We have a large and diverse collection of rolling stock on the Bluebell Railway, built up over the years since we started in 1960. These include gems such as the Metropolitan Railway stock, which is the only close-coupled standard-gauge train in the country. We have five Pullman cars, from the 1920s and '50s, an unrivalled collection of old SECR, LSWR and Southern Railway carriages, plus the unusual and unique 1913 built LNWR Observation Car and the venerable Great Northern Railway Directors' Saloon.
Right: Restored London, Chatham & Dover Railway carriages Nos.3360 of 1889 and 3188 of 1897, seen on the evening of 3188's re-launch into service, 18 June 2016. The carriage bodies had been used as bungalows from 1925 and 1935, and were rescued by the Bluebell in 2003 and 2005. They both now run on adapted SR van underframes. No.3360 was adapted to carry passengers in wheelchairs thanks to a "People's Millions" grant from the Big Lottery Fund.
Two old London Brighton & South Coast Railway carriages have been restored to traffic after 68 and 80 years out of use, and another two are currently being restored. All four were recovered after more than half a century as dwellings, and have been mounted on suitably modified underframes.
Passenger rated stock is that which could be included in passenger trains. It includes luggage vans, carriage trucks, horse boxes, perishable produce vans and milk tankers.
The list shows vehicle number, type, (building date), and alternative numbers carried at various times in the vehicle's history. Links from coach numbers are to photographs of each vehicle.
Other documents provide an Introduction to the Carriages, a Review of the Carriage Fleet, and a Stock List of our Wagons.
Pre-Grouping - SR Maunsell - SR Bulleid - Pullman & CIWL - LMS - BR - EMU - Vans
Operational carriage stock - Carriages under overhaul - Carriages formerly based on the Bluebell
London Brighton & South Coast Railway (LBSCR)
| ||Craven-era carriages:|
|35||4-compt Second (c1856) Web page [dismantled body only]|
|94||Full Brake (c1858) Web page [body and underframe]|
|204||Quadrant-windowed 3-compt First (c1866) (Original No. Unknown, 204 as 2nd) Web page [dismantled body only]|
|221||Brake 2nd/3rd (1852 or 1859) (Original No. Unknown, 221 as Bk.3rd) Web page [will be rebuilt after fire]|
|328||4w Main-line Third (1890) Web page [Under Restoration]|
|661||Main-line First (1880) (originally 6w, now 4w) (Suburban Brake 2nd 262 (1909), Brake 3rd 1648) Web page [Operational]|
|676||4w Suburban Brake Third (1875) Web page [body only]|
|725||4w Main-line Brake Third (1878) Web page [dismantled body sections only]|
|949||4w Suburban Brake Third (1881) Web page [Under Restoration]|
|992||4w Main-line Third (1880) Web page [body only]|
20th Century LBSCR carriages:
|60||Directors' Saloon (1913) Web page|
|7598||First (1903) (LBSCR 142) Web page [Operational]|
London Chatham & Dover Railway (LCDR)
|48||6-wheel Brake 2nd (1894) (Brake 3rd 2781, SR 3630 (1927)) Web page|
|114||4-wheel Brake 3rd (1889) (Brake 2nd 106, Brake 3rd 114 (1891), 548 (1899), 3068 (1903)) Web page [Operational]|
|3188||28' 3rd (1897) (LCDR 668, SECR 3188 (1907), Brake 3rd, SR 3652 (1926)) Web page [Operational]|
|3360||4-wheel semi-saloon (1889) (built as Brake 2nd 51, Brake 3rd 285 (1897), SECR 3360 (1901)) Web page [Operational]|
South Eastern Railway (SER)
|33||Drawing Room Car (1891) - Later Pullman Car "Constance" Web page [body in two sections]|
|172||1st Saloon (1898) (later brake 1st) (SR 7874) Web page [body only]|
|1050||Composite (later all 3rd) (1897/9, reconstructed by SR in 1924) (SER 568 and 792, SECR 1440, SR 5546) Web page|
|18??||Brake 3rd (1877-8) (One of four, numbered 1887-90) Web page [body only]|
|2159||6-compartment 3rd (1887) Web page [body only]|
South Eastern & Chatham Railway (SECR)
|950||Birdcage 2nd Saloon Brake (later 3rd) (1907) (3582) Web page [Not Bluebell stock; in private ownership]|
|971||"100 seater" 3rd (1923) (1434) Web page [Withdrawn pending overhaul]|
|1061||Birdcage 3rd Brake (originally 2nd/3rd composite) (1909) (3334) Web page|
|1098||"100 seater" 3rd (1922) (1416) Web page [Operational]|
|1170||Birdcage 3rd Brake (1912) (3410) Web page|
|1440||Composite (see 1050 under SER Carriages above) - probably for use as centre coach for Birdcage trio set|
|3363||Birdcage Lavatory 3rd Brake (originally 2nd/3rd composite) (1910) (SECR 1084, DS22) Web page [Operational]|
London & South Western Railway (LSWR)
|25||34' family saloon (1885) (SR 0905 and 7937) Web page|
|320||Lavatory 3rd (1900, rebuilt and lengthened in 1935) (1228, 288) Web page|
|494||Corridor 3rd (1911) (673) Web page|
|1520||Lavatory Brake 3rd (1910) (2975) Web page [Operational]|
|368||Composite (Built by Ashbury, 1898) (515, 9702) Web page [Operational]|
|387||Brake 3rd (Built by Ashbury, 1898) (512, 2761) Web page [Operational]|
|394||Full 3rd (Built by Ashbury, 1900) (518, 6702) Web page [Operational]|
|412||Composite (Built by Cravens, 1900) (516, 9705) Web page [Operational]|
Great Northern Railway (GNR)
|43909||Directors' Saloon (1897) (706, 706E, 942090) Web page [Operational]|
London & North Western Railway (LNWR)
|1503||Observation Car (1913) (LMS 5316, 15843) Web page [Operational]|
Southern Railway Maunsell Carriages (1923-39)
(all are Restriction 4 (i.e. 9ft wide), unless stated otherwise)
|1309||Open Third (1935) Web page [Operational]|
|1336||"Drop-Light" Open Third (1933) Web page [Operational]|
|1365||built 1927: Dining Third 7866, redesignated Open Third 1365, 1930, Ambulance 6802 in 1944 and Compo Diner 7841 in 1947 Web page|
|2356||Corridor Third (Restriction 1, i.e. 8ft 6in wide) (1931) Web page|
|3687||Corridor Third Brake Web page (Restriction 0, i.e. 8ft wide for Hastings line) (1931) [Under Restoration]|
|3724||Corridor Third Brake (1930) Web page|
|4441||Nondescript Brake (could be used for 1st, 2nd or 3rd class as required) (Restriction 1) (1933) Web page|
|4444||Nondescript Brake (Restriction 1) (1933) Web page|
|4922||Sorting Carriage for Travelling Post Offices (1939) Web page|
|5644||Corridor Composite (1930) Web page|
|6575||Corridor Brake Composite (1929) Web page|
|6686||Corridor Brake Composite (1935) Web page [Operational]|
|7864||Restaurant Car (1932, rebuilt 1947 as Kitchen Buffet) Web page
Southern Railway designed Bulleid Carriages (1945-52)
Pullman and Compagnie Internationale de Wagons-Lits
(These three carriages are used for overnight sleeping accommodation for volunteers)
- see also the LMS BGZ
|398||LMS/BR 1st Sleeper (1952) Web page [at Sheffield Park]|
|603||LMS/BR 3rd Sleeper (1951) Web page [at Horsted Keynes]|
|623||LMS/BR 3rd Sleeper (1952) Web page [at Horsted Keynes]|
|1674||RBR||Restaurant-Buffet (Refurbished) (1961) Web page [Operational]|
|1818||RMB||Restaurant Miniature Buffet (1960) Web page [Operational]|
|1838||RMB||Restaurant Miniature Buffet (1959) Web page [Awaiting overhaul]|
|3064||FO||Open First (1955) Web page [Operational]|
|3069||FO||Open First (1955) Web page [Operational]|
|4754||SO||Open Second (64 seats) (1957) (Bicester Military Railway WGP 8806) Web page [Under overhaul]|
|4824||SO||Open Second (48 seats) (1959) Web page [Operational]|
|4941||Saloon||(formerly SO) (1962) Web page [Operational, Converted to multi-use saloon with wheelchair lifts]|
|4957||SO||Open Second (64 seats) (1962) Web page [Operational]|
|5034||Saloon||(formerly SO, then TCL 99165) (1962) Web page [Under overhaul, Converted to multi-use saloon with wheelchair lifts]|
|16012||CK||Corridor Composite (1957) (7012, S16012) Web page [Operational]|
|16210||CK||Corridor Composite (1961) (7210) Web page [Operational]
|21246||BCK||Brake Composite (1962) Web page [Operational]|
|21271||BCK||Brake Composite (1964) (ADB977109) Web page
|25728||SK||Corridor 2nd (1961) (18728) Web page [Operational]|
|25769||SK||Corridor 2nd (1961) (18769) Web page [Awaiting end overhaul]|
|34556||BSK||Brake Corridor 3rd (later 2nd) (1955) Web page [Operational]|
|35207||BSK||Brake Corridor 2nd (1958) Web page [Operational]|
Ex-BR Carriages, now non-traffic vehicles:
|88||"Service Car No.2" Staff Sleeping Coach. Mk.1 SLC (M2442) (1961) Web page|
|10690||Mk3 SLEP - Staff Dormitory, Sheffield Park Photo 1 and Photo 2|
|10693||Mk3 SLEP - Staff Dormitory, Sheffield Park Photo|
|25871||Carriage Shop, (TCL 99161) Ex-Mk.1 SK (1962) Web page|
|TCL 99166||Staff Dormitory, Sheffield Park. Ex-Mk.1 SK (25776) (1961) Web page|
|BDC 977166||Visitor facilities, East Grinstead. Ex-Mk.1 BSK (35419, later Staff and Generator Coach) (1963)|
BR Electric Multiple Unit Vehicles:
See also the four Metropolitan Railway carriages, above, which are one-time emu vehicles.
Pre-Grouping passenger-rated Vans
|1||LCDR||Horse Box (1882) (1002, SECR 184) Web page [May be rebuilt after loss in fire]|
|153||SECR||Passenger Luggage Van (PLV) (1922) (1994, DS70031) Web page [Potentially operational]|
|270||LBSCR||Milk/Fruit Van (1908) (2178, 1525S) Web page [Restored but not yet operational]|
|719||SECR||Birdcage Brake Van (1905) (616, 1601S) Web page|
|5498||LSWR||Ventilated Luggage Van (1920) (1584, DS1686) Web page|
Southern Railway Vans and other passenger rated stock
|404||Van C (BY) (4-wheel Guard's Brake Van) (1937) Web page [Under Overhaul]|
|419||Van C (BY) (1937) (ADB 975548) Web page|
|1184||PLV (4-wheel Passenger Luggage Van, later "PMV") (1935) Web page|
|1788||PLV (1942) Web page|
|2186||PLV (1934) Web page|
|2276||Van U (4 wheel Covered Carriage Truck, CCT) (1929) Web page|
|2462||GBL (Gangwayed Bogie Luggage van) (body 1931, u/f 1910) Web page [Potentially operational]|
|2531||4-w CCT (1955) Web page [Overhaul completed 2019]|
|4430||6-wheel glass-lined Milk Tank (1933) Web page [Potentially operational]|
|4601||Bogie Scenery Van (equipped for carrying circus elephants) (1949) Web page [Children's Play Carriage]|
| ||Further SR vans are also on site, and the bodies of some have already been removed.|
These are providing underframes for the restoration of 19th century 4-wheeled carriages.
LMS & BR passenger-rated Vans
|32975||LMS||BGZ (6-wheel Gangwayed Guard's Brake, Stove R) (1938) Web page [Operational, Pullman livery]|
|87720||BR||12-Ton INSUL-FISH Insulated Fish Van (1960) (083402) Web page|
|6334||BR||BG - HST Barrier Vehicle (ex Gangwayed Full Brake 81478/92128) (1957) Web page|
|86722||BR||bogie GUV - (Post Office NJV 93722) (1959) Web page|
|94181||BR||CCT (1959) Web page|
* indicates carriages which will require major overhaul in next few years.
LBSCR: 661, 7598; LCDR: 114, 3188, 3360;
GNR: Directors' Saloon (LNER 43909) Metropolitan Railway: 387, 394, 368, 412;
SECR: 1098; LNWR: Observation Car 1503;
LSWR: 1520; LMS: Stove R 32975;
Pullmans: 175 "Fingall", 219 Car No.64 (Christine)
SR Maunsell: 1309*, 1336, 6686, Milk Tanker 4430*;
SR Bulleid: 1464*, 1482, 2526, 5768
BR: 1674, 1818, 3064, 3069, 4824, 4941, 4957*, 16012, 16210, 21246, 25728*, 34556, 35207
Carriages undergoing major overhaul
LBSCR 949 - the restoration of this 1881-built brake third, rescued from a farmyard, is nearly complete.
LBSCR 328 - another grounded body under restoration, and like 949 now mounted on a rebuilt SR van underframe.
Pullman 157 "Car 54" - a major project, including the provision of wheelchair access to our Pullman train, this is a 1923-built Pullman Brake carriage.
SR Maunsell 3687 - a Hastings-line brake third, originally brought to the Bluebell to provide spare parts for other restorations, this became a restoration project in its own right. Now moving towards completion.
BR Mk.1 TSO 4754 - an early example of a Mk.1, this carriage came to the Bluebell from the Bicester Military Railway, and is having a thorough overhaul before it enters service.
BR Mk.1 Saloon 5034 - End-structure overhaul complete, now receiving internal refurbishment.
BR Mk.1 RMB 1838 - End-structure overhaul being undertaken by external contractors.
Carriages currently receiving heavy maintenance
SR Van'C' 404 - bodywork refurbishment and fitting out as filming support vehicle
LBSCR Van 270 - following restoration of its bodywork, and the replacement of its wheelsets, a redesign of its brake gear has been necessary, and the work on the brake gear is now underway to make the van operational.
Mk.1 SK 25769, steam heat work under way, and to receive intermediate structural repairs and bogie overhaul (having swapped bogies with 25728).
Carriages currently undergoing light overhaul/maintenance
Bulleid Open 3rd 1482 - re-trim of seating in progress, whilst returned to service for peak periods.
LNWR Observation Car No.1503, LCDR/SECR 3188, 3360 and LBSCR 661: awaiting mechanical attention.
SECR Van 153 - bodywork/doors/roof attention.
The Carriage Exhibition at Horsted Keynes is well worth a visit, and includes a viewing gallery in the carriage works, at the south end of platform 5. Donations collected are now being put towards the eventual overhaul of the SR Maunsell Restaurant car No.7864, and the provision of more urgently needed overhead cover for our carriage stock.
On Platform 1 at Horsted Keynes, the Carriage Shop sells various items,
including a large range of books, to raise funds for carriage restoration.
Much of the carriage restoration done at Horsted Keynes is undertaken by
volunteers. As the above lists show, there is a long line of carriages
awaiting our attention. Why not come and join us; drop in for a look
around the shed and see what we do! There is all sorts of work
available, skilled and unskilled. Learn new skills, or brush up on
those you've forgotten. There are people around every day.
Join the Carriage Restorers and be part of an
award winning department! 1309, Pullman 'Bertha' (no longer on the Bluebell) and the completed Metropolitan Set have been overall winners of the Heritage
Railway Association (HRA) C&W competition, 3363, 32975 and 7598 have won HRA "Coach of the year" awards, and 387, 114, 661, 7598 and 1520 have
received other prestigious prizes and awards.
Caledonian Railway: TK 3339
LNWR: Semi-Royal Saloon 806
LMS: TK 1272
Southern Railway: 4 Cor DMBT 11201, Van C (BY) 442, Van C (BY) 653
Pullman Cars: 278 6 Pul Kitchen Composite "Bertha", 282 "Brighton Belle" Kitchen 1st "Doris", 311 Met-Cam Kitchen 1st "Eagle"
British Railways: Mk.I RKB 1566 - photo, Mk.I RU(B) 1987, Mk.I FO 3042, Mk.I FO 3116, Mk.2c FK 13540, Mk.I CK 16263, Mk.I SK 18752, Mk.I SK 24458, Mk.I BSK 35448, Mk.I CL 43010, Mk.I BS 43172, Mk.I SLO 48015 and "Monster" CCT W600W.
Southern Railway "Matchboard" Brake No.3554 was loaned to the Bluebell by the Vintage Carriages Trust, 1991-93. Photo
Ex-Travelling College train - 12 Mk.1 carriages were purchased in late 1993. Five remain on the Bluebell. The following, which had been converted to dormitories were immediately sold-on: SK 25795, SK 25856 and SK 25994. Subsequently TSO 4921, SK 25853, BCK 21238 and the "New Century Lounge" SK 25778 were also sold for use elsewhere.
Four former "Queen of Scots" Sleeping Cars were hired for use on the Bluebell for a few years from 1992: BR Mk.1 Sleeper First 2110 "State Car No.85", BR Mk.1 SK 26208 "Imperial State Car No.84", BR Mk.1 Sleeper First 2108 "State Car No.83" and BR Mk.1 SK 26169 "Imperial State Car No.82", which all left again after just a few years use.
No.88 ("Service Car No.2") was purchased, and remains on the Bluebell (see above).
Former SLOA (later FSS) set BN 91 carriages, which were on hire to the Bluebell from April 1990 for a year, were BCK 120 (Sc21236) and FOs 125 Eileen (M3115), 127 Carol (M3117), 128 Beryl (M3130) and 358 (M3108), in addition to 3116 (listed above).
A rake of carriages was hired in 1963 to cover for the Chesham Set being sent to Neasden for the centenary of the Metropolitan Railway. These were Bulleid Brake Composite S6714S, Mk.1 TSO S4381, Bulleid Open Third S1495S, Bulleid Open Third S1473S, Mk.1 TSO S4014 and Mk.1 48-seat Open Second (later reclassified as Open First) S3504. None of these vehicles entered preservation. S3504 was used to supplement the Sheffield Park Buffet seating prior to the arrival of Maunsell 1365.
The Railway Heritage Register Carriage Survey Project has details of all preserved carriages.
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Copyright © 7 October 1995, and subsequent updates.
Last update 23 December 2019 by Richard Salmon.
Photo credits and disclaimer.