Home - News - Fleet - Filming - Hire Services - For Sale - Contact

Latest News

Christmas 2023 - Wishing all our customers and supporters a Happy Christmas

What a busy year it's been for Eastern Rail Services! Further filming work took place which will appear on BBC1 screens in the new year, Yarmouth Vauxhall Depot took on a new lease of life and filled with HSTs for export and the year ended with a number of vehicles returning to the mainline for use in charter services. 2024 will be even bigger and better!

December 2023 - ERS vehicles return to mainline passenger service

One of ERS' aims has always been to support the charter train industry and towards the end of 2023 several Mk2 vehicles headed to Arlington's at Eastleigh for repair work prior to entering service with Locomotive Services over the winter period. Three former DRS Mk2 vehicles 5919, 6046 and 6173 were formed up at Southall along with ERS' brake coach 9513 and ran with other LSL vehicles around the London area. The picture below is courtesy of Mike McDermott and and shows 9513 at London Victoria on 18th December. Eagle eyed viewers may spot this vehicle has recently been fitted with controlled emission toilets (CET).

October 2023 - The High Speed Train now arriving...

In late Summer Eastern Rail Services was approached to see if redundant High Speed Intercity 125 trains that were coming off lease could be brought to site by rail and then prepared for onward shipment abroad. A couple of months previously a number of vehicles already in stored were roaded direct to Great Yarmouth port and exported to Mexico. A number of former Great Western Railway power cars and trailers were brought to Yarmouth and then roaded the short distance to the port. This was then followed by the majority of the Arriva CrossCountry fleet for export in early 2024. This also included a number of 'celebrity' repainted power cars.

June 2023 - A sign of the times

One thing we had been meaning to do for a while was to put a sign for the Yarmouth site by our entrance. Just in time for the Flying Scotsman visit our new sign was delivered. Designed with a nod to the former depot signs by British Rail this is sure to catch the eye as you drive into Great Yarmouth and probably answers a lot of questions as to what was happening with the site.

June 2023 - A very special visitor

The 23rd June saw the first visit to the site of LNER steam loco Flying Scotsman. This iconic engine brought in a charter from London Kings Cross and the site that ERS has reactivated demonstrated once again it's usefulness with the coaches being emptied of rubbish, refilled with water and the locomotive itself separately coaled, watered and services. As expected the visit drew large crowds and we were happy to host a visit to the site by Penny Carpenter, Great Yarmouth's local mayor and Graham Plant of Norfolk County Council.

April 2023 - The commuter train now arriving...

Eastern Rail Services has taken delivery of it's latest acquisition, a modern EMU commuter train. 321 units have operated in East Anglia for the last 30 years so this is an ideal addition to the fleet to be used by the film and TV industry. The unit is in a good condition and will be cleaned and electrics sorted first. For more information head over to the filming page...

9th December 2022 - This is Christmas launched

A new film has been released on Sky Cinema called 'This is Christmas'. The film is a tale of a group of regular commuters who get to know each other and one of them decides to organise a Christmas party. ERS was heavily involved in the production with two Mk3s being filmed for the majority of the scenes in the studio but an entire train of former DRS Mk2 carriages was transported to the Epping and Ongar Railway for the external scenes. A trailer for the film can be seen below and we would highly recommend you watch this heartwarming story!

1st December 2022 - Refurbished Generator Coach released

ERS owns all the former 'Nightstar' Generator carriages which were converted by British Rail for the ill-fated cross European sleeper services which never took place. These vehicles contain two Cummins NT855 engines and high powered alternators however they are not able to supply normal ETS (electric train supply) unless heavily modified. ERS has refurbished vehicle 96371 with both generators now capable of supplying 800-1000V standard ETS supply. The vehicle has also had bodywork and repaint carried out. The opportunity was also taken to fit a remote monitoring system to the vehicle which shows the status of the generators as well as the level of fuel. The vehicle has gone on hire to Serco Caledonian Sleepers to provide stabling power for sleeper trains in Scotland.

30th November 2022 - Network Rail BUOs still getting around

The 5 former Scotrail Mk2 BUO coaches are still on hire to Network Rail and can be seen in the consist of the UTU (Ultrasonic Test Unit) trains on all parts of the network from Fort William to Penzance! 30th November saw veteran locos 37099 and 37116 on a test train at Bristol before heading onwards to Exeter. Some fantastic photos of the train which had BUO 9808 in the consist seen from above courtesy of Stephen Bell.

9th November 2022 - Dave Channel Promotion launched

ERS was approached in early October with a single photo of the interior of a train and asked to try and source a similar carriage and deliver to a site in London in a weeks time. ERS was able to identify an appropriate vehicle, carry out alterations to the customer's requirements and deliver the site to a very tight film studio car park in West London all by the deadline. The coach was used to film a promotion for the Dave comedy channel. You can watch the clip by clicking on the link below or you may see it between programs on Dave or other channels.

5th November 2022 - New coaches go for filming

Recently acquired former Transport for Wales Mk3 coaches were soon in demand and 5th November saw the 4 coaches collected from Great Yarmouth by Rail Operations Group 37611 and whipped down the East Coast Mainline for filming at the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway. The vehicles were there for a week where they were branded up for the filming. They returned back to Yarmouth the following week. The photos below are courtesy of Joseph Robinson and show 5E17 behind 37611 near Retford.

August 2022 - ERS coaches feature in BBC The Marriage

Late in 2021, a former Chiltern Mk3 carriage was transported to Northamptonshire to be used in some scenes for BBC 4-part drama 'The Marriage. Starring Sean Bean and Nicola Walker the show follows the highs and lows of marriage. The trailer can be seen below as well as the Metro review featuring a picture of the actors in the carriage.

1st June 2022 - Outlaws Series 2 Release Date

ERS can now reveal that one of it's coaches will feature in the BBC1 primetime drama, Stephen Merchant's 'The Outlaws'. Filmed in Bristol the show follows an eclectic mix of people on community service and starring Stephen himself and other big stars such as Christopher Walken and Darren Boyd. ERS has supplied a number of vehicles for TV and film productions during 2021 and 2022 and was approached to provide a 'buffet coach' type vehicle. Former GA Mk3 10413 fitted the bill perfectly and then the challenges of getting the vehicle into the filming location became apparent. Lloyds Ampitheatre beside the river in Bristol was chosen and thanks to Reid Frieght it was successfully delivered to site. For more information about the filming locations The Bottleyard Film Studio website contains a wealth of information. Series 2 of The Outlaws begins on BBC1 on Sunday 5th June. The pictures below show the vehicle in place ready for filming and ERS' own Daisy showing off the fully stocked buffet area. A link to the trailer can be found below.

10th May 2022 - Vehicle Sales

Following a fleet review, ERS is offering several vehicles for sale. Immediately available these vehicles do not fit into the long term plans of the business. The first vehicle is vacuum braked, dual heated Mk2 corridor brake first 17033. This vehicle was taken out of service in near original condition and then placed into departmental use as a staff coach. As part of this, the wheelsets were replaced and the coach retains its nearly new-sized axles. The missing gangways can be supplied if required. This is a rare opportunity to obtain a vacuum braked brake coach. The second vehicle is a Mk2f buffet first open 1213. Lastly used in service a couple of years ago at the Dartmoor Railway this vehicle contains a number of first class seats and a kitchen area with microwave, hot water boiler etc. For more information click on the For Sale page.

16th April 2022 - Intercity Charters visits Great Yarmouth

We were pleased to host Locomotive Services Intercity charter to Great Yarmouth on Easter Saturday. The train was class 40 hauled from the midlands and formed of LSL's excellent Intercity liveried Mk3 coaches. Vauxhall Carriage Sidings were used for exactly where they were designed to do, servicing coaching stock. After the train was brought into the sidings, ERS was entrusted to shunt the stock using 08870 with all the coaches being tanked and bagged ready for their return journey.

April 2022 - New additions to the fleet

Following the recent disposal of Direct Rail Services rolling stock ERS took receipt of some additional Mk2 vehicles in the form of Mk2f DBSOs 9709/9710, Mk2e TSO 5787 and Mk2f TSOs 5937, 6064, 6137. These vehicles have been significantly upgraded by DRS including controlled emission toilets and monobloc wheelsets. A large collection of spares were also acquired alongside the vehicles. Interestingly this is the second time ERS has owned 5787. The vehicle was initially purchased from HSBC in 2011 and then resold to DRS a few months later. Most of the vehicles have already been debranded, formed into a train and electrically run up with the air conditioning and central door locking fully serviceable.

Christmas 2021 - Happy Christmas to all our followers and customers

One of ERS' big projects during 2021 was being involved in the Sky Original Film 'Train to Christmas' starring Michael Sheen. ERS was approached in early summer and with a tight deadline and an extensive requirement of vehicles, authentic materials and parts a few frantic weeks were spent gathering everthing together. The film tells the story of Tony Towers who travels through time as he moves between carriages. ERS was asked to supply vehicles from the 1940s, 50s, 70s, 80s, 90s and even into the future.

Two vehicles were specially obtained for the filming including a former Virgin Trains Mk3 HST buffet car which was one of probably only a handful of vehicles that retained the original buffet counter as well as the yellow GRP end panelling. A Mk1 courier van had to be converted back to a BSK as well as a 1940s compartment being grafted into one area. Two more modern mk3s were turned into garish 1970s orange first class and more sedate Intercity standard class as well as a recreation of an APT carriage. The star of the show in railway circles was the Mk2c first open of which there are none left in operating condition. This vehicle was literally dug out of a field and turned back into a complete vehicle for the filming.'Last Train to Chistmas' can be found on Sky Arts, Sky Cinema or through Now TV.

For more information of how ERS can assist your filming with vehicles, locations and professional advice please check out our filming page by clicking HERE

December 2021 - ERS acquires remaining generator coaches

It's been a very busy summer for ERS with a number of special projects but the opportunity arose to obtain the other remaining Nightstar Mk3 Generator Carriages. 96372/96373/96375 saw little use being passed between several companies including DRS and Motorail Logistics. The vehicles are in good condition albeit they need a good external clean. Each vehicle contains two generator sets and the hours run on each set is exceptionally low, some of them not even reaching 100 hours. They have been well maintained and serviced over the years and therefore should not take too much to get up and running. They also retain their original BT10BH bogies which are fairly rare bogies fitted with a hydraulic handbrake. The pictures below show 96372 and 96375 being shunted on arrival.

14th May 2021 - Generator Car returns from refurbishment

Former Mk3 'Nightstar' generator coach 96374 has returned from refurbishment. The vehicle has been worked on by Independent Rail at it's facility and involved bodywork, repaint, repairs to the roof and interior work. ERS' corporate livery of Intercity was chosen for this vehicle although they never carried Intercity when they were generator coaches. With little touches such as the polished aluminium window frames we think you'll agree the vehicle looks absolutely stunning in it's new coat of paint. The vehicle will be used to provide electric train supply to ERS' vehicles. 96734 is seen on the back of an Allelys lorry at Snetterton (Picture courtesy Geoff Tibble) and then on arrival.

August 2020 - ERS secures a second former EPS Generator Van

ERS is pleased to announce that it has purchased a second Mk3 generator van. These vehicles were converted for Channel Tunnel 'Nightstar' Sleeper trains north of London but never saw passenger service. This vehicle is in excellent condition with both engine and generator sets having very few hours use since installation. The vehicle will be modified to supply standard ETS voltage and then will be available for hire as a mobile ETS generator vehicle. 96374 was transported from Wabtec Doncaster to Vauxhall Carriage Sidings on the 5th August by Allelys Heavy Haulage.

July 2020 - ERS vehicles used to demonstrate COVID-19 controls

ERS was pleased to have its coaches used by Loram and Network Rail at Derby to demonstrate a new COVID-19 decontaminating product. The carriages were featured on BBC East Midlands Today. A promotional video can be seen below.

July 2020 - Mk2 vehicles around the country

July 1st saw several ERS Mk2 vehicles in action with Network Rail test trains. 9801 was in the consist of 3Q90 running around Yorkshire. Picture (below left) taken by Darren JB of the train at the former Royston Junction. 9806 was also in action in a 67-hauled 1Q08 running from Cambridge into home turf at Ipswich and onto reading. Picture taken by Shaun Langdown at Ipswich.

April 2020 - ERS acquires former Greater Anglia Mk3 vehicles

Mk3 coaches have been in service on the Great Eastern Mainline for over 20 years and with the impending withdrawal of the vehicles from the Norwich to London line, ERS took the opportunity to aquire several vehicles to enhance it's fleet. 4 vehicles were obtained including Mk3 TSOs 12021 & 12098, FOD (first open with accessible area) 11078 and TSOB2 10413. The latter is a vehicle that was converted to replace Mk3 RFM kitchen cars on the line, the first batch converted from TSO coaches but the second from the original RFMs, hence retains much of the original equipment. ERS now owns the last reminaing unmodified former GA Mk3 RFM - 10229 and an RFM in their current modified form.

Pictures clockwise - TSOB buffet bar, TSO interior, Norwich low-level, FOD interior

January 2020 - Further delivery of Sleeper vehicles

January continues to be a busy month for ERS with a number of vehicle moves taking place. Tuesday 21st January saw some of the remaining Mk2/Mk3 vehicles moved from Wembley to Crewe for onward movement to Weardale. The move included brake 9804, lounge 6702 and SLED 10699. The train was hauled by GBRf 92018, pictured at Stafford by Taylor Lewis.

January 2020 - Latest delivery of former Sleeper Vehicles

6th and 7th January saw the transfer of some of the remaining Mk2/Mk3 sleeper vehicles from Ferme Park / Wembley to their new home at the Weardale Railway. RFO 1210, lounges 6703, 6704, 6707, brakes 9802, 9805, 9807 sleepers 10501, 10502, 10600 were in the formation hauled by 92010 as far as Doncaster Decoy by GBRf where 66721 took over for the leg to Bishop Auckland.

Photos below courtesy (in clockwise order) Will Courtis, Michael Hart, Joseph Robinson (lower two).

January 2020 - BUOs enter service with Network Rail

Following fitting of various specialist systems to a tight deadline, the former Caledonian Sleepers have now entered service with Network Rail. These photos were taken at Harrowden Junction by Geoff Tibble and show 9801 in the formation of a Derby to Hither Green test train move. The whole train consist was 37612, 99666, 72630, 62384, 9801 and DBSO 9714. Clicking on either picture below will take you to a video of the train.

January 2020 - Network Rail hires former Caledonian Sleeper coaches

ERS is pleased to be working with Network Rail to provide support vehicles for the nationwide UTU (Ultrasonic Test Unit) trains that operate from NR's base in Derby. Five former Caledonian Sleeper seated brake coaches (BUOs) will be on hire initially for a period of a year. ERS has worked with Network Rail and Loram at Derby to fit various specialist systems including blue-star 27-way through wiring to the coaches in an extremely short time period to enable the coaches to enter service at the start of January 2020. The pictures below show the vehicles in Loram's Derby workshop and then the first vehicle in service 9806 on 3Q36 Derby to Carlisle test train (photo courtesy of Darren JB).

December 2019 - ERS obtains Mk3 kitchen cars 10212 and 10229

Mk3 RFM kitchen cars 10212 and 10229 have been obtained by ERS. 10212 was formerly part of the 'Pretendolino' Mk3 set used by Virgin West Coast as peak time additional carriages alongside the new Pendonlino fleet and was repainted in a similar livery. This set of carriages was based at Norwich during 2016 to cover for a shortage of rolling stock. Following a period of storage the vehicle was refurbished for use by Transpennine Express prior to the introduction of their new trains. 10229 was part of the National Express / Greater Anglia fleet operating between Norwich and London, it was the first vehicle painted in the new GA white/grey livery. In 2015/2016 all of the other Mk3 RFMs at Norwich were converted to TSOB mini-buffets except for 10229 which was then sent to work Great Western Railway sleeper trains until 2017 when it moved to Crewe for use by Transpennine alongside 10212. Both of these vehicles are in exceptionally good condition, having run very few miles since major overhaul work was undertaken on them. Click on the pictures below to enlarge

November 2019 - Vehicles return to Weardale

Following the cessation of Mk2 and Mk3 rolling stock on the Caledonian Sleeper services in October, some of the vehicles have returned to the Weardale Railway. The pictures below show 31459 arriving at Wolsingham with the returning vehicles. The rake includes 9800 and 6700 which had been refurbished by ERS during 2018.

October 2019 - ERS purchases Caledonian Sleeper vehicles

ERS has agreed to purchase the entire Caledonian Sleeper Mk2 fleet consisting of the following vehicles:
- Mk2f RFO lounge 1210/1220
- Mk2f RLO lounge 6702/6704/6705/6706/6707/6708
- Mk2e BUO brake 9801/9802/9803/9804/9805/9806/9808/9809/9810
There are plans for a number of the vehicles but they are likely to be moved to the Weardale Railway for the time being. There are also 4 Mk3 sleeper coaches transferring to the ERS fleet in due course.

October 2019 - Final day for Mk2 vehicles on Caledonian Sleepers

The evening of Tuesday 8th October saw the last Caledonian Sleeper departure from London Euston formed of Mk2 and Mk3 vehicles. The 2115 to Edinburgh convey the three portions for Aberdeen, Inverness and Fort William. Brake 9810 and lounge 1210 were on the stops with ERS brake 9807 and lounge 6706 in the middle of the train. Mk3 sleeper 10501, also destined to be part of the ERS fleet in due course was also within the formation. ERS Engineering Director Robin Fransham and Serco Fleet Engineer Gareth Earle-Payne were on hand to travel on the train for the last time. A few pictures of the train are shown below - click for larger images.

Mar 2019 - ERS obtains former Nightstar generator coach

ERS is pleased to announce the purchase of former Mk3 Nighstar Generator coach 96371. This was one of 5 high-output generator coaches for use on the proposed cross-channel sleeper trains. The coach contains two engine and gen sets which combined have a train heat index of 140. This is in comparison to a class 47 diesel locomotive which has an index of 66. The intention is to rework the alternators to provide standard ETS voltage to power ERS coaches. The vehicle will remain at UKRL Leicester whilst the work is carried out to modify the power supply.

November 2018 - 3385 repaint completed

One of the final jobs before the winter operating season was completion of bodywork and a respray of Mk2f First Open 3385. This vehicle has been operating in the former FM Rail Blue Pullman livery which whilst smart, did not match the rest of the fleet. It was moved from Wolsingham works on the morning of the 20th November by BR Blue 31106.

November 2018 - Mk1 BG enters service

Recently arrived from Wembley Depot, Mk1 BG 92901 went straight into Wolsingham Depot for some repairs and a repaint. Despite being out of service for over a decade, the brakes and electrics worked fine. This vehicle is one of a few that were specially maintained to 110mph for use on the West Coast Mainline before the Mk3 DVTs were delivered. They were also used on Anglo-Scottish Sleeper services by Intercity - something which ERS vehicles are still doing to this day. This vehicle was also one of a handfull fitted with central door locking (CDL) which will be useful as most of the ERS fleet has fully functioning CDL, a modern day door locking safety feature.

October 2018 - Another Caledonian Sleeper move

The end of October saw BSO 9513 returned to the Weardale Railway for it's Train to Christmas Town season. Royal Scotsman 66743 was provided for the trip from Polmadie to Bishop Auckland where Weardale's 31465 took over. Caledonian Sleeper BUO 9807 returned north with the 66. Photo by Neil Simpson.

July 2018 - More comings and goings

The end of July saw lounge car 6703 and brake 9800 depart for Scotland. The same move brough brake 9807 in and also BSO 9513 back for some repairs.
Two views of the move on 31st July taken by Neil Simpson.

June 2018 - 6700 and 9497 depart for Scotland

31465 trips lounge 6700 and brake 9497 to Bishop Auckland ready for transfer to Scotland.

May 2018 - 9497 gets a repaint in readiness for hire

Following on from the major bodywork and interior repairs, 9497 has been repainted and vinyled ready for a forthcoming hire period with Serco Caledonian Sleepers.

April 2018 - ERS vehicles feature in Weardale Class 31 gala weekend

April 21st/22nd saw the Weardale Railway hold a gala weekend in the 60th year of class 31s. 5 locomotives featured, including RMS owned 31190, 31106, 31285, 31459 and 31465. ERS vehicles were divided into two sets which included 9497 mid-way through overhaul. Photos by Neil Simpson and Alistair Gregory.

April 2018 - BSO 9497 undergoes major refurbishment

Mk2e BSO has been undergoing major work at Wolsingham depot. Most of the work has focussed on the interior and bodywork. The vehicle will be completely repainted and received a brake overhaul during 2017. It is expected that this vehicle will be on commercial hire within the next few months.

March 2018 - BSO 9513 enters service with Caledonian Sleepers

Mk2f BSO 9513 has now entered service with Serco Caledonian Sleepers, operating between Edinburgh and Fort William. The photos below show the vehicle added to the set on it's first day of operation, 22nd March. Photos by Steve Boulton.

February 2018 - BSO 9513 goes on hire to Caledonian Sleepers

Mk2f BSO has been refurbished and has gone on hire to Serco Caledonian Sleepers to work between Edinburh and Fort William. The photo below shows the vehicle being collected by GB Railfreight from Bishop Auckland. The vehicle has been undergoing repairs at the Weardale Railway's facilities at Wolsingham Depot. The vehicle was taken to Polmadie depot for inspection and handover.

November 2017 - ERS vehicles again support Train to Christmas Town operation

As per previous years, the Weardale Railway made extensive use of ERS rolling stock to support their Christmas special trains. In a break from the previous years Polar Express they ran a new concept - The Train to Christmas Town. 8 ERS vehicles were used in all of these trains and once again proved extremely reliable in some varied weather conditions.

November 2017 - Vehicles move to Weardale

50008 and 31452 were used to move 9513 from Washwood Heath and RFO 1254 / FO 3374 from Leicester. The vehicles were moving to the Weardale Railway

Photo - Robin Patrick

November 2017 - 9513 repaint complete

Mk2f BSO 9513 has recently undergone body, brake overhaul and repaint at Boden Rail, Washwood Heath. The coach is seen here just before being moved to the Weardale Railway

May 2017 - 6059 gets a repaint

56303 is seen moving TSO 6059 having recently been repainted at Boden Rail, Washwood Heath.
Photo courtesy North Briton Railways

March 2016 - CDL testing with GB Railfreight

GB Railfreight made use of the Mid-Norfolk Railway and ERS coaches for central door locking training. Introduced by British Rail in the mid 1990s this system prevents the doors being opened by passengers when the train is moving.

June 2016 - ERS Coaches in use at the Mid-Norfolk Railway

The ERS set has seen extensive use at it's home base of the Mid-Norfolk Railway, Dereham. This has included a variety of trains including diesel galas, scheduled loco-hauled services, dining trains and private charter trains. Driver experience courses have also featured the coaches on occasion. 3 ERS coaches are pictured along with Intercity liveried Mk3 kitchen car waiting departure from Dereham.

For all your rolling stock requirements:

Email: enquiries@easternrailservices.co.uk