A POPULAR Cumbrian railway is introducing a new first-class carriage.

Members of the team from Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway in the Lake District travelled to Festiniog in Wales last month to sign-off their brand new first-class carriage called Ruth.

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 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 carriage has been named in memory of the Honourable Mrs Ruth Adorian.

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.”

The new carriage is wheelchair accessible with a fold down table providing a flexible space inside each compartment.

James Clarkson-Webb, Mrs Adorian’s son, said: “fighting Motor Neurone Disease for the last 12 years of her life she was particularly keen on incorporating wheelchair accessibility wherever possible, and this carriage is a fitting tribute to the ongoing legacy which she leaves behind.”

Rachel Bell, Head of Marketing and Business Development Lake District Estates, goes on to say, “this marks a milestone in our carriage upgrade programme and we look forward to welcoming Ruth to the Railway in the Lake District.”

This is the latest carriage to be completed as part of the ongoing rolling stock upgrade programme at the heritage steam Railway in the Western Lake District.

The programme includes the Observation Carriage ‘Joan’ and 1st class saloon 140.

Once ‘Ruth’ has undergone extensive safety testing on the line at Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway she will be available to book in the Spring season 2022.