The SVR is currently undertaking a review of all passenger-rated vehicles on the railway with a view to ensuring that every coach on the railway has a job and where appropriate the opportunity to earn its keep.
This review has been prompted by the fact that there are vehicles surplus to requirements, that covered accommodation is limited to fifty six coaches and siding space is at a premium making railway operations at Kidderminster at times difficult.
There have therefore been discussions as to the future use, if any, of 7960 on the SVR. Certainly the owner would like to see 7960 run occasionally in the Gresley set, now potentially nine vehicles, but would be reluctant to see it in general service as it would soon suffer at the hands of an uncaring general public. In any case the comparatively small number of seats and internal configuration would not make it popular with the Operating Department.
A suggestion that it could be converted into a brake vehicle to provide a spare was not well received! The problem of a lack of a spare Gresley Brake vehicle has in any case been overcome by the LNER (SVR) Coach Fund purchasing Pigeon van 70759 for conversion to a Brake second Open.
Current thoughts are that 7960 will form part of a small up-market catering set of four coaches to compliment the two Inspection Saloons and the eight coach Limited Set. Whether this comes to fruition and 7960 can earn its keep remains to be seen. However, work continues to complete this interesting and unique vehicle.
October 2006 Update
There are no plans at present to re-instate the kitchen. It will require complete re-equipping to meet modern hygiene legislation at a cost the owner can ill afford and for which he will get no financial return. On a more positive note following a visit to Mangapps Farm Railway Museum, to inspect RTP Pantry Third 42972, it has been decided to re-instate the pantry in 7960 once the seating has been completed.