The 37-tonne Barnum carriage, no.666, due to return to NRM hands this week, is now wrapped up and astride the car park at The Heritage Centre at Ruddington where it has been stabled since it arrived in 2009 from Quorn on the Great Central Railway. Once the NRM has organised the transport this vehicle will be leaving but as yet we have not been advised of its destination. NRM assets are already well crammed into York, Shildon and elsewhere. However, as Trusteee Roger Penson comments: ” Getting the vehicle prepared for dispatch has been not easy and very time consuming, and further delayed due to NRM’s request for an asbestos survey to comply with regulations.” All clear, fortunately.

RST took the decision to return the Barnum as the likelihood long term of being able to rebuild and restore it have been thwarted by increasing demand from GCRN for track space and the Trust’s aims for secure and dedicated restoration workspace have been thwarted over a 20-year span.

That is certainly not the end of the Barnum adventure at Ruddington as progress is continuing to develop with Barnum no228 half way through body rebuild – and with bogies in the care of our sponsor, Nemesis Rail at Burton on Trent; Barnum half brake no.695 and Barnum open saloon in the line-up to form a complete Edwardian GCR train longer term.

“We have to say farewell to the NRM for the while – and hope that the Museum and Friends will undertake this rebuild to join our Barnum set one day”, comments Tony Keeble, Trustee, GCR Rolling Stock Trust.

High, wide and handsome Barnum – all parcelled and going back to NRM – Photo courtesy – Clyde Pennington

Highly characteristic NRM grab rails specially boxed up for safe transit on Barnum no.666 – Photo courtesy Andrew Coalwood

NRM Barnum ready to depart from Ruddington – Photo courtesy Andrew Coalwood