Above: The coach on its re-launch special, 16 March 2009 (Dave Clarke)
Right: At the very start of its restoration, prior to dismantling, in 1998 (Richard Salmon)
This coach is an unusual design, with large opening windows, which drop into the bodyside. Its interior is an open saloon arrangement. Carriages of this design were used from 1930 in conjunction with kitchen dining cars to providing dining accommodation on prestigious trains such as the "Bournemouth Limited", and on services between London Waterloo and Portsmouth, Exeter or Weymouth, and Brighton to Cardiff services.
This particular carriage, built in 1933, ran until December 1961, being subsequently used as an office at Fratton (when its interior was stripped out) until purchased for eventual restoration on the Bluebell Railway in 1987. The painstaking restoration commenced in 1998, and has been one of the most comprehensive ever undertaken by any UK heritage railway, involving the complete dismantling of the body down to the floor, and rebuilding using as much of the original material as had survived in good enough condition.
Whilst much of the original mahogany veneer panelling had survived under a coat of paint, most of the other interior fittings have had to be gathered from other sources, including seating from withdrawn 1930s-built Southern Railway electric trains.
Go to the page for the this coach's overhaul
In the workshop, part-way through the reconstruction of the main body structure (Richard Salmon)
Return to the Bluebell Home Page
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