The L&Y carriage fleet at its peak grew to 4,360 vehicles, the vast majority of which were built at the company’s carriage and wagon works at Newton Heath, Manchester. Charles Fay was in charge of carriage and wagon affairs until 1877, when Frederick Attock was appointed, and it was he who designed the highly standardised and distinctive style which characterised L&Y carriages for the rest of the 19th century.

Attock used standard doors and windows for all his carriages, simply increasing the amount of plain wooden panelling between windows for the wider first and second class compartments (there was a further standard for lavatory windows). Over the years his designs were built in 4-wheel, 6-wheel and bogie variants. With their flush panelling they gave the L&Y an unmistakable appearance. The sight of a 2-4-2T with a set of Attock arc roof stock remained the typical image of the railway for many years.

The early 1900s saw an increase in train weights and the introduction of more luxurious carriages and restaurant cars. Around this time the L&Y had sent senior officers to America and that influence was seen in the 1904 electric stock for the Liverpool – Southport line and the inset door stock for express services. The L&Y was also the leader in the use of open carriages and the 1913 stock, suitably repainted, would have looked at home in a train of BR carriages of the 1960s.

In 1915 the L&Y pioneered the use of all metal carriages with the introduction of the Manchester – Bury electric stock. These steel framed and aluminium clad vehicles were years ahead of their time and had it not been for the Great War would have been built in greater numbers for the planned (but never implemented) Manchester area suburban electrification scheme.

Attock arc roof stock

This 5-compartment third was the last 4-wheeler to be built.

A 3-compartment plus van birdcage brake third.

A view of a birdcage brake in service. Compare it with the photo below of a later conventional roof version.

The later version of the 6-wheel brake had a conventional arc roof throughout.

A 6-wheel third with 5-compartments. Compare the compartment size to the 4-wheel version above.

A 2-compartment and van version of the brake third.

A bogie first showing the more generous spacing of the compartments.

The ultimate arc roof carriage. A drawing of the solitary Kitchen / Second class Diner / Brake for use on the Fleetwood boat train.

A Diagram 108 Horse Box

Elliptical roof carriages



The men who had the greatest influence on carriage design were:

F. Attock – Carriage & Wagon Superintendent 1877-1895

G. Banks – Assistant C&WS 1899–1909 (Carriage & Wagon matters now came under Aspinall as CME – Attock had reported direct to the Board)

F.E. Gobey – Assistant C&WS 1909–1922

Others who held important posts at the carriage and wagon works included George Hughes and Nigel Gresley.

From 1904, Hughes, as CME, was in overall control and the AC&WS of the day reported to him.