The pre-nationalisation rolling stock of the original K&ESR certainly added to the Railway's eccentric charm, but sadly most of it either disappeared during the scrap drives of the 1930's or met a fiery fate at Headcorn in 1948.
The history of preservation era rolling stock falls into three phases:
1964-76. Initial acquisition of pre-grouping and grouping era vehicles for use during the early re-opening years.
1977-90. Acquisition and extensive use of ex-British Railways Mark 1 vehicles.
1991 to present. Entry into service of vintage carriages and a shift towards greater use of older vehicles, but with Mark 1 coaches retained.
The term ‘vintage' is, in railway terms, less precise than its road equivalent, but may be regarded as pre-nationalisation vehicles of any date. The restoration of the ex-SE&CR Family Saloon was very much the pioneer of the increased emphasis on vintage vehicles. This led to other projects to similarly high standards.
Like most Heritage Railways, the K&ESR is reliant on its ex-BR Mark 1's for many of the core services: their carrying capacity is just too useful. Whilst the number of working vintage vehicles is increasing, the Mark 1's are, with the passage of time, becoming of historic interest in their own right.
Vehicles are listed under the name of their original owning company and identified by the number they carry at the time of writing. An index by the K&ESR fleet number is also provided.
Click the links below to view by company
- Nº 100
- South Eastern & Chatham
- Great Eastern Railway
- London & North Western
- London & South Western
- Southern Railway
- Pullman Coaches
- British Railways Mk 1
Click the links below for individual coaches