Bulleid Semi-Open Brake Third No.2515 at Horsted Keynes (Richard Salmon)
This coach, built to a Southern Railway design by the newly formed British Railways, was used throughout its time on BR in three-coach set No.857. It is unusual in its "semi-open" seating arrangement, having 16 seats in two compartments, and 32 in an open saloon. Initially used on London to Dover, Ramsgate and Margate services, in 1955 it was transferred to the South Western lines out of Waterloo.
On withdrawal it was retained for conversion to a gauging vehicle, but this was never done, and it was sold, complete but in need of major repairs, to the Bluebell. It finally entered full service after overhaul in 1977, having run briefly, partially complete, in 1976, as part of the five-coach Bulleid set formed for the return to traffic of Bulleid Pacific "Blackmoor Vale". It received new external sheeting during another overhaul in 1986-7, the seating was re-trimmed (upholstered) in 1994, and the roof re-covered in 1998. It has now run for twice as many years on the Bluebell as it did on BR.
Having, for the last couple of years, been relegated to periods of peak demand only, this carriage was finally withdrawn from service in the Spring of 2010, after 33 years in Bluebell service. It now needs the replacement of its corroded and corrugated steel bottom side, the structure which joins the timber-framed body to the steel underframe. This type of repair has already been carried out on other recent Bulleid carriage overhauls (1482 and 2526) and with 5768 currently receiving similar treatment, 2515 now takes its place in the overhaul queue, along with 1481, as a complete vehicle in need of structural repairs.
Type: Semi-Open Brake Third
Built: April 1951, underframe at Lancing, body at Eastleigh (E3583)
Original No: S2515S
Seating: 48 3rd class
Length: 64' 6"
Weight: 33 Tons
To Bluebell: 2/3/1973
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