Bachmann Europe PLC has today released its Mark 1 Restaurant Miniature Buffet coach (RMB). 82 examples were built at British Railways Workshops in York and Wolverton between 1957 and 1962.
Prior to the introduction of these coaches, on train catering was provided by full kitchen cars which provided an at seat service and an associated buffet counter for take away meals. The RMB was provided for shorter distance routes and cross country routes where a full restaurant car service could not be justified and the fitting of small buffet counter allowed light snacks and drinks to be served.
The first batch of 12 vehicles (No's 1801 - 1812) was built to diagram 97 by British Railways at York between June 1957 and March 1958. They were fitted with BR1 bogies and had 48 seats fitted. Following trials it was decided to reduce the seating to 44 to allow additional stock storage facilities to be provided. All further batches were built with 44 seats and the original 12 vehicles were later retrospectively converted.
A further build to diagram 99 (No's 1813 - 1837) took place at British Railways Wolverton between July 1958 and December 1960. They were fitted with Commonwealth bogies.
Wolverton went on to complete three further builds. These were No's 1838 - 1852 built between May 1958 and June 1960 to diagram 98, No's 1853 - 1864 between May 1960 and January 1962 to diagram 99 and the final batch No's 1865 - 1882 built June 1961 and May 1962 again to diagram 99.
No's 1872 / 1873 were converted for use in Southern Region Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) formations around 1975. During the 1980's the RMB's were refurbished and fluorescent lighting was fitted.
The RMB's saw service on all regions of British Railways and after sectorisation passed to InterCity. Most had been withdrawn by privatisation but three examples survived in service with Anglia Railways until the last was withdrawn in 2001. A large number of these vehicles have been preserved and are in use on heritage railways.
The new Bachmann Branchline OO models are available in British Railways crimson / cream as preserved (39-260), Western Region chocolate / cream (39-263), Southern Region green (39-262), British Railways maroon (39-261) and British Rail blue / grey (39 -264). The recommended retail price of each coach is £21.50.