Grand designs: train carriages transformed into holiday homes

Train carriage kitchen

Most people have ended up nodding off on public transport at some point. It tends to be a less-than-glamorous affair, leaving us with nothing but aches, pains and regret. But one couple has transformed the experience.

They have converted three old railway carriages into fully-equipped holiday homes. And they're not alone.


Carol and Mark Benson wanted to open a guesthouse in North Yorkshire, and were looking for a suitable property. They came across the old Ebberston railway station in Allerston - complete with platform. The station-house itself was too small for guests, so they hit on the novel idea of buying and converting train carriages to keep on the platform.

The former first class carriages show none of their 45-year age. They use old old style compartments as rooms, so each carriage is a self-contained home complete with two or three bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen and lounge. They have tried to keep as many of the original fixtures as possible, including the luggage racks, so it still feels like you are on the train. Weekly rates start at £348 in the winter, and go up to £624 in the summer holidays.

Take a look at The Old Station in the gallery below:

Inside The Old Station in Allerston, North Yorkshire
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Grand designs: train carriages transformed into holiday homes

Not alone

The Old Station guesthouse is featured in the Daily Mail, but has been running for 17 years. There are also a number of other guest house proprietors who have had the same idea. There are scores of these across the country, listed by retrorambling

You can stay in The Old Railway Station in Petworth, West Sussex, and can choose between staying in the station itself or an old Pullman carriage from about £98 a night (or £78 for the station).

Alternatively there's the Old Station in St Andrews, where a carriage suite with a bathroom and a small kitchen starts at £150 a night.

Or there's The Old Station Heacham, which offers a converted First Class carriage in West Norfolk for between £525 and £678 a week.

Buy one

If you fancy joining them, there's no shortage of stock available. C.A.R services, for example, is currently selling a range of carriages of various ages. The scrap price of a carriage is between £2,000 and £4,000, so you can expect to spend more than this - the price will depend on the age, the spec, and the condition.

Then all you have to do, is get it to your garden, and spend anything up to £10,000 transforming it into guest accommodation.

But what do you think? Would you fancy sleeping in an old carriage? Do you fancy owning one?

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