LNER Gresley Buffet Car No.644

Accession number: 10029
Acquired: 1977
Location: Reserve Collection Building
Built: 1937, LNER York

Background Information

In the early days of railways, long-distance passengers packed a hamper or arranged for one to be supplied by a station hotel at the start of a journey, or delivered to the train during the journey.

Some services included extended stops so passengers could use station dining rooms. Dining cars began to be provided on trains from the 1880s, and have covered every variant from high quality restaurants to basic cafes. No.644 contains a kitchen, a serving counter and passenger seating, and was intended for use on long-distance and express services. It worked all over the LNER system, including periods in Scotland and on the East Coast main line.

The Buffet Cars were the longest lasting Gresley coaches in traffic, and some lasted long enough to be painted in the BR blue/grey corporate colours (which did not suit them…). Final withdrawals came in 1977, by which time they were the last wooden bodied coaches on British Railways. No.644 continued in service as a Buffet Car on SRPS Railtours.