Unwanted passengers discovered on an historic railway carriage

South Devon Railway image2

Image courtesy of South Devon Railway Trust

The South Devon Railway Trust (SDR) are the custodians of seven miles of former Great Western Railway branch line, built in 1872. They run steam trains with heritage rolling stock, travelling along the stunning Dart valley from Buckfastleigh to Totnes.

The ‘rolling restaurant’ (which comprises of historic dining carriages) offer customers an a la carte menu, whilst they relax and enjoy the panoramic views from the train.

During routine maintenance, unexpected guests were discovered inhabiting a 100 year old dining carriage, regally named King George. This carriage is of great historical and heritage value, as only five of the original eight handcrafted carriages survive today.

Small round holes were found within the antique wood panelling of the King George carriage. The holes were swiftly recognised as ‘exit’ or ‘flight holes’ caused as adult woodboring beetles chewed their way out of the wood panelling.

Image courtesy of South Devon Railway Trust

Image courtesy of South Devon Railway Trust

The concerns of South Devon Railway where two-fold, they needed to ensure that any treatment carried out did not damage the structure or fittings of this historic carriage. The treatment also needed to be quick and effective as the King George dining car needed to be back in service for customers waiting to enjoy the experience of fine dining whilst on an historic train journey.

This large dining carriage was successfully treated using ProFume fumigation and the woodworm guests were eliminated without damage or contamination with pesticide residue. This allowed the King George to resume its stately role as part of the fine dining ‘rolling restaurant’ along the majestic heritage railway.

John Haslam – SDR’s Operations Manager; “The fumigation treatment was very effective, ensuring that we can continue to operate our carriage for the foreseeable future, but without the unwanted woodworm passengers!”

ProFume fumigation process (unique to Rentokil in the UK) was chosen because of it’s effectiveness in penetrating hard-to-reach areas, eliminating deep-seated insect infestations that other conventional pesticide application techniques cannot reach. This fumigation process eliminates all life stages of woodboring insects from eggs and larvae to pupae and adults.

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