Carriage 122 was built in 2003 by Steve Coulson
and others as a prototype for a possible fleet of new carriages, capable of being used on through services from Blaenau Ffestiniog
. Constructed to the current maximum FR loading gauge
, it has an aluminium body and meets many of the modern carriage design standards, including alternate painting of the doors to allow them to be seen by the partially sighted. It does not meet all the requirements of the The Rail Vehicle Accessibility Regulations Act, 1998
, and is subject to a partial exemption order, which can be found at The Rail Vehicle Accessibility (FRC Vehicle No. 122) Exemption Order 2003.
Briefly these include
- there is no audible warning device fitted to the doorways;
- the width of the priority seats is less than the minimum required;
- no handrails are fitted on the interior of the external doorways;
- more force than is permitted is required to operate the door handles;
- there is no public address system; and
- there is no wheelchair space.
Furthermore there was a restriction in its usage between the points served by the WHR and FR as it stood at that time. With the extensions from Rhyd-Ddu
southwards, through to Porthmadog
, a further variance was required for the vehicle to operate on that section. It should also be noted that the exemption only allows for carriage 122 to operate until May 2026 without the coach being modified to meet the full requirements of section 13 (Passenger Information) of the Rail Vehicle Accessibility Regulations 1998 It is cabled and plumbed (although lacks the high vacuum reservoirs) for Push Pull
operation. In 2011, 122 along with 116
was allocated to the WHR to strengthen the two carriage sets operating Porthmadog to Caernarfon. They have remained ever since. 122 received a repaint and refurbishment in Winter 2013/2014; the opportunity was taken to remove the now tatty carpet section down the centre of the carriage and also fit new tables, before it returned to WHR service for the 2014 season. It is intended for 122 to remain permenantly allocated to the WHR. 122 is considered to be of satisfactory quality and is non-standard on both railways and is therefore considered a sister to Carriage 2060
(it has the same seating capacity). 122 was fitted with new end dorrs in winter 2017. This model is 1:76 scale and fits the Peco Lynton & Barnstaple coach bogies (pair). The model also requires painting, Glazing for the windows and your spare time to complete.