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GNR Dining car set (1921)
A New Great Northern Dining Car Train. (1921)
For many years past the Great Northern Railway Company’s line between London and the manufacturing towns in the West Riding of Yorkshire has been noted for comfort and convenience. The first dining car train to be run on a British railway was put into operation on the company’s London to Leeds route as far back as 1879, while in 1893 the ""G.N.R"" was the first to conceive the idea of running third class dining cars, though its example was very closely followed by the London and North-Western Railway.
These initial steps were succeeded by continual development of the train service and improved arrangements for ensuring comfort.. At the present time all the express trains running between London and the West Riding of Yorkshire are composed of up-to-date bogie vehicles and are provided with first and third class breakfast, luncheon, and dining cars.
The latest development, however, is the provision of a new and in some ways novel luncheon and dining car train, which leaves King’s Cross for Leeds daily at 10.10 a.m. It arrives at 2.10 p.m., starts on its return journey from Leeds at 5.30, and reaches King’s Cross at 9.30. The exclusive use of electricity for cooking instead of gas constitutes the most novel feature in the equipment of the train. In the restaurant car dinner can be served for seventy-eight passengers at a time, and everything is prepared and electrically cooked on the train. Whilst electric cooking utensils, such as kettles, urns, food warmers, &c., are frequently used in railway carriages, this is, we believe, the first dining car train in which all of the cooking is done solely by electricity, and the design of the equipment has naturally called for careful consideration. The chief engineer of the Great Northern Railway, Mr. H. N. Gresley, is responsible for the idea, and the work has been carried out under his personal supervision. J. Stone and Co., Limited, of Deptford, have supplied the electrical apparatus.
In the interior of the kitchen (see Figs. 1 and 2) the main cooking range is fitted across one end. There is a roasting oven with a steaming oven above it, and at the top of the latter there is a grill and hot water tank. To the right of these ovens there is a boiling range with four hot plates for frying, boiling, or for heating sauces, &c. There are also two 10-gallon boiling pans for cooking vegetables, &c. At right angles to this equipment and between the serving hatches there is a hot cupboard, which serves for heating the whole of the plates, &c., required for the service, and the top of this cupboard forms a convenient table. A separate electric fish fryer measuring 18in. by 11in. wide and 7in. deep is provided. For supplementing the supply of hot water from the boiler on top of the oven range there is a 2-gallon urn and two 6-pint kettles. Warm water is supplied from a 40-gallon electrically heated tank fitted in the roof of the corridor alongside the kitchen, and this tank supplies the boiler on top of the oven range and the hot water urn.
The provision of adequate supplies of boiling water and hot water for washing up and other purposes involves a continuous demand on the available electrical energy. As the length of the run of this particular train is comparatively short and lunch has to be served soon after the journey has been commenced, connecting plugs and sockets are provided, so that when the train is in the terminal stations the current for preliminary operations can he drawn from the station supply, an arrangement which, of course, has the effect of minimising the capacity and weight of the battery and generating plant.