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Southern Railway No.4279
Bulleid Brake Third, built in 1949 (under BR)

SR Bulleid Semi-Open Brake 4279

Semi-Open Brake Third No.4279 at Horsted Keynes
Richard Salmon

This coach was built to a Southern Railway design by Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Co. It is unusual in its "semi-open" seating arrangement, having 16 seats in two compartments and 32 in an open saloon. It was used in three-coach set No.820 – on Weymouth and West of England trains out of Waterloo – until withdrawn, stripped of its seating and partitions and converted into a teleprinter office.

On arrival on the Bluebell it entered traffic, with temporary seating, until between 1976 and 1979 it received a more extensive renovation and was fitted with compartment partitions and seating of the correct pattern. In 1997 it received further maintenance work, including a new roof canvas, and repairs to a few parts of the wooden structure and interior. It has run for more years on the Bluebell than it did on British Railways.

Probably last used in December 2014 for Santa Special services, the carriage was withdrawn from traffic because of the structural condition of the brake end plus "Bulleid Rising Floor Syndrome", this being caused by corrosion build-up between the steel bottom rail (or "build rail") and the top of the solebars. With no immediate prospect of resources becoming available to overhaul the vehicle, the unique 4279 was allocated space in the new OP4 carriage storage shed at Horsted Keynes and, on 30 November 2017, it became the third vehicle to be shunted into the new structure.

Type: Semi-Open Brake Third
Built: (Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Co.) January 1949
Original No: S4279S
Other Nos: DS 70248
Seating: 48 3rd class
Length: 64' 6"
Weight: 32.5 tons
Withdrawn: 1966
Preserved: 1970
To Bluebell: 20/6/1970
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© Copyright Richard Salmon and Martin Skrzetuszewski, with additional information provided by Roger Williams.
Page last updated by Richard Salmon, 4 December 1998 and Jon Elphick, 6 January 2018.
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