Sunday, 7 March 2021

Plans for Thai Restaurant Using MK 3 Coaches in Pitlochry

A unique new dining experience could soon be stationed in Pitlochry as a family bid to open a restaurant in two former train carriages.

Fergus and Isara McCallum and their daughter Mia, have submitted plans for the Thai restaurant to be situated in the Rie-Achan car park beside the town’s railway station.

The family hope to open the restaurant in two repurposed Mk 3 HST railway coaches built between 1977 and 1979.

The coaches have been repainted in their original British Rail blue and white external livery

Plans have been lodged to convert 40-year-old first class train carriages into a Thai restaurant beside Pitlochry station.  

Pharmaceuticals executive Fergus McCalIum and his Thai beautician wife Isara have bought two former InterCity 125 coaches, which continued to be operated by Great Western Railway in south west England until a few years ago.

They are of the same type and vintage as the carriages which ScotRail has refurbished as Inter7City trains which run through Pitlochry between Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness
– feet away from the McCallums’ planned venture.

Unlike older carriages which have been converted into cafes and restaurants in Dufftown, Glenfinnan and Grantown-on-Spey, the McCallums plan to restore their coaches to original decor from a more modern era.  

The carriages, Trailer Kitchen Buffet First (TFKB) 40807 and Trailer First (TF) 41161 owned by Porterbrook and latterly stored at long Marston, which were built in 1977-79, have been repainted in their original British Rail blue and white external livery by a specialist firm. 

The new owners have submitted a planning application for approval by Perth and Kinross Council, which includes re-laying a section of track for the carriages to stand on.

If permission is granted, it would be sited in a former rail marshalling yard which is now a car park to the north of the station. They hope to open by June.

The coaches include a first class dining car and a first class carriage upholstered in leather with a fantastic kitchen and servery.

The location is next to the railway in a conservation zone, hence the effort to use genuine carriages in genuine colours in a former siding."

Train leasing firm Porterbrook, which sold the carriages to the McCallums, said "that the carriages have always been very popular in passenger service and it is wonderful to see some of the creative ideas that will enable them to continue serving the community in a different role.”