With the big day of the GNRS Day Out looming on July 7th, I was somewhat concerned that we might not have the Dia 245 5 compartment 3rd on site at Quainton Road.

However, thanks to all those who have kindly donated so far, and one exceptional person who made a massive contribution at the beginning of June, we started to negotiate transport for the carriage down from Tanfield to The Buckinghamshire Railway Centre. By good fortune, Tanfield had a special event coming up on 20th June, so a number of transport companies were able to offer a very special price for the delivery. Mind you it does seem strange to talk about using the roads, and not the railways for moving rolling stock.

The Dia 245 was loaded very early on June 13th 2024 by a specialist transport team, and had been carefully cocooned to ensure that no more damage was done to it during transportation.

I assume it came at least partway down the A1, but stupidly forgot to ask, but it arrived at Quainton Road the same day, where the specialists also down loaded it onto one of the sidings in the goods yard. When I saw it on Friday 14th, it had still not lost its travelling clothes, although at one end they had torn a little. A number of yard movements are happening on Monday, so it has been decided that it will stay out over the weekend.

Stripping and Cataloguing

On Monday 17th, the carriage will go into the shed where it will spend the next few months being carefully stripped. Each item will be catalogued, photographed and marked so that once restored, it can be rebuilt precisely. The team already has experience with the 6 compartment excursion GNR carriage, and since GNR no 836* is similar, and actually more complete, specifically in the underframe department, the restoration should be a lot quicker, and smoother as a process.

Raising Funds and the Future

It is interesting to note that this was the quickest initial money raising project that has occurred at Quainton Road, for the first stage of a restoration for which I would again like to thank all those who kindly sent their hard earned money, particularly at this time in the economic cycle. Although we have not yet reached our initial target of £5,000.00, getting it to Quainton Road has meant that we can start the proper preservation of an iconic ex GNR Howlden 6 wheeler after it has spent more than half its 130 or so year life either as a mess van at an NCB site, or lying around on open tracks being beaten by those northern Winters.  

The real importance of this project is that it will eventually allow for a 3 GNR 6 wheel teak Train to be run at Quainton Road regularly, and also signifies the resurgence of the GNRS as a stopping point for information about one of the premier pre-grouping railways in Britain. In addition, it will allow those in the southern counties a chance to see what the joy of early teak carriages can be.

We will need to continue trying to find ways of raising funds to keep the restoration going forwards, and more importantly giving it impetus. If you have not previously donated because you thought is was a pipe dream that would never happen, please consider a small regular monthly payment to replace one take away cup of coffee a week, or single payments if you would prefer. Also if you are a tax payer, it is still possible to donate and ensure that we get up to 25% more back from the government in gift aid. We have a suitable form available on request.

Going forward, if you do decide to donate, could you please let us know so that we may provide you with a certificate of donation. Also remember donors get special discounts at Quainton Road, even if you are unable to make the July 7th date. You can contact me at paul@d245restoration.org.uk if you would like more information, or would like to confirm how to donate. Also, the donation details are on the D245 page on the GNRS Society website.

Paul Craig

* we believe the carriage is Number 836

Travelling to Quainton Road

If you would like to see the carriage at Quaintor Road, the only real way of getting there is by car or minibus. The nearest station is about 10 miles away in Aylesbury.

From London I would suggest taking the M1 to Watford, and then following the A41 to Aylesbury, and then find the road to Bicester which is the A 413. Drive through Waddesdon Village, past Waddesdon Manor, which is a good place to let your family visit if they are not really train buffs, whilst you carry on down the road to a set of traffic lights and turn right up to the Buckingham Railway Centre which is signposted .

For those coming from further north, I would suggest using the M40 to Bicester, and then the A 413 to Aylesbury, and just before Waddesdon, turn left at the traffic lights to the Centre, it is I told about 10 miles. Coming from that way if you are brave enough with the family credit card you could leave none enthusiasts at the Bicester discount retail centre.

On the day we might be able to arrange transport either from members who are travelling though Aylesbury, or by Mini bus if we know numbers in advance. Please let Chas Levin know directly.