Talking Stock #39 Catering for Southern travellers by Hornby

As we are talking Southern Railway catering vehicles it might be worth sitting down and having some light refreshment to go with the read as things are going to get a little confusing and complex!

The Southern Railway even with its relatively short distances involved, when compared with some of the other railway companies, still provided full dining services by pairing a Kitchen dining car with a dining saloon on many of its services such as Waterloo – Exeter, Waterloo – Bournemouth / Portsmouth and Weymouth, Southampton boat train services and the Brighton to Plymouth, and some Victoria – Dover services. They could also be found on the though Cardiff, Newcastle and Birkenhead services off the Southern. These paired vehicles would either be inserted within the middle of longer coaching sets, especially for the through services off the Southern; or within a train made up from multiple shorter coach sets, such as on the West of England line.

The Southern Railway (and subsequent the Southern Region) contracted out its catering services: on the South Eastern and Central Divisions it was The Pullman Car Co, and the South Western Division was originally Spiers & Pond (the LSWR contractor) superseded by Frederick Hotels in 1930.

Hornby Southern catering vehicles since 2018

The R4816 Diagram 2656 Kitchen Dining First

The first newly tooled Southern Railway Maunsell catering versions were first introduced in by Hornby in 2018 and the subsequent ‘A’ versions currently available from Hornby are:
R4816 SR Maunsell Kitchen Dining First to Diagram 2656, No. 7869 and R4816A 7865 in unlined SR Green; and R4817 BR Maunsell Kitchen Dining First to Diagram 2651, with post 1939 / 1939 modifications, No. S7861S and R4817A No. S7858S in BR(s) Green.

Read my review of these models here.

The Diagram 2656 cars were built in 1932 and a later batch built in 1934 and other than the cooking equipment fitted were similar in body style to Diagram 2650. Hornby have chosen to produce these models in unlined olive-green which is totally correct for post 1940s condition.

One of these 1932 built vehicles No. 7864 (not to be confused with the Diagram 2652 Dining Saloon Thirds R40030 Number 7864 with the earlier use of the number being produced by Hornby in 2021 see below) is preserved at the Bluebell Railway and funds are actively being raised for its full restoration see here for details on how to contribute. 

The Diagram 2651 in BR(s) green represents one of the six, originally built in 1927, coaches post rebuilding around 1935 to include the characteristic recessed double doors. There were some slight bodyside differences between these and the subsequent 20 similar cars built in 1929 and 1930.

These catering vehicles would usually have been paired in service with Maunsell Diagram 2005 Open thirds numbered 1369 to 1400 such as R4537 Number 1400 or R4833 Number 1375 in SR Olive Green and R40101 number S1338S in BR(s) Green.

Hornby 2021 releases

The Hornby 2021 range sees the introduction of new tooling for two more Southern / BR(s) catering vehicles.

A Diagram 2652 Dining Saloon Third

[Edit] The as originally announced Maunsell Diagram 2652 Dining Saloon Thirds R40030 and R40030A as numbers 7864 and 7867 respectively representing them original condition in SR lined olive green. Six of these dining salon thirds were built in 1927 and they were in service actually paired with the first Maunsell Kitchen / Dining Firsts to Diagram 2651 that were also built in 1927 and numbered 7858-7863. Modellers licence would have been required  as this Diagram in original its 1927 form has not been produced by Hornby and therefore will have to be incorrectly paired with the Diagram 2656 Kitchen Dining First instead.

The main difference between the two diagrams is that the earlier Diagram 2651 did not originally have external door or the vestibule at the dining saloon end and have smaller kitchen window adjacent to the double doors. The first batch of the Diagram 2651 were later modified to include the end doors and vestibule (although the smaller window remained) these and the subsequent later builds, with differing sizes of windows, were built with vestibules were confusingly all to the same diagram number.

The six Diagram 2652 Dining Saloon Thirds only lasted in this from until 1930 when they were reclassed as Open Thirds and renumbered in the range 1363 to 1368.
[Edit] Hornby advised at the end of January that the models R40030 and R40030A to be numbered 1363 and 1366 respectively to the longer and more flexible usage 1930 to wartime period.
During the war all except No. 1367 were converted for Ambulance Train use during WWII. (see comments below).

Just to add to the complexity and confusion with the SR catering vehicles the Diagram 2656 having been built post 1932 took over the numbers 7864 to 7869!

A Diagram Third / Composite Dining Saloon

[Edit] Four of six, now reclassified Open Thirds were converted in July 1947 to Third / Composite Dining Saloons branded as ‘Restaurant Car’ to Diagram 2658 and numbered 7841-4 . These conversions have also been announced by Hornby as R40031 Maunsell Dining Saloon Third / Composite to diagram 2658 Number S7841S and R40031A Number S7843S in BR(s) Green.

These four were actually paired with the Kitchen / Buffet cars to Diagram 2659 that themselves were converted in 1947 from Diagram 2656 Kitchen / Dining firsts and not yet available in ready to run form. So therefore will have to be incorrectly paired with the Diagram 2651 Kitchen Dining First in BR(s) green instead. The other two were now fitted with 48 loose  2 +1 chairs and classified as First Class diners and numbered 7846/7 were were paired with newly converted Diagram 2661 Buffet cars for use on the reinstated ‘Night Ferry” service.

S7841S, previously numbered 7841, 1365 and 7866, is currently surviving awaiting full restoration at the Bluebell Railway.

Also announced for 2021 are further versions of the Kitchen / Dining Firsts as R40029 to [Edit]  Diagram 2655 Number S7998S and R40029A to Diagram 2656 Number S7955S in BR crimson and cream livery. These would be suitable to be paired with the Maunsell Diagram Open Third R4835 Number S1346S in crimson and cream that was released by Hornby in 2018! This version is still, at the time of writing, thankfully available from retailers such as our friends at the Kernow Model Rail Centre.

I did say it was a bit confusing, I hope this post has helped to clarify in some way…

37 thoughts on “Talking Stock #39 Catering for Southern travellers by Hornby

  1. Thank you Graham for simplifying the hugely complex story of the Maunsell dining cars and, especially, relating it to the Hornby models.
    One little point, Hornby’s Open 3rd in “blood and custard” livery is of a noticeably different hue when compared to the earlier CLC non-ding stock releases. Has anyon, to your knowledge, compared them and decided which is more correct?
    And, finally, and having a facetious mindset, I was fascinated to see that the Bluebell is having to “persevere”* with its Third Dining Saloon no 7864!!!

    Jeremy English

    * see the wording of your link!

    1. Hi Jeremy.

      Well spotted with the typo, now duly corrected.

      I have not seen the Hornby open third in C&C livery to be able to make any comparisons and haven’t seen it mentioned by anyone as an issue.

    2. If I recall correctly (and forgive me if my memory is incorrect) the last numbered set of CLC-liveried coaches produced by Hornby was set 247 comprising BTK S3777S, TK S1187S, FK S7212S & BTK S3974S although this set had been reformed to BTK /CK /BTK prior to receiving CLC.

      The Cream on these four coaches was a different hue to all those previously produced (earlier models having a much ‘richer’ Cream colour). Accepting colour can be subjective (particularly with my failing eyesight) I concluded the ‘new’ Cream was probably closer to the mark for ex-works stock. Crimson Lake was BS381C no.540 Crimson but the Cream was to a railway specification which it appears was not in the BS range. So by way of an immediate (albeit very crude) comparison Hornby’s ‘new’ Cream it was a closer match to other offerings including Bachmann’s MK 1 stock..

      However, I was not necessarily dismissing the ‘richer’ Cream without further consideration particularly with respect to the effects time & varnishing etc. Unfortunately events distracted me from further investigation but perhaps others may wish to continue looking into this?

  2. Yes, thanks for simplifying the convoluted history of Maunsell catering ……. unfortunately, you’ve over simplified a little towards the end as only four of the Dining Saloons were paired with dia.2659 Kitchen and Buffet cars for the South Western. The other pair were paired with – identical other than one window – dia.2661 Kitchen and Buffet cars for the Night Ferry. Rather than being Composites in this form, this pair were re-trimmed as Firsts …… and were fitted with a Continental-style gangway at the lavatory end for coupling to the Wagons-Lit.

  3. “Hornby have chosen to produce these models in unlined olive-green which is totally correct for post 1940s condition.”

    When would these and the open thirds have lost their lining, please Graham?

    I have R4816A and R4833, and am modelling late ’30s (’37-’38). Should I be lining them, or can I get away without?

    1. I doubt the open thirds would have purposely lost lining it from the late 1930s just would not have been refreshed before the coaches being revarnished when it was due.

      1. Many thanks, Graham. I’ve been researching in the HMRS Livery Register and the only copy of Gould that I have, and it’s all a little vague (unfortunately, I don’t have King’s Maunsell book). Looks like I’ll be ordering transfers!

  4. Thanks for the explanation. May I suggest a table of all Hornby catalogue numbers, with descriptions, with annotation as to pairings. I see pre- and post-war SR arrangements, BR c&c and BR green. I think I’ve got it sussed but it wouldn’t hurt to be confirmed at a glance.
    That friendly shop west of the Tamar might usefully use the info too . . .

  5. Hi Mr Bayliff

    Many thanks for the excellent information about the Ambulance trains that I did not have to hand. I have made an edit within the post to direct readers to your comments.

  6. Graham, were the Nondescript saloons used in place of the SO coaches with the Restaurant Kitchen cars?

  7. Thanks Graham. I have reread several times and am still struggling! As I understand it Hornby have not produced any lined olive vehicles. Do you know if there are plans to do so? This seems quite a gap in the range.

    1. Hi Barry

      The Third Class Dining saloons will be in lined olive green they have not yet produced any Kitchen / Diners lined green yet. As for the future plans of Hornby only they know that.

      1. Yes, that was my expectation, but perversely they’ve done those in unlined olive too.

  8. Hello Graham

    Some points arising

    1. All Diagram 2651s (not just the 1927 cars) had the smaller kitchen window, for eg I have photos of 7940 (1929) and 7952 (1930) clearly showing the smaller window.

    2. Only four of the six Diagram 2652 TOs were converted to Diag. 2658 RCOs in 1947 to run with the four Diag 2659 RKB conversions of 1947. The other two were converted to Diag 2662 RFOs to run with the two conversions to Dag 2661 RKBs. These pairs were for the ‘Night Ferry’.

    3. Hornby’s forthcoming S7998S is actually Diagram 2655 (not 2656).

    Best regards

    Chris Knowles-Thomas

    On 13/01/2021 13:01, GrahamMuz: Fisherton Sarum, Canute Road Quay & Westhill Road wrote: > grahammuz posted: “As we are talking Southern Railway catering > vehicles it might be worth sitting down and having some light > refreshment to go with the read as things are going to get a little > confusing and complex! The Southern Railway even with its relatively > short dis” > >

    1. Hi Chris

      Thanks for your additional information. I had already updated the diagram 2652 information, since you received the email version of the post.

      I will update the other bits in due course.


  9. Good afternoon Graham,

    i’m afraid in the transition from tabular to narrative form from my files to these replies, nummerous mistakes were made. If you could edit out my previous replies, here is more complete and corrected information:

    Six additional HAT {Home Ambulance Train} were requested by United States Forces on 06 December 1944, the request approved by the Railway Executive Committee on 11 December 1944.

    HAT 67 and HAT 68 were of converted SR stock:

    First two digits of HAT car number: HAT number
    Last two digits of HAT car number position of car in train
    Designation letter: identifies use of car

    Staff and Brake Car ‘F’ numbered 6701, Diagram 542 Pantry Brake First, 7713
    Sitting Up Car ‘H’ numbered 6702, Diagram 2652 Dining Saloon 1366
    Ward Cars ‘A1, A2, A3’, numbered 6703 – 6705, Diagram 3098 GBL, respectively {not known}, {not known}, 2335
    Kitchen and Mess Car ‘D’, numbered 6706, Diagram 2651, {number not known}
    Ward Cars ‘A4, A5, A6’, numbered 6707 – 6709, Diagram 3098 GBL, respectively {not known}, 2337, {not known}.
    Personnel Car ‘B’, numbered 6710, Diagram 2001 Corridor Third 771
    Brake, Stores, and Office Car ‘G’ numbered 6711, Diagram 2401 Corridor Brake Composite 6571

    Staff and Brake Car ‘F’ numbered 6801, Diagram 542 Pantry Brake First 7712
    Sitting Up Car ‘H’ numbered 6802, Diagram 2652 Dining Saloon 1365
    Ward Cars ‘A1, A2, A3’, numbered 6803 – 6805, Diagram 3099 GBL, respectively 2365, 2467, 2478
    Kitchen and Mess Car ‘D’, numbered 6806, Diagram 2651, 7863
    Ward Cars ‘A4, A5, A6’, numbered 6807 – 6809, Diagram 3098 GBL, respectively 2479, 2362, 2474.
    Personnel Car ‘B’, numbered 6810, Diagram 2001 Corridor Third 788
    Brake, Stores, and Office Car ‘G’ numbered 6811, Diagram 2401 Corridor Brake Composite 6574

    HAT 67 was stabled spare at Wem
    HAT 68 was completed and sent to Bournemouth West 01 February 1945.

    Twenty-seven additional OAT {overseas Ambulance Train} were ordered in 1942, known as “Austerity (U.S.A.) Ambulance Trains. OAT 36, 37 and 47 were of converted SR stock and were for United States Forces use.

    First two digits of OAT car number: HAT number
    Last two digits of OAT car number position of car in train
    Designation letter: identifies use of car

    Brake/Stores/Boiler Car ‘G’ numbered 3601, Diagram 2110 Corridor Brake Third 3776
    Ward Cars ‘A1, A2, A3, A4’ numbered 3602 – 3605, Diagram 3098GBL, numbered respectively {not known}
    Pharmacy Car ‘F’ numbered 3606, LNER Diagram 37A Corridor Brake Third {not known}
    Ward Cars ‘A5, A6, A7’ numbered 3607 – 3609, Diagram 3098 GBL, numbered respectively {not known}, {not known},2339
    Sitting Car ‘E’ numbered 3610, Diagram 2652 Dining Saloon 1363
    Kitchen, Mess Car ‘D’ numbered 3611, Diagram 2651 Dining Saloon {not known}
    Staff (Enlisted) ‘B’ numered 3612, LNER Diagram 95 Corridor Third Sleeping Carriage 1251
    Staff (Officers/Nurses) ‘C’ 3613, LNER DIagram 20 Sleeping Composite 1096
    Brake/Stores ‘H’ 3614, Diagram 2110 Corridor Brake Third {not known}

    Brake/Stores/Boiler Car ‘G’ numbered 3701, Diagram 2110 Corridor Brake Third {not known}
    Ward Cars ‘A1, A2, A3, A4’ numbered 3702 – 3705, Diagram 3098 GBL, numbered respectively {not known}
    Pharmacy Car ‘F’ numbered 3706, LNER Diagram 37A Corridor Brake Third {not known}
    Ward Cars ‘A5, A6, A7’ numbered 3707 – 3709, Diagram 3098 GBL, numbered respectively {not known}
    Sitting Car ‘E’ numbered 3710, Diagram 2652 Dining Saloon 1368
    Kitchen, Mess Car ‘D’ numbered 3711, Diagram 2651 Dining Saloon {not known}
    Staff (Enlisted) ‘B’ numered 3712, LNER Diagram 95 Corridor Third Sleeping Carriage 1248
    Staff (Officers/Nurses) ‘C’ 3713, LNER DIagram 20 Sleeping Composite 1095
    Brake/Stores ‘H’ 3614, Diagram 2110 Corridor Brake Third {not known}

    Brake/Stores/Boiler Car ‘G’ numbered 4701, Diagram 2551 Corridor Brake Second 4482
    Ward Cars ‘A1, A2, A3, A4’ numbered 4702 – 4705, Diagram 3099 GBL, numbered respectively {not known}, {not known}, 2468, {not known}
    Pharmacy Car ‘F’ numbered 4706, LNER Diagram 37A Corridor Brake Third {not known}
    Ward Cars ‘A5, A6, A7’ numbered 4707 – 4709, Diagram 3099 GBL, numbered respectively {not known}, 2369, {not known}
    Sitting Car ‘E’ numbered 4710, Diagram 2652 Dining Saloon 1364
    Kitchen, Mess Car ‘D’ numbered 4711, Diagram 2651 Dining Saloon {not known}
    Staff (Enlisted) ‘B’ numered 4712, LNER Diagram 95 Corridor Third Sleeping Carriage 1241
    Staff (Officers/Nurses) ‘C’ 3713, LNER DIagram 95 Sleeping Composite 1290
    Brake/Stores ‘H’ 4714, Diagram 2251 Corridor Brake Second 4481.

    OAT 36 was berthed at Templecombe, its LNER engine {Class B12/3) was shedded at Templecombe Lower
    OAT 37 was berthed spare at WEM

    There is much information on stock forming Casualty Evacuation Trains, Home Ambulance Trains, and Overseas Ambulance Trains,

    The LNER B12/3 4-6-0s assigned to work the air-braked only OAT have been covered in various World War Two Railway Study Group Bulletins.

    Rob J. E. Bayliff

  10. Dear Graham

    Thank you very much indeed for this latest explanation on Hornby’s recent announcements for their 2021 range, an impossible topic to resolve made just about understandable for a dyed-in-the-cotton waste Great Western man myself. Am I waiting in vain for Hornby to produce a Maunsell Kitchen Diner First in lined olive livery, even after the release of the Dining Third in that livery which would match the rest of my “A.C.E.”? At present, I have to make do with the R4537 Open 3rd dia. 2005 and R4145 Pullman 1st Class Kitchen Parlour Cynthia for restaurant facilities, which must be incorrect on so many levels even with my liberal interpretation of modellers’ licence.

    All this, of course pales into insignificance in trying to emulate my late father’s ambitions to reproduce a Pompey electric set – I keep coming across his abandoned unstarted beautiful wooden CCW kit still in my collection. Referencing my library of Southern Electric and Loco-Hauled stock, with new Driving Ends on the existing Maunsell Bodies and using their “Belle” motorising system, surely 4-COR/4-RES/4-BUF consist would be relatively easy to produce, with so many livery styles possible form Lined Olive to Rail Blue ?

    I much enjoy your monthly pictures and updates of Fisherton and Canute Road Quay. I’m so glad I plucked up the courage to chat with you with Canute Road at an exhibition a couple of years ago. I look forward very much to your continuing involvement with Rapido, being the proud owner of an LNER Dynamometer car and Birmingham Guy Arab:- with my GWR hat on, of course I’m in the queue for a 15XX with fond memories of them powering up over the Old Oak flyover, and never believed I would ever ride behind one as I managed last year on the Severn Valley.

    With Every Good Wish

    Yours, Sincerely


    Eur Ing.

    John R. Wesley

    BSc., CEng., MICE., MAPM., FPWI., AIRO., RD., VR*.

    Cherry Trees,

    Woodman Close,



    Hampshire SO21 2NT.

    01962 – 776476

    1. Good to hear from you John, although it is the Kernow Model Rail Centre that I am directly involved with although I am friends with the team behind Rapido UK and always willing to assist them with any SR projects they might do in the future.

  11. Gosh, that is a bit confusing. (read two times!)
    Would it be disingenuous to suggest that Hornby’s Maunsell Dining Coaches allow the creation of representative ‘generic dining’ sets?
    ‘Generic’ being an in word of course. 🙂
    Most will be happy of course.

  12. Graham
    Whilst on the subject of restaurant stock, Mike King’s excellent history of SR coaching stock states that by 1967 only 37 Bulleid coaches had survived in traffic including four “kitchen/buffet cars 7892/4/8/9.” Can you shed any light on what they might have been|? The Bournemouth catering vehicles were in the 7881-91 series and the Taverns 7833-7840, again according to King.

    1. Hi Jim

      7892 to 7899 were the Tavern Kitchen Cars, the Taverns you mentioned 7833 to 7840 were the Composite Restaurant Cars that paired with the Kitchen cars.

      I hope that explains.

      1. In arranging the pairings, all of them, was there a protocol for this? Did it matter that first class was or wasn’t next to the kitchen, or adjoining the bays in the kitchen car, especially with the composite opens? I don’t recall ever reading anything, although many images around.

      2. The Tavern Car sets in both original and rebuilt form were paired with only buffers on the outer ends.
        In original form the 1st class seating area of the D2664 Composite Restaurant car and the bar area of the D2663 Tavern Car (with the mock brick and timber painted exterior) were at the outer ends of the pair.
        Once rebuilt the 1st Class seating area of the D2665 Composite Saloon was at the inside end and adjacent to the kitchen end of the D2668 rebuilt Kitchen and Buffet car.

  13. Are there any published photos of the D2668 Kitchen Buffets as first turned out in 1947? I’m interested to know what the labelling was on the body sides as the obvious way to get one is to repaint an R4816 D2656, coupled with a plasti-card re-hash of the restaurant interior. Neither Fox nor HMRS offer any catering transfers in Sunshine other than ‘Restaurant Car’, so if Buffet Car or similar is needed, that would be a problem…
    What puts me off the project is the thought that Hornby may well offer a D2668 themselves as all they need to do is a new interior molding.


      1. Thanks Graham. Unfortunately, I can’t readily access my copy of Mike King’s main book on Maunsell and Bulleid coaches right now, and I can’t re-call whether there was a useful picture or description in it of a D2668 in malachite.

    1. Howard,
      Plate 105 in King’s book shows 7864 in Malachite in March 1949, with BUFFET and SOUTHERN on the side.

      1. Of course, that’s Maunsell, Diagram 2659… Hadn’t realised the discussion had moved on to Bulleids. Diagram 2668 were 1959-60 rebuilds of Diag 2663 Tavern Cars (built 1949), so never in Malachite. Plate 181 in King shows S7898S in 1962 lettered BUFFET. But there’s no Hornby model of anything remotely like a Diag 2668.

      2. Thanks for looking into that, Richard.
        Don’t know why I wrote D2668 when I meant D2659. Obviously, very few rebuilt Taverns appeared in Malachite…
        I was eyeing up an R4816a 7865 yesterday but I resisted the temptation to buy it. Just as well because no-one offers BUFFET as a transfer in Sunshine, as far as I know…
        However, I didn’t resist the temptation to buy an RCO – S7842S. The thought occurs that 7842 was originally built as the fourth of six D2652s, to pair with the original six D2651s, of which S7861S (R4817) was also the fourth. Given the SR’s penchant for coach sets in numerical order, did 7861 and 7842 (as 7867) work as a pair when new?

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