Parlour Car Carrabassett sold to Statfold Barns

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Early in 2022, it was announced that Adrian Shooter had decided to sell his two foot gauge parlour car Carrabassett to the Statfold Barns Railway.

This follows a number of changes in recent times;-

At the beginning of 2019, Adrian Shooter, the owner of Carrabasset announced that the current iteration of his private steam railway, the Beeches Light Railway located in Steeple Aston for the last 15 years would be closing in May.

The plan was to relocate to another site fairly close by and re-open in the Spring of 2020. The new layout will be about 50% longer but will still feature significant gradients and other features of interest. All the existing rolling stock will be transferred to the new location, including the steam locomotive.

We understand that the indicated moves did take place, but news of the re-built railway is almost non-existent, we assume that it has been delayed by Covid and other issues, and the sale to Statfold Barns Railway is a result.

Statfold Barns Railway is home to an eclectic collection of small narrow gauge engines and rolling stock, and has lines of different gauges from them to run on. They host numerous enthusiasts weekends which can be attended by advanced booking only. We are grateful to Bob Harper who attended the event over the 11/12th June weekend for sharing the pictures showing Carrabassett at its new home.

CIick here for more information on the Statfold Barn Railway.

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Carrabassett origins and early history

Around twenty or so years ago, Adrian, then head of Chiltern Railways, one of the UK’s commuter rail franchises, commissioned the Boston Lodge Engineering workshops of the Ffestiniog railway to design and build him a carriage based on the well known SR&RL parlor car #9, aka Rangeley.

The carriage was delivered in 2005 to Adrian’s two foot gauge line – the Beeches Light Railway, which was laid around the 3 acre gardens of his then home in Steeple Aston, Oxfordshire in the UK.

The car was named Carrabassett, and was finished in typical SR&RL style livery and lettering. The car is not an exact replica of the Rangeley, as it was designed to operate over the Ffestiniog line with its restricted clearances and incorporates a fully fitted kitchen and long dining table enabling the car to be used as an extra fare function car on the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland lines and to visit other two foot lines.

For example, when Terry Smith spotted this car at Boston Lodge in May 2016 he wrote “while Carrabasset appeared to be stationary throughout my sojourn in the neighbourhood, it has been put to use at other times as on trips such as the Snowdonian and the Afternoon tea party.” Click on the blue words to see the Festiniog Facebook pages showing these events.

The car featured in the Boston Lodge Engineering promotional brochure showing the scope of works undertaken by the organisation, where it was described as a new build, in the style of the SR&RL Rangeley.

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Carrabassett spotted on the move in 2016

The car has been the subject of threads on the former Yahoo now io Maine On2 group, in particular one in 2016 when it had been spotted by a friend of member travelling northwards up the M40 on a low loader. The friend recognised the car as “something interesting and unusual” from his acquaintance with Bachman On30 stock and started asking questions.

The original posting about this car on the FAQ’s was intended to be temporary and serve as a place to post photo’s to support that thread, some six years on we still get direct links to that topic from that thread so we will maintain the original URL, but have re-titled the posting and updated it.

Links

Adrian Shooter has a long history as a volunteer and officer with the Ffestiniog railway, available here.

Click here to visit the Wikipedia page for the Beeches Light Railway.

Click here for more pictures of the Carrabasset Parlor Car.

Click here to view the original 2016 posting.

Updated: 01 October 2022

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1 thought on “Parlour Car Carrabassett sold to Statfold Barns

  1. Pingback: The Beeches Light Railway Carrabasset Parlor Car | The Maine On2 FAQ

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