Three Victorian-era railcars restored as vacation suites
Ever thought about converting an old railway coach or caboose into a tiny house? The folks at Railholiday have done just that, rescuing and restoring several Victorian-era railcar bodies, then outfitting them as self-contained vacation rental suites.
Railholiday now has four cars available for visitors. Three are in St Germans, a picturesque village in southeast Cornwall, and one is in Hayle, a seaside town at the western end of Cornwall. The three St Germans cars are shown in these photos. They were all fairly derelict when purchased, with wood bodies that were rotting away and missing various trim and window pieces, as well as being covered in layers of peeling paint and grime.
Restoring them took months and months of laborious effort for each car. As the bodies had been removed from their chassis when taken out of service, new reproduction steel frames were built based on the original drawings. Each car was then provided with a fully-equipped kitchen and bathroom, a lounge area and one or two bedrooms.
The Old Luggage Van entered service in 1898 and carried passenger luggage until its retirement in 1932. At 24′ by 8′ it is small for a railcar, so has just one comfortable bedroom. At the other end is a sitting room with a pair of fireside chairs facing a woodburning stove. The connecting corridor has a galley kitchen on one side and the bathroom on the other, split into separate toilet and shower compartments. The original wood interior was stripped of paint and now has a Danish oil finish.
“Mevy” as it is now named started life as a Victorian passenger coach. It is about 38′ by 8′ and accommodates families, having two bedrooms. The master bedroom, located in what was the first class compartment, has been finished in an appropriately opulent fashion with Italian velvet upholstery, maple and mahogany paneling and gilted gold detailing. At the other end of the carriage, the guard’s room was equipped with three children’s bunks. Clerestory roof windows run the length of the car.
The Travelling Post Office, built in 1889, is the largest of the three at 48′ by 8′. It can sleep up to six with a bedroom, a double bunkroom, and a pull-out couch in the sitting area. The kitchen was built in the style of the original post office work counter and mail-sorting cubbyholes. It also has a three-piece bathroom with a shower.
To book your own railcar vacation, please visit Railholiday. Have a great weekend!
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