20 Great Western Railway Railcar

Home Railway

Kent & East Sussex Railway

Location History

Kent & East Sussex Railway Apr 66-Present

Current Location

Kent & East Sussex Railway



Current Status

Under Restoration


Current Livery



TRA Designation




Kent & East Sussex Railway






Record Last Updated

11 November 2018


Preservation Modifications

Preservation Information
No20 was withdrawn by BR in October 1962 and was placed in storage along with many of the GWR Railcars which were surplus to requirements at this time.

The vehicle was one of three members of the class saved for preservation, and arrived at its new home on the Kent & East Sussex Railway in 1966.

By late 1972 the vehicle was operational following several years restoration work.

In February 1974 the vehicle carried the railway’s first fare paying passengers.

The late 1970’s saw the vehicle operate many off-peak and off-season services.

In 1980, No20 was withdrawn requiring major bodywork repairs.

The 1980’s and 1990’s have both seen attempts made to rebuild No20, under different teams, however neither succeeded, as the body required a full rebuild.

The 2000’s however saw renewed effort with a long term plan to return the vehicle to service implemented. The mechanical components saw much work and were regarded as virtually complete, with further work concentrating on the body.

By the late 2010's the railway admitted that due to lack of funds and facilities that the restoration, whilst not stopped, was only moving along very slowly. A change in focus, some much needed publicity, and importantly a new funding source led to a resurgance in the project in 2018. Mechanical restoration continued with one of the engines rebuilt and ready to fit.

The body has now reached an advanced stage of woodwork renewal (wooden framed vehicles are rare in the railcar world!) and the movement waits with interest what the future holds for the restoration, and at what speed it will progress further.

Future Plans
The overhaul is subject to fundraising and it has been made clear that the restoration is to be fitted in-between the railway’s existing running commitments. Progress is therefore expected to be steady but will be completed. Understandably, no completion set has been set.


20 seen inside and under active restoration, 10/4/16. Michael Hughes


20 now under wraps as restoration of mechanics is undertaken off the vehicle, 17/6/08. Bill Pugsley


20 under restoration, 23/3/03. Steve Hodgson


20 under restoration, 23/3/03. Steve Hodgson


20 under restoration, 23/3/03. Steve Hodgson


20 at Rolvenden. John Law