A NEW carriage will grace the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway in 2022.
Ruth is the last carriage to arrive in the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) project that started in 2016. Built by the engineering team at Festiniog Railway Company, 'Ruth' is a beautiful semi-enclosed Directors bespoke carriage.
With extra head room, comfortable padded seats inside for eight people in two separate compartments and semi-open ‘balcony’ seating with a roof for two on each end, it is also the first carriage at the Railway to have USB speakers. It has sliding partition panels in the middle splitting the space into two separate internal compartments or it can be hired as a whole carriage for up to 12 people.
The elegant new carriage has been transported to her new home at Ravenglass, marking a big milestone in the ongoing carriage upgrade programme for the heritage Railway.
The carriage is also wheelchair accessible with double opening front doors on each compartment.
The carriage has been named in memory of the Honourable Mrs Ruth Adorian, former company Director and well-known local campaigner for disabled access to public spaces.
Georgina Townsend, daughter of Mrs Adorian, said: “My mother was the youngest daughter of Lord Wakefield of Kendal and a Director of Lake District Estates for over 50 years. She was devoted to serving all the many facets of the company and would have been absolutely delighted with ‘Ruth’ and very proud of the high standards of craftsmanship it represents.”
Ruth features two wheelchair accessible compartments including fold-down tables inside to provide flexible spaces. This is a fitting tribute to Mrs Adorian who was keen on incorporating accessibility wherever possible after fighting with Motor Neurone Disease for the last 12 years of her life.
Rachel Bell, Head of Marketing and Business Development at Lake District Estates, said: “We carefully designed Ruth to be wheelchair accessible as we wanted to ensure that all visitors have the option to experience a wonderful first-class journey. We are so pleased that we can now extend our popular carriage hire gift experiences to wheelchair users too.”
Ms Bell said; “Our exclusive ‘Ruth Lakeland Hamper experience’ can now be purchased online to book from Spring 2022 and includes a return journey in the exquisite Ruth carriage, plus a Lakeland Hamper filled with lots of delicious local treats and railway souvenirs – it’s the perfect last-minute Christmas gift for loved ones or a treat for yourself to enjoy in the New Year."