A RAILWAY carriage, dating back to the Victorian era, has been restored back to its former glory.
The North Staffordshire Railways Carriage No127 was unveiled at Foxfield railway in Blythe Bridge last week, after having a major refurbishment costing £75,000.
Trustees and volunteers congregated at the heritage railway on Thursday to see the arrival of the carriage which had been out of service for around 100 years.
The delivery of the vehicle marked the completion of a project which was started six ago by heritage railway enthusiasts in North Staffordshire.
The No 127 Carriage had been out of public service for more than a century but like-minded railway enthusiasts got together to set about bringing it back to it's former glory.
The work has involved many hours of research, fundraising and sheer physical hard work.
Richard Warren, of the NSR Rolling Stock Restoration Trust, said: "We are proud to say that no127 is one of the oldest restored passenger railway carriages in the world and the only restored carriage which used to run on the famous "Knotty" the North Staffordshire Railway which served the people of North Staffordshire, the pottery industry, collieries, steelworks and agriculture in Victorian times and whose existence changed the lives of everyone working in the district for all time.
"Sincere thanks to all involved with the restoration over the years, both volunteers and paid workers, and most of all to the Staffordshire Environmental Fund supported by BRIFFA without whose very kind and generous assistance the project would never have been completed."
The Staffordshire Environmental Fund provided £30,000 towards the cost to restore No127 Carriage, and the reaming funds were raised by the Trust through donations and events.
The Trust are also in the process of having the No61 Carriage, which was also a 'Knotty' coach, restored. It is currently at special restoration company of Stain Gate in Northumberland.
Richard said: "The Arts Council have very kindly given the Trust £20,000 towards the restoration of the No61, and we have raised a further £15,000 but do need more funds to complete the project."
Richard further explained that there are only three former 'Knotty' carriages in existence, the No127 and No61 owned by the Trust, and the No28 which is owned by the Churnet Valley Railway.
Richard added: "We are hoping to work together with the Churnet Valley Railway to be able to have all three carriages restored."
The No127, which has had many hours spent on it to bring it back to it's former glory, had around 50 percent of it's original material above the chassis, but the chassis has been made new with metal rather than the original wooden one which had rotted.