All Aboard! Man Builds House Around Vintage 1880s Train Car
For finding the perfect place to spend one's retirement years, one British transport manager is on the right track. While most people pride themselves on the ways in which they make their home unique, Odd Stuff Magazine finds a detail that would be hard to compete with in Jim Higgins' Ashton, Cornwall home — a 130-year-old Great Western Railway car. The carriage sits rather naturally within the man's one-story house, which was built entirely around the 19th century artifact.
The train, which has been at its present spot for over a century, was actually lived in by a woman for several decades and then left vacant for several more years. Higgins' former father-in-law, a carpenter looking for a space to build a retirement home, loved the area and bought up the land not knowing what problems he would face in terms of building upon his new space. Due to what Higgins refers to as "grandfather rights," the train car was not allowed to be moved or torn down. Rather than trying to sell the property however, he built a house on top of the train, using its compartments for bedrooms while instating a kitchen and lounge in the new addition.
Now in the care of Higgins, he is in the process of fully restoring the carriage, a process which should be done within a few months, assuming he can find ways to dodge some of the inherent setbacks. "It’s taken a huge effort trying to make it as authentic as possible," says Higgins. The rustic green look for instance is a difficult shade of paint to come by these days. After its completion though, he's still not sure if he wants to keep all to himself or lavish the public with it, "I've considered turning it into a museum but I don’t know." Whatever he chooses to do with his new home, its unusual centerpiece will sure make for interesting dinner parties.