One of our four Metropolitan Railway carriages, No. 368 had been built by Ashbury's of Manchester in 1898 for steam haulage, and was converted for electric operation in 1906. Withdrawn in 1938, it was one of six reconverted for steam haulage on the Metropolitan's Chesham Branch in 1940 as LT No.515.
Purchased by the Bluebell in 1961, it was used during the early sixties, since when it was out of use for over 35 years, and was very nearly scrapped due to the poor condition of its body (as seen in the photo below). This however was prevented, and along with the other three, was stored in the new carriage shed built in 1972. All the softwood of the roof, partitions and floor, and the American walnut panelling of the interior of the first class was lost to "miners rot".
It has been restored (as seen on the left) as part of the BASH (Bluebell Ashbury Supporters and Helpers) project to return the set of four "Chesham" vehicles to working order. It was clearly the one out of the four in the worst condition, but there was no work required on it that we could not undertake, so it was not left to last. Indeed, a start was made quite early, with all the first-class seating for this vehicle which had been removed early on, being rebuilt, replacing the arm-rests which were removed in 1940, and re-trimmed in a deep-blue moquette with white and gold piping (as seen in the photo on below).
Type: Metropolitan Railway "Bogie Stock" Composite
Built: (Ashbury) 1898
Seating: 24 1st, 30 3rd
Length: 39' 6"
Weight: 20 Tons
Original No: 368
Other Nos: 9702, 515
To Bluebell: 2/3/1961
Photo right: Interior of a First Class compartment, with lincrusta ceiling and panels, framed in American Walnut (lined with gold), and re-instated arm-rest (Richard Salmon, May 2002)
Details of its restoration are on a separate page.
Go to a Picture of this coach inside the shed in 1994.
The BASH web page is dedicated to details of the history and restoration of the four Metropolitan coaches.