The Bluebell's Carriage & Wagon (C&W) Department, based at Horsted Keynes, look after the large fleet of carriages which are in everyday use on the railway, as well as wagons used for civil engineering purposes, and others preserved and used for demonstration goods trains.
The mainstay of most preserved railways is the BR standard coach, dating from the late 1950s and early '60s. On the Bluebell, in addition to a few of these you will find, in regular operation, a dozen pre-grouping (i.e. pre 1923) coaches, Pullman Cars from the 1920s, Southern Railway Maunsell coaches (right) from the 1930s, and Bulleid-designed coaches from the early 1950s. There are several more vintage coaches currently under overhaul in the workshops at Horsted Keynes.
The most important project currently under way is Operation Undercover for which funds and donations are urgently required. This project is a major undertaking to provide overhead storage cover for our unique and historic carriage fleet, more of our locomotives, and improve the display and interpretation of our collection.
If you are visiting the railway at Horsted Keynes, you can see what we get up to in the carriage works, where the viewing gallery is open virtually every day of the year, access at the south end of Platform 5.
The Carriage Exhibition in the new building Platform 1-2 at Horsted Keynes is also worth a visit. Donations collected in the Exhibition and from the sales of second hand magazines are put towards improvements to our restoration facilities, and overhead cover for the carriages.
Also at Horsted Keynes, in Platform 1, the Carriage Shop sells various items, including a large range of books, to raise funds for carriage restoration.
Much of the carriage restoration done at Horsted Keynes is undertaken by volunteers. As the stock list shows, there is a long line of coaches awaiting our attention. Why not come and join us; drop in for a look around the shed and see what we do! There is all sorts of work available, skilled and unskilled. Learn new skills, or brush up on those you've forgotten. There are people around every day. Join the Carriage Restorers and be part of an award winning department! (1309, 32975 and 7598 have all won Heritage Railway Association "Coach of the year" awards, and 387, 661 and 7598 have received other prestigious prizes and awards.)
This Vintage Railway Coach WebRing site is owned by Richard Salmon.
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