Most Unique Train House In Britain

When it comes to building a comfortable bungalow, Jim Higgins has got the inside track.
The retired transport manager, 60, has one of the most unique houses in Britain… because it is built around a real railway carriage.
The property in Ashton, Cornwall, is a fully functioning house but bizarrely has the fully restored 130-year-old Great Western Railway car within its walls.

Mr Higgins, 64, originally from Buckinghamshire took over the property from his former father-law Charles Allen who was forced to build it around the railway carriage because bizarre planning regulations meant the train could not be moved.
Mr Higgins said: ‘The railway carriage was lived in by a local woman Elizabeth Richards from 1930.’

Most Unique Train House In Britain (1) Mr Higgins, 64, originally from Buckinghamshire took over the property from his former father-law Charles Allen who was forced to build it around the railway carriage because bizarre planning regulations meant the train could not be moved.

Mr Higgins said: ‘The railway carriage was lived in by a local woman Elizabeth Richards from 1930.’

Most Unique Train House In Britain (2) It was known as Lizzies Place to when she died in 1966.

It then stood empty for a number of years until my ex-father-in-law came down looking for somewhere to retire.
He was a master carpenter and was looking for planning permission to build a retirement home.
He came down from Middlesex and fell in love with the spot where the railway carriage was.
But Mr Higgins said when he applied for planning permission to build a bungalow he was told the railway carriage had been there so long it had ‘grandfather rights.

Most Unique Train House In Britain (3)  It couldn’t be moved. So he decided to build around it. He actually built the bungalow as a home with kitchen and lounge etcetera but the bedrooms are in the railway carriage. The divorcee added that he has also been working on the carriage restoration project which will be totally complete in a couple of months. It’s taken a huge effort trying to make it as authentic as possible,’ he said. ‘Getting the right specifications was very hard. There’s not a lot of information about the carriages – it would be different if it was one of the engines.

Most Unique Train House In Britain (4)  But there’s not a lot about the carriages – for instance getting the right colour paint was a big task. It’s not something that’s available in shops.’ Mr Higgins added that he was considering opening it up to the public once it was fully restored – but wasn’t sure of the interest. ‘I’ve considered turning it into a museum but I don’t know.’

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