GWR Ocean Saloon No 9116 Duchess of York
The Great Western built eight Super Saloons, or Ocean Liner Saloons, between 1931 and 1932 for use between London Paddington and Plymouth for the all important trans-Atlantic ocean liner traffic.
The coach has three internal saloons, one seating eight people around four tables; the second 16 people in a two plus one formation; and the third is an enclosed saloon, seating just four people.
Duchess of York arrived at Buckfastleigh in 1967 in company with 9111 King George. In the 1980s, she was transferred by her owners to the Paignton & Dartmouth Railway where she was used on dining trains there. After those ceased, she was put up for sale and purchased by the South Devon Railway Trust and returned home to Buckfastleigh in 2004. In 2008/9, she received a major refurbishment before returning to the SDR’s dining train.
As well as our own 9111 King George and 9116 Duchess of York, three further Super Saloons survived into preservation: 9112 Queen Mary, 9113 Prince of Wales and 9118 Princess Elizabeth, all of which can be seen at the Great Western Society’s Didcot Railway Centre. Numbers 9114 Duke of York, 9115 Duke of Gloucester and 9117 Princess Royal sadly were scrapped after withdrawal.