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London & South Western Railway No.494

LSWR Corridor Third 494

Mike Esau

Type: Corridor Third
Built: 1911
Original No: 494
Other Nos: SR: 673, BR: S673S, S39S, W39S
Seating: 64 3rd class
Length: 56'
Weight: 28 tons
Withdrawn: 1953
Preserved: 1975
To Bluebell: 1/7/1975

This coach, an early example of a corridor-connected vehicle, was built to Drawing 1872 for the top express services from Waterloo. It was displaced from this onto second-line duties by more modern vehicles in the 1920s, and on withdrawal from passenger service was converted into a camping coach. From 1964 it saw use first as a mess coach at St. Blazey, then as a wagon control office at Westbury until September 1974.

Information to enable an authentic reconstruction of the interior is available from two sources: a contemporary book, the relevant chapter of which was written by LSWR carriage supremo Surrey Warner, and a coloured leaflet showing cross-sections of the vehicle. Structurally it is in fairly poor shape, but corridor partitions to the correct design have been obtained for it.

Restoration is currently in abeyance until other projects have been completed. It is hoped that this is one of the carriages that will be moved to the new OP4 storage shed when it is completed in late 2017.

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