Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible 7 stunt rail carriage could become Pitlochry Thai restaurant

A steam train carriage whose roof Tom Cruise runs along in the coming Mission Impossible 7 film has been bought by a Pitlochry family as part of their latest attempt to open a Thai restaurant in the town's station car park.

The McCallums, who have revealed their plans to Scotland on Sunday, hope to pair the coach with a rail brake van to be converted as a kitchen after their original scheme using two longer carriages was rejected by councillors. The 1950s Norwegian-built carriage was repainted in French railway livery for the movie stunt, in which the steam train plunges off a cliff. The delayed film is due out in July.

Pharmaceuticals marketing executive and train lover Fergus McCallum spotted it by chance deep in a storage depot in Staffordshire while seeking a locomotive to pair with his previously-bought carriages, which the family now plan to transform into Airbnb holiday accommodation.

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Their latest acquisition, which they have named the “European" carriage, forms the centrepiece of revised plans for The Wee Choo Choo restaurant after Perth and Kinross reversed its decision not to lease part of Pitlochry Station car park for commercial use. However, the McCallums would need to win a competition for the lease, which they expect will attract other interest.

Tom Cruise on the roof of the carriage during the filming of Mission Impossible 7. Picture: Angie Childs

Mr McCallum said: “The carriage looks gorgeous, like something out of a fantasy. It was sheer luck I saw it and I thought it so unusual.” If their bid is successful, his daughter Mia would run the business, with wife Isara as the restaurant’s cook.

Thai-born Mia, 20, said: “We are moving full steam ahead with a beautiful European train as our Thai restaurant. I fell in love with this train as soon as I laid my eyes on it. I think that’s because, like me, it's a bit of an undefinable mix of several cultures that somehow ends up coming out OK in the end.”

Determined for success with the restaurant project, second time round, she said: “I have learned not to get despondent and never give up and learn from refusals to find out what was missing and make sure to fix the shortcomings and come back again and again.” Mrs McCallum said: “I am the cook, and I can cook anything as long as it is Thai and the spicier, the better.”

The family now plans to convert two 40-year-old former British Rail carriages they had originally bought for the restaurant, along with a newly-acquired matching power car (locomotive), into a four-bedroom self-catering property. The latter was operated by LNER until suffering damage in a shunting incident, which will be repaired. Possible locations beside a line in Perthshire or the Highlands are being discussed with track owner Network Rail.

Isara and Mia McCallum beside the Mission Impossible 7 carriage they have bought to convert into a Thai restaurant. Picture: Fergus McCallum

A Perth and Kinross Council spokesperson said: “Since the property sub-committee’s previous decision not to market the site for lease was taken, a parking survey of Pitlochry has been completed. This has shown there is enough provision in the town to justify marketing a defined area of the car park for commercial use and this was approved by the committee.

“All proposals for the site will have to be considered on their own merits and any business will have to meet the cost of any work in the car park required to allow their plan to proceed.”

The 1950s Norwegian carriage was repainted in a French livery for Mission Impossible 7. Picture: Fergus McCallum
Mia McCallum beside the carriage which she hopes to run as a restaurant. Picture: Fergus McCallum
The brake van which would become the kitchen of The Wee Choo Choo restaurant. Picture: Fergus McCallum
The damaged former LNER High Speed Train power car the McCallums have bought for conversion into holiday accommodation along with two carriages originally earmarked for their planned restaurant

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