This coach, one of the last built by the Southern Railway, is distinguished from the BR-built Bulleid coaches by the shallower sliding lights (the opening parts of the main windows). It was used as part of three-coach set No.787 on the Weymouth and West of England trains out of Waterloo until withdrawn and sold to the Bulleid Pacific Preservation Society, later renamed The Bulleid Society.
It was initially preserved with Bulleid Pacific, "Blackmoor Vale" at Liss, until both coach and engine moved to the Bluebell in 1971, where it received an overhaul, before entering traffic in May 1976 as part of the five-coach Bulleid set formed for the return to traffic of "Blackmoor Vale". Further work was then found necessary as a build-up of rust in the window-frames caused three of the large curved side-lights (windows) to crack.
Through the late '70s and '80s the four (later six) Bulleid coaches provided the core of the Bluebell's operating fleet. No.5768 was relieved from front line duty on the restoration of BR steam stock CK 16210 in October 1991, by which time it was showing its age.
It received further repairs to keep it running, until in 1993 its deteriorating condition caused it to be reduced to use on only a handful of peak days. It was repainted again in 1994 to enable it to continue in occasional use, but unfortunately two of the large sidelights cracked again, and the work required to replace them was considered futile considering the poor general state of the body. It requires complete re-sheeting with new window frames. It had been assumed that the considerable water ingress and obvious internal damage also indicated the need for major structural renewal, but on stripping out the interior the timber body structure has in fact been found to be in quite remarkably good condition, with only one significant area of rot, in the cant rail above one of the first class compartments.
Its overhaul has now started, and is being undertaken by the team who completed the overhaul of Bulleid Brake coach No.2526 in the Autumn of 2009.
Type: CK (Corridor Composite)
Built: May 1947, underframe at Lancing, Body at Eastleigh (E3235)
Original No: 5768
Other Nos: S5768S
Seating: 24 1st, 24 3rd
Length: 64' 6"
Weight: 34 Tons
To Bluebell: 30/9/1971
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