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Southern Railway
Maunsell Composite Brake Carriage No. 6686

Compartment side and brake end of 6686 - Klaus Marx - 2 April 1997
This photo shows the compartment side and brake end of the coach following overhaul. (Klaus Marx, 2 April 1997)

One of the later design of Maunsell coaches with entirely flush sheeting and windows, this coach was one of those selected in 1959 for refurbishment and the fitting of electric heating, for use on the Night Ferry train. As such it enjoyed an extended life on British Rail, being the penultimate Maunsell coach in regular passenger service.

Preserved by the Southern Locomotive Preservation Co., it was based in various places in Hampshire until the closure of the preservation scheme at Liss led to its transfer to the Bluebell.

It ran in service on the Bluebell until 1987 when it was withdrawn for a long-overdue overhaul. The interior was completely stripped out, refurbished and replaced following the completion of structural repairs to the ends, sides and doors. The complete bottom-side timbers, running the entire length of the coach, were replaced. All the external steel sheeting was replaced, and the coach re-entered service in April 1997.

The restoration of this coach was Highly Commended in the 1998/9 Heritage Railway Association Carriage & Wagon Awards.

Third Class seating First Class seating

Left: Third-class seating after overhaul. Right: First-class seat - the Festival of Britain "Blazing Sun" design was derived from a similar Southern Railway pattern.
(Both photos: Richard Salmon, December 2003).

Corridor side of 6686 - Richard Salmon - 6 September 2014

Corridor side of 6686, with large "flush-glazed" sidelights.
(Richard Salmon, 6 September 2014).

Type: Corridor Brake Composite
Built: 1935 at Eastleigh (E799)
Original No: 6686
Other Nos: S6686S
Seating: 12 1st class, 32 3rd class
Length: 59'
Restriction: 4
Weight: 32 tons
Withdrawn: September 1966
Preserved: 1967
To Bluebell: 2/10/1971
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