100-Year-Old Train Carriage From London North Eastern Railway Was Discovered in Antwerp, Belgium

During recent excavations at a 19th-century fortress, Northern Citadel in Antwerp, Belgium, archeologists found a 100-year-old train carriage belonging to a British train operator, London North Eastern Railway (LNER).

The discovery is particularly interesting because the train carriage is part of the first fleet of LNER’s “removals”. These carriages, painted in burgundy and featuring yellow inscriptions, were used in the 1930s to transport the belongings of people moving from one house to another. Just a handful of these carriages remain in existence, as they were in service for only a few years before being replaced with blue wagons.

Additionally, it is a mystery how the carriage ended up making its way from Great Britain to Antwerp.

“The wooden removal truck is thought to be around one hundred years old. It’s a mystery as to how the carriage came to be in Antwerp, and unfortunately there’s very little left of the relic as it disintegrated while being excavated,” said Femke Martens, one of the archeologists working on the excavation.

London North Eastern Railway was one of the “Big Four” train companies created by the British government as part of the Railways Act 1921. The move intended to group the existing 120 railway companies into larger companies in order to put an end to internal competition and make them profitable. London North Eastern Railway was nationalized in 1948 and operated under various names before reverting to its original name in 2018.

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