This coach was built to a Southern Railway design by Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Co. It is unusual in its "semi-open" seating arrangement,
having 16 seats in two compartments and 32 in an open saloon. It was used in three-coach set No.820, on Weymouth and West of England trains out of
Waterloo, until withdrawn in 1966. It entered departmental service, stripped of its seating and partitions and converted into a teleprinter office.
On arrival on the Bluebell in 1970 it entered traffic, with temporary seating, until between 1976 and 1979 it received a more extensive renovation and was
fitted with compartment partitions and seating of the correct pattern. In 1997 it received further maintenance work, including a new roof canvas,
and repairs to a few parts of the wooden structure and interior. It has run for twice as many years on the Bluebell as it did on British Railways.
Right: The compartment side of Semi-Open Brake Third No.4279, 11 April 1993 (Richard Salmon)
Last used in the first week of January 2015, the carriage was then withdrawn from traffic because of the structural condition of the
brake end and corrosion build-up between the steel bottom rail (or "build rail") and the top
of the solebars. With no immediate prospect of resources becoming available to overhaul the vehicle, the unique 4279 was allocated space in the new
OP4 carriage storage shed at Horsted Keynes and, on 30 November 2017, it became the third vehicle to be shunted into the new structure.
Type: Semi-Open Brake Third
Built: (Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Co.) January 1949
Original No: S4279S
Other Nos: DS 70248
Seating: 48 3rd class
Length: 64' 6"
Weight: 32.5 tons
To Bluebell: 20/6/1970