Tickets on sale Vistor Info What's New Shop Search the site FAQ Links Details for the enthusiast How you can join in or help us Contacts Navigate
Bluebell Railway Preservation Society web site Bluebell Railway web site
Donate to the Jewel in the Crown appeal

Carriages & Wagons - Stock Lists: Carriages & Wagons - C&W Works News - Operation Undercover - Technical Pages - Join us

The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service Email Newsletter


Southern Railway
Maunsell Nondescript Brake No. 4444

As had long been expected, this carriage was broken up for spares, due to being assessed as being in a dangerous condition, on 12 April 2021.

SR Maunsell Nondescript Brake 4444 - Richard Salmon - March 1992

4444 whilst used as the "Carriage Shop" (Richard Salmon - March 1992)

The Maunsell restriction 1 (8'6" wide) "nondescript" or unclassed coaches were built for use on the South Eastern Section boat trains, and could be allocated for first, second or third class as required by the passenger complement of the ship for which the train was run. Internally they were fine vehicles, divided into three separate saloon areas, quite fit for first-class use. They also found use, as rather plush third-class accommodation, on special trains run for some of the many boarding schools within the SR's area at the start and end of term. Two of these splendid coaches are to be found, in working order, on the Kent & East Sussex Railway.

488 on incoming railtour - Ian Nolan - 1 April 1962

The railtour of 1 April 1962 which ran from London Bridge via Haywards Heath behind privately preserved GNR Saddle Tank No. 1247 is seen here arriving back at Horsted Keynes behind the Adams Radial Tank (1247 is on the rear) after its trip down to Sheffield Park. (Photo with thanks to and © Ian Nolan)

Used in the Southern Region Officers' Train from 1946 to 1956, in 1959 No. 4444 was substantially modified (or butchered as one writer has put it) and renumbered to become an ambulance coach. It was one of four modified with 11 seats and 24 cots for the initial stage of the pilgrimage journey to Lourdes. After withdrawal from this use it was sold to the army, for continued use as an ambulance coach at Bramley, until condemned by a rolling stock inspector who fell through its rotten roof.

On arrival on the Bluebell the old roof was removed and burned, and a new one fitted. Internally it was again modified, to become Sheffield Park's buffet, prior to the building of the current facility. It then served for a time as the Carriage Shop at Horsted Keynes. With its roof leaking again, it appeared that the dry rot had not been eliminated the first time around, and it has subsequently deteriorated considerably. It had been expected eventually to donate its underframe to allow the restoration of the identical No. 4441, which survives at the Bluebell in slightly better condition.

In April 2021 its deteriorating condition resulted in it being declared dangerous, and it was dismantled, with a few parts salvaged for re-use. The underframe as a whole was judged unsuitable for retention/reuse, but the bogies were sold on for use supporting the salvaged body of Pullman Car 'Princess Ena' at Petworth Station.

It should be remembered that 4444 did not come to the Bluebell with the intention that it would ever be restored. With two identical, complete, and restored vehicles operating on the K&ESR (Nos. 4432 & 4443), and since we only had the parts available to restore one nondescript, it was never intended to retain the coach other than as a source of spare parts for 4441. SR Maunsell Nondescript Brake 4444 - Richard Salmon - March 1992 Type: Nondescript Brake/Ambulance Car
Built: 1933 at Eastleigh (E708)
Original No: 4444
Other Nos: S4444S, S7921S, MoD: AD 777
Seating: 36 1st, 2nd or 3rd class as required
     (later 35, including 24 invalids)
Length: 59'
Restriction: 1
Weight: 31 tons
Withdrawn: 1968
Preserved: 1980
To Bluebell: 29/8/1980

Right: 4444 in use as the Carriage Shop (Richard Salmon, March 1992)

splash The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service
Return to BRPS Home Page, to the Timetable or to Special Events
Carriages & Wagons - Intro - Development - Stock Lists: Carriages & Wagons - Carriage Fleet Review - Join us
C&W Works News - Operation Undercover - Football Competition - Carriage Shop - Technical Pages

Visitor Info. - Museum - Trust - Catering - Contacts - What's New - Projects - Locos - Carriages & Wagons - Signals - History - Other - Links - Search - FAQ
Why not become a BRPS Member?     -     Get more involved as a Volunteer

Your ideal Film/TV location?

Valid HTML 4.0 Transitional! © Copyright Richard Salmon.
Page last updated by Jon Elphick, 3 July 2017 and Richard Salmon, 18 July 2021
© Copyright BRPS.             Privacy Policy