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Southern Railway
"Van C" passenger-rated guard's brake No. 419

SR Van C 442

Van C (BY) No. 419 after overhaul, May 2004. Richard Salmon

Type: Van C (Passenger Brake Van) - BR classification: BY
Built: 1937, underframe at Ashford, body at Eastleigh
Original No: 419
Other Nos: S419S, ADB 975548
Length: 36'
Weight: 16 Tons
Preserved: 1998
To Bluebell Railway: 17/6/1998

The Van Cs were used for the carriage of parcels, newspapers, and many other forms of general merchandise. Equipped with facilities for a guard, including a hand brake, two periscopes to provide a view forward and, in this vehicle, a stove, they were rated to run in passenger trains, but were also used on parcels trains.

Of very simple design, with the metal framing exposed, and planked on the inside, they are easy to maintain. A total of 250 were built between 1936 and 1941. Most of them were withdrawn from service between 1966 and 1978, but a few continued in departmental use on BR right into the 1980s and early `90s.

This van survived as a match wagon for centre-buffer, three-link-coupled suburban Electric Multiple Units, and was thus not rendered surplus until the withdrawal of the last of the EPB units. Brought to the Bluebell to be broken up to provide an underframe for a vintage carriage body, it was decided that it was in better condition than No. 442, having received an overhaul in 1990, and so would replace the latter as a preservation item.

During 2004 it received a new roof covering and a repaint, and the destination chalk-boards were re-instated.


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