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Query Corner

Q14.03. Travelling College.

Mentioned in the railway press at the time, the Travelling College had a Royal send-off with the Princess of Wales unveiling a Plaque on coach 99168 of the first Travelling College on 2nd May 1989. Also in a photograph of this was the Chairman of the College Board, former BR Manager in Wales, Hugh Gould. The formation of the train was given as 99160 – 99171 and it was said that there was hope for more trains to follow.

Over what route and for what period did this train tour, were there any more trains, and what happened to the coaches mentioned?

(MG)

Answer

The college was initially a great success but safety of the occupants whilst the train was sitting in sidings became an issue and bookings diminished rapidly, forcing the owning company into administration. Although launched at Cardiff in 1989, the train was operated by InterCity from Old Oak Common Depot. The twelve vehicles 99160-99171 were sold to the Bluebell Railway in 1993. There was also a restaurant car, 1815, which kept its number and is now billed as the dining car at Bere Ferrers Station. Most of the six dormitory coaches were made use of for volunteers’ sleeping accommodation, the three classroom coaches returned to passenger traffic and several vehicles were converted for other uses in preservation. At least three have been scrapped, others have moved, including one to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and one to Coalport station, but others remain on the Bluebell Railway. (MG:9297, RW)

last updated: 18/06/14