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Night Ferry Sleeping Car No. 3801

This carriage is no longer at the Bluebell Railway.

CIWL Night Ferry Car - Richard Salmon

Photo: Richard Salmon

The Night Ferry service from London to Paris was inaugurated in 1936. This coach, although built in Paris in 1939, was not completed until after the war, and even then the Night Ferry service did not resume until December 1947. It was on the last Night Ferry service in 1980, and was stored subsequently at Ostend.

It returned to the UK, again by ferry, after purchase by a group of the Bluebell's working members for use as overnight sleeping accommodation. It was repainted from the later light-blue SNCF livery to the deep-blue CIWL colours. It was a somewhat unusual, but none-the-less appropriate, carriage for the Bluebell's collection of predominantly Southern Railway stock.

After 38 years service providing volunteer accommodation on the Bluebell, its deteriorating condition due to the difficulty of maintaining such an elderly vehicle outside in a siding meant that an offer from a group based in France, which should lead to its further preservation and restoration, was favourably received by its private owners, and it departed on a Reid's transporter on 24 November 2022, initially to a location elsewhere in the UK.

You can read more about this Car in the Spring 1985 issue of Bluebell News and in the December 2022 issue of Bluebell Times.

Type: Composite (First and Second Class) Sleeping Car
Built: (Paris) 1939
Number: 3801
Passengers: 18 sleeping berths
Length: 63' 1"
Weight: 54 Tons 12 cwt
Withdrawn: 1980
Preserved: 1984
To Bluebell: 14 December 1984
Left Bluebell: 24 November 2022

Night Ferry Sleeping Car No. 3792 has also been preserved, at the National Railway Museum, in York.

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