Project information

Diamond Jubilee Carriage Project

The “Diamond Jubilee” Carriage Project will see a re-engineering of the interior of the carriage to allow wheelchair access and invalid seating.

January 2013 - March 2013

Charity information: Brighton Belle - The 5BEL Charitable Trust

Brighton Belle - The 5BEL Charitable Trust logo
  • Need


    the Brighton Belle is being restored for mainline use - the first time ever that a complete train has been returned to the mainline. Unfortunately, when the Brighton Belle was designed, in 1932, little attention was given to the needs of the disabled. The carriage doors and aisles are currently too narrow to permit wheelchair access and access to dining tables is problematical. Toilet access is impossible because of the limited space in the vestibule area.


    To widen the aisles, the seating – currently two seats per side – will be rebuilt to two on one side and one on the other. The central divider will be reduced to increase visibility throughout the carriage, allowing attendents to be summoned more quickly. The vestibule walls will be re-built to create a larger WC/washroom. A design competition for Derby College students will produce a bespoke combined seat/wheelchair.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To return an important heritage electric train to mainline use


    » Restore and re-engineer a five car Brighton Belle train set to mainline standards

    What success will look like

    Success will be measured by the return of a complete Brighton Belle five carriage train to mainline operation - expected in 2014.

    Aim 2

    To encourage the preservation and restoration of other electric traction artefacts


    » Create a centre of excellence for electric traction restoration and re-engineering
    » Mount an educational programme about Britain's globally important electric traction heritage
    » Establish a national electric traction museum

    What success will look like

    Success will be measured by the prioritisation of other key artefacts for restoration and return to operation

  • Impact


    The project will create a greater understanding of the global importance of the develpment of electric railways in Britain, through exposure in print and television media and improved public exposure access to heritage electric trains. In the longer term, it is hoped that representative artefacts from Britain's important electric traction heritage will finally be preserved. The Trust will create a 'living' electric train museum, with static and operational artefacts.


    The engineering risks have been mitigated by obtaining regulatory approvals for the return of a restored and re-engineered train to the mainline - the first time ever that a complete train set has been restored. The cost of the overall project is major, at £2.5 million, but pledges and donations currently cover the bulk of the programme cost.


    Through our dedicated website - - through extensive coverage in print and broadcast media, and through newsletters.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £95,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £28,000 Seating Re-manufacture/upholster carriage seating
      £7,000 Flooring/carpets Re-place flooring and carpets
      £46,200 Vestibule/toilet Re-set vestibule walls/create invalid toilet
      £13,800 Central divider/wheelchair Re-position and rebuild divider/ Engineer bespoke seat/wheelchairs
  • Background


    The restoration activities are being carried out in Barrow Hill and Derby.


    The European heritage sector will benefit from the creation of a major centre of restoration excellence. The public will be able to experience and ride on a very early electric train. Schools will be able to visit and study the development of inter-city transport and its effect on labour mobility.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The trustees have wide experience of the conservation and promotion of transport heritage

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Denis Dunstone

    Chairman and trustee of the charity, trustee of The Transport Trust and noted heritage author.

    Jeremy Hosking

    Trustee of the charity and leading steam locomotive preservationist

    Neil Marshall

    Trustee of the charity, trustee of The Transport Trust and expert on transport development in Britain

    Stuart Wilkinson

    Trustee of the charity, trustee of The Transport Trust and expert on transport development in Britain