The Pullman Lodge’s historic carriages look set to depart Wearside for Kent.
The coaches have been a part of the city’s seafront for more than 30 years, but could be set to depart Seaburn as part of a redevelopment scheme.
Sunderland City Council, which owns the former hotel and restaurant site, has indicated the coaches could now be destined for Kent, as no one in the region has expressed interest in them.
The carriages, Padua, Rosalind and Sapphire, date back as far as 1912 and once carried passengers on the world-famous Orient Express.
Ed Tutty, chairman of Sunderland Seafront Traders’ Association, said: “They have been a landmark of the seafront for more than 30 years and it will be a shame to see them go.
“I remember them from when I was growing up.
They have been a landmark of the seafront for more than 30 years and it will be a shame to see them go.Ed Tutty
“It is sad to see the business closed but there are still plenty of venues down on the seafront catering for a wide range of tastes.”
The business operating from the Pullman Lodge went into liquidation last year and the land and surrounding area is earmarked by developers Siglion for a leisure space, cafes and restaurants, alongside new apartments and houses.
Cabinet secretary Coun Mel Speding, said the council was “acutely aware of the historical importance” of the carriages and is working with the railway preservation community about their removal and their future.
He added: “As many will be aware, the Pullman site is part of a wider redevelopment scheme to further enhance and improve our much-loved seafront.
“An offer for restoration of the carriages as a high quality dining train has been received for a site in Kent.
“No interest was received from anyone in the North East region.”
The site’s lease has been returned to the council and ward councillors are being consulted.
Plans for the clearing the site are being finalised.