Empress Van F.28
F.28 is the second of two identical luggage vans purchased in 1897 and dubbed Empress Vans owing to it being the jubilee year of Queen Victoria; similar in dimensions to the half-luggage carriages F.19 and F.20 but with no passenger accommodation, it was used in connection with the Luggage In Advance service on the south line for the heavy boat trains.
Latterly the carriage was used as an ambulance train during road closures on the T.T. Course which was close-by to much of the north line route. It survived the closures and was also later used to accommodate campers, fitted out with bunk beds (as was sister F.27 at the same time).
Spending its latter years in the yard at Douglas Station in open storage, it was last repainted into the purple lake colour scheme it retains today in 1991 (being through-piped for vacuum at this time) and this is when it was last used in service to transport bicycles during that years' Cycle Week event on the island.
Today is is stored in the rear of the carriage shed at Douglas Station in a poor state of repair but unlikely to be restored as it would not be of any use to the railway as a luggage carrying vehicle in this day and age.
Removed from the carraige shed during shunting in June 2020 at Douglas Station with van Gr.12, note the Manx Northern Railway sample crests.
The interior of F.28 which is largely used for storage purposes, the carriage being stored in the paintshop at Douglas Station.
November 2012 and F.28 is stored in Douglas Workshops still carrying the remnants of purple lake applied to the carriage in 1992.
Sister F.27 (i) prior to being stripped down as patterns for the replica which also carries its name, showing traces of maroon paint.