the effort required to facilitate these movements was considerable, indeed this exercise was to be the last of it kind.

Photograph 432: Dave Winter

Photograph 432: Dave Winter

6815 slowly descends the rail ramp to ground level under the control of the diesel shunter and the restaurant car, however the illustration shows just how precarious this was. Both vehicles are fitted as original with oval buffers, which is unusual for an LMS carriage, and any sudden halt to the unloading movement at this stage of the operation could have resulted in buffer override and subsequent locking. All went well and 6815 reached ground level again soon after this shot was taken to the relief of all concerned!

Photograph 440: Derek Mason

Photograph 440: Derek Mason

During the inspection at Old Oak Common depot, the group examined the interior of the carriage. Although modified for use with a ballast cleaning machine, 6815 retains a number of original features. Here Harvey Coppock and David Winter are pondering the alterations made to first class section of the vehicle.

Photograph 441: Dave Winter

Photograph 441: Dave Winter

One of the more intact areas is the third class section situated at the opposite end to the guard's brake compartment. Original polished wood finishes have survived together with two and a half third class compartments. Originally fitted with 3 and half 'thirds', 6815 has a coupé adjacent to the toilet. The coupé is half a third class compartment where seated passengers face a blank wall. The single sliding entrance door to the coupé can be seen at the left-hand side of the photograph, an ideal area one would have thought for reservation by courting couples?

External Links

6815 as departmental DS70247 at Stewarts Lane 12/03/1978 — Paul Bartlett

6815 as departmental DS70247 at Woking 01/04/1981 — Paul Bartlett

6815 as departmental DS70247 at Woking 01/04/1981 (2) — Paul Bartlett

6815 as departmental DS70247 at Radyr 20/08/1992 — Paul Bartlett