Bodmin & Wadebridge Railway 3rd Class open railway carriage, 1834
Railway carriage, four wheeled, 3rd class open, Bodmin & Wadebridge Railway, built in 1834. Length over buffers: 17 ft.
The Bodmin & Wadebridge third class open carriage is essentially a wagon with added wooden planks to provide seating for passengers. It is an original, rare survivor of the early days of railways in the United Kingdom.
Opened in 1834, the Bodmin and Wadebridge Railway was Cornwall’s first steam railway. It was built to transport minerals to the port at Wadebridge and to transport sand inland from the Camel Estuary where it was used as a soil improver on agricultural land. Passengers were also carried on parts of the line.
This carriage is one of three original Bodmin and Wadebridge carriages which were discovered in a shed when the North Cornwall Railway (London and South Western Railway) arrived at Wadebridge in 1895, after the Bodmin and Wadebridge Railway had closed to passengers in 1886. The carriages were preserved at the suggestion of G. A. Sekon, the first editor of The Railway Magazine. They were moved to Eastleigh works and then in 1915 were displayed at London’s Waterloo Station.
The carriage was claimed for the National Collection in 1975. It is displayed alongside a second class carriage and a composite first and second class carriage, both of which were also built in 1834 for Bodmin and Wadebridge Railway.