This coach is known internally by FOTR as the Regional Manager's Coach.
In earlier times, senior railway and government officials travelled the country by rail and had the almost exclusive use of "luxury" private coaches. The roads in rural areas were frequently very poor and often rail was the only sensible way to get the remotest parts of the land. These private coaches provided mobile "home away from home" comforts whilst staged in remote stations and sidings where hotels did not exist (or were of poor standard) and where normal passenger trains would have beenfew and far between.
There were two batches of similar private coaches built to the same diagram; 3 coaches in Pretoria in 1939 and 4 in Salt River in 1941. The final coach, 15012, built at Salt River, is now in FOTR's care.
Wooden bodied and exquisitely crafted internally in varnished wood, coach 15012 differs from the diagram below in two major respects. This coach was originally built with three guest bedrooms. At some time in its life, the end partition wall of the bedroom next to the lounge has been removed to provide an enlarged lounge/dining room at the expense of sleeping accomodation. In addition, end-doors and a gangway have been fitted to the lounge end of the coach, thus faciilitating physical communication with the rest of its train. It is uncertain whether this was done at build time or was a later modification.
The coach features a fully equipped kitchen (galley) complete with gas stove and gas fridge in place of the original coal stove and ice chest. The main bathroom has a full-size built-in bath, whilst the main bedroom also features an antique tip-up wash-basin. The lounge is configured with a dining/meeting table accommodating up to 10 guests.
The histories of the majority of the private vehicles has been lost over time but a number of them were used by the Circuit Court judges, Judge Curlewis being one of them.
Diagram of the private coaches. Click the image to display an enlarged version in a new window.
|23/498R||15009||Salt River||12/1941||Regional Manager, Durban, replacing private no. 4|
|15012||Salt River||12/1941||Regional Manager, Pretoria, replacing private no. 27|