The F” Series : Saloons (The Corridors”)

The saloons (or “corridors”) were supplied by the Metropolitan Carriage & Wagon Co., Ltd., of Saltley in Birmingham and were the first of the railway’s carriages to be constructed with wooden bodies on steel underframes arriving in 1905.  They are 37’  0” long and 10’ 3” from rail to roof and have all survived, partially owing to their infrequent use as owing to their design with no opening windows they were found to be stuffy and unpopular despite the fact they were designed to give passengers a better view; in 1983 one of the two first class saloons, F.36, was selected for use on a Royal Train when the Queen Mother travelled on the railway.  The other first class saloon F.35 was converted in 1980 to be the central part of the new Bar Set with F.31 and F.32, at which time half the seating was removed from and a small bar fitted gangways connecting the carriages were also fitted.  When F.31 was withdrawn F.29 was fitted with a corridor.  Sketches survive which show that some consideration was given to building them with a large luggage compartment.  All saloons with the exception of F.36 have been fitted with corridor connections to form the dining train with F.27 (ii) at the rear providing the kitchen facilities and generator, this commenced in 2013. The first class area is retained in F.35 which forms the central portion of the dining train with a bar installed.