The 1938-built 4 Cor Motor Coach at Horsted Keynes, 20th January 2005
(both photos: Colin Duff)
This Southern Electric '4 Cor' motor coach is part of a complete 4-coach set owned by a company set up by the Southern Electric Group, having been bought by them straight out of service on British Rail in 1972. Initially it operated behind steam on the Nene Valley Railway, forming their re-opening train in 1977.
It was later moved back to Southern Electric territory, and this coach was cosmetically restored externally at St. Leonards, before moving to the Bluebell Railway so as to be on public display. The coupé was complete. In the small saloon, one seating bay was restored and all seats and panels replaced. Other seating bays were arranged with exhibition displays to show the construction of the vehicle and different stages of restoration, together with the complete coupé (half) seating bay.
For several years its presence in Platform 1 at Horsted Keynes at the Bluebell enabled visitors to inspect the interior, the first opportunity to do so since the early 1980s when the unit was withdrawn from steam hauled passenger service on the Nene Valley Railway. This provided a public-facing opportunity for the SEG.
Subsequently it was withdrawn from public display due to deteriorating condition, and a lack of volunteers to maintain it and open it to the public. The carriage was moved from Platform 1 to a siding at Horsted Keynes, and left the Bluebell in early November 2015. SEG's other 4 Cor coaches are at the East Kent Railway, and two of the carriages are now available for operational use there.
Type: DMBT 4 Cor electric Driving Motor Brake Third
Original No: 11201, from unit 3142
Seating: 52 Third Class
Power: 3rd rail 660V DC, two 225hp Metropolitan Vickers traction motors
Owner: Southern Electric Heritage Limited
To Bluebell: 18 January 2005
Left Bluebell: November 2015
Current status: see Carriage Register entry for this vehicle
Further details of the 4 Cor units and their history is available from the Southern Electric Group