The Learning Coach is our new education and exhibition facility. It is located adjacent to the Ingrow Station platform in, what was, the goods yard loading bay.
The coach was built at Wolverton in 1924 as a corridor composite passenger coach, and had three 1st Class and four 3rd Class compartments. Toilets were provided at each end adjacent to the corridor connection.
It was built under Lot 30A, to Diagram 1694, and ran on the LMS Railway as number 3515 and classed by the LMS coding system as CPC. This was later changed by British Railways to CK. The coach was one of 201 vehicles to this design.
It was condemned for scrap in 1957 but was one of five to be chosen the year following for conversion for use as a Combined Riding & Tool Van. This entailed removal of four of the compartments, the space being utilised for tools and equipment stowage. One of the remaining compartments was fitted out as a kitchen, while the two remaining were retained for use by railway staff. The conversion was undertaken in 1958. Steel panels were installed to cover the majority of the sides, and large sliding doors were fitted to allow easy access to the tools and equipment. It carried the number DM395470 and was based at Southport from January 1959..
During 2013 the vehicle underwent major external repair at Rail Restoration North East Ltd of Shildon and returned to Ingrow in January 2014. Since then it has been internally repaired and converted for its new role as an educational facility and exhibition space. This has included the restoration of one of the compartments to its original third-class passenger-carrying splendour. Another compartment is being fitted out to provide a variety of moving and still images and also the means to view the digital archive of the Railway Magazine, kindly sponsored by Mortons Media.
The majority of the internal restoration and conversion work has been completed by Society volunteers. This has proven to be an invaluable opportunity for learning new skills and techniques during the refurbishment.
To see how we progressed the internal renovations up to July 2015, please view the short video clip – or for a more detailed guide to the whole Learning Coach project, please follow the link HERE.
To learn more of our education offering in the Learning Coach, please follow the link here.