Mk.1 Restaurant-Buffet (RBR) cars
Rail Express|March 2021
A SURPRISING number of Mk.1catering cars have survived to see service on the privatised railway, in private operator and charter trains. They may turn up on anything from an enthusiast special to higher-end dining trains and have been formed in trains as prestigious as the locomotive-hauledBlue Pullman’ set, the ‘Great Britain’ tours operated by West Coast Railways and the ‘Northern Belle’ tour train.

One of the most common type is the Restaurant-Buffet (refurbished) car or RBR which was derived from two different but similar types of coach refurbished in the 1970s in an effort to extend their lives due to the late arrival of new stock. The interiors were refreshed and improved lighting installed to make the stock more attractive – it should be noted that interior improvements were often undertaken at different times in the vehicles’ history. Standardisation of the kitchen equipment eliminated awkward incompatibilities between vehicles too. Private operators have made their own changes making reference photographs important.

Hornby announced a Diagram 24 RB and Diagram 33 RBR for its 2020 catalogue which was released late in the year. It represents one of the two types of Mk.1 RBR coaches and has wide operational scope including extensive use as catering and service cars by private operators, as demonstrated in this episode of D&E Files.

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