Darstaed LMS Period I Coaches
Period I LMS coaches cover the early years from 1923-1928/29 and use a steel underframe design originating from Midland Railway days. A considerable quantity of conventional gangwayed stock corridor was built of a standard 57’ length during this period, mostly with four-wheeled bogies although six-wheeled bogeyed special stock such as sleeping and dining coaches were built based on a LNWR chassis design. Initially, they were of wooden framed, panelled and fully beaded body construction with semi-elliptical roofs and doors to all compartments. Coaches from this time are often referred to as ‘Fowler’ coaches but from 1925/26 ‘all steel’ built open thirds and brake thirds were constructed by outside contractors to assist the steel industry at the time.
LMS Period I coaches are considered to be extremely attractive with a panelled and beaded style in fully lined crimson lake livery. 1927 was an eventful year for the company with the creation of many new named train services to cement LMS’s newly established identity. The ‘Royal Scot’, ‘The Manxman’, ‘The Ulster Express’ and ‘The Lakes Express’ were launched in July whilst ‘The Irish Mail’, ‘The Welshman’, ‘The Mid-Day Scot’, ‘The Mancunian’, ‘The Thames-Clyde Express’, ‘The Devonian’ and the ‘Royal Highlander’ in September of that year. The following year (1928) other new special services were introduced such as ‘The Lancastrian’ (February), ‘The Merseyside Express’ (March) and ‘The Pines Express’ (May). Apart from a new generation of locomotives, coaching stock was considered an important development tool since it took the LMS ‘brand’ with named trains such as ‘The Devonian and The Pines Express’ beyond its normal territories.
Design changes came about with the development of high-waisted single window stock around 1928/29 which coincided with new prestige train services. The single window arrangement with the high-waist was not popular with passengers as visibility was compromised especially those in lounge brakes which had low seated chairs. A variety of Darstaed’s six-wheeled coaches and vans may be included in rakes of LMS Period I stock including the combination truck, fish, milk and fruit van and the parcels van. LMS Period I mainline coaches are released in sets of three coaches; the third set include two sleeper cars together with an additional full brake coach.