Darstaed Southern Railway Maunsell Olive Green Coaches
The early years of Southern Railway (SR) in terms of coach provision was generally one of economy, rebuilding and generally making do with existing stock of the former companies which was predominantly non-corridor, often without lavatories and in many circumstances made up of coach rakes with fixed formation permanently-coupled sets. Much of this was appropriated to provide additional capacity for busy summer-time work. Throughout its history, SR did not build any new locomotive-hauled non-corridor coaches effectively passing on its inherited stock to British Railways (BR) a quarter of a century later.
When Richard Maunsell became CME of the newly created company he had a brief to bring to Southern the same level of travelling comfort passengers were enjoying on other group railways particularly for long-distance services such as the steam routes out of Waterloo to Bournemouth/Weymouth and the West of England. However, Maunsell and his team did not have the benefit of being able to produce a standard new non-corridor coach design that would be able to travel anywhere on SR metals because of width restrictions on former SECR and LBSCR routes in the eastern districts of the region.
Thus in the late 1920s Maunsell’s new 59’ corridor stock was produced (based on LSWR’s ‘Ironclad’ coach designs) with three different body widths but with a distinctive ‘Southern’ look. The coaches comprised 1st and 3rd class compartments with wide corridor windows and somewhat different from the other Big Four companies. The initial Maunsell stock for steam services was built on timber frames but with steel exterior panels with wooden edging strip to the fixed windows. In time open corridor coaches were introduced principally for dining services but these were nowhere as extensive as could be found on LMS. Notwithstanding, the Maunsell stock was used for lucrative summer holiday traffic and it should also be noted Southern was a keen supporter of dedicated Pullman services and with the use of a mix of older Pullman cars being used on West Country services.
The coaching stock provides an opportunity to create authentic cross-country through trains to Southern stations such as the Birkenhead and Birmingham GWR route to Bournemouth and the Liverpool and Manchester LMS route to the south coast via Bath on the Somerset & Dorset line.
Darstaed’s six-wheeled Southern Railway ex LBSCR parcels van and milk van may be run with Maunsell coaches. Southern Railway Maunsell olive green mainline coaches are released in two sets of three coaches.