The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway has released an update on their project to have an accessible coach in their heritage carriages fleet.
A weakness in the fleet of carriages has been known to be a second accessible carriage, and the line also found it short of a second BR corridor brake carriage.
With that in mind, the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway began looking for a BSK carriage – BSK stands for Brake Standard Corridor. The BSK coaches have a large luggage space which is ready to be converted into a spacious wheelchair compartment.
A BSK became available at the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Railway by some great luck, which is not far from Keighley.
The photos show that the carriage could be described as rundown, but after considering the work needed and cost, a proposal was sent to the KWVR Trust to purchase and restore the carriage.
The coach arrived at KWVR back in June, but little work was completed as the Carriage & Wagon Department were getting the operational fleet of coaches ready for the Back in Steam timetables. As Christmas approached, work turned to getting the CL (Composite Lavatory) coach back into service and turning the SLOs (Standard Lavatory Open) into compartments ready for the Elf Express trains.
This meant that the restoration of the BSK was pushed down the priority list.
However, the BSK is now subject to grant funding, so a lot of effort has now gone into the coach. The external work has progressed, and the rotten floor has been mostly removed, this was found in the large goods area, which will soon be ready to welcome wheelchairs.
There is still a lot to do, including removing asbestos by a specialist company in the passenger compartments, but it is definitely nice to see the project progressing.
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