Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Off the Rails

reuse item of the week
Off the Rails: From Railway Carriages to Eco-Home

Elspeth Thompson is a writer and modern day eco-warrior, she has currently embarked on a project to transform two old railway carriages into an eco home.

Elspeth said, "Having grown up on a farm in the Kent countryside, I am currently dividing my time between London and the south coast, where my husband and I are trying to turn two dilapidated Victorian railway carriages into an eco-house. The carriages have been a home since 1919, when they were offered as cheap housing for ex-soldiers, and our plans include solar panels, rainwater harvesting, sedum and turf roofs, passive solar design and the creation of an upper storey and open-plan living space below by raising the rear carriage up in the air. The design of the garden will reflect its location – just 100 yards from the sea and surrounded by a large nature reserve – and will be geared towards growing our own food."

Above: Elspeth Thompson writes a weekly column for The Gurdian on her project to transform the railway carriages into a home.

Above: the many windows allows light to flood into the carriages and gives great views of the surrounding countryside.

Above: Elspeth said, "What a great long table it is - all 103 inches of it - found in the lovely Wish Barn Antiques in Rye, and delivered for free along with an old cupboard or two by the kind owners, who let me try it out for a few days to see if its unusual dimensions would suit our living space."

Above: Elspeth said, "What makes this room so special is the raised ‘lantern’ ceiling with its two curved arcs of windows that bring in the light from the early morning, when the sun rises out of the sea, to the end of the afternoon, when it goes down across the shingle field behind the other carriage."

Above: Elspeth daughter Mary’s room, things are more colourful, as the sun alights on the cheerful clutter of a four-and-a-half year-old’s life.

Above: there are constant reminders that this a railway carriage they live in which gives it a mystical feel.

Elspeth Thompson's blog

Elspeth Thompson's website

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