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South Eastern & Chatham Railway
"Birdcage" Saloon 2nd Brake No. 950
(built in 1907)


Birdcage Brake 950 at Ashford - Tom Martin - 1968

Birdcage Brake No. 950 at Ashford with H-class No. 263 in 1968 (Tom Martin/Bluebell Archive)

Built as one of four such vehicles for the South Eastern & Chatham Railway's boat trains, with the introduction of the new corridor boat train in the early years of the Southern Railway it was then kept as a spare, downgraded to third class. It subsequently found use in one of the Eastern Section's 'long' sets until converted into a mess van on withdrawal. It was initially preserved at the South Eastern Steam Centre at Ashford, where it was used with temporary seating to carry passengers on short rides within the centre, moving to a farm near Ashford in 1983 after the steam centre closed.

It is on the Bluebell for storage, as a privately owned vehicle, and is now covered by a tarpaulin provided by the Bluebell Railway Trust to arrest further deterioration.


Type: Birdcage Saloon Brake Second (later Third)
Built: 1907 (by Metropolitan Amalgamated Carriage & Wagon Co., Birmingham)
Diagram No: SECR 2307/1, SR 168
Original No: 950
Other Nos: SR: 3582, BR: S3582S, DS 27
Seating: 22 2nd class (later 26 3rd class)
Length: 50' 1" (53' 10" over buffers)

Withdrawn: 1953
Preserved: 1960s
To Bluebell: 21/9/1998

The SECR sketch/diagram 2307/1, along with a works photo of this coach in the Metropolitan Amalgamated yard at Saltley when new, are to be found in "SE&CR Carriages" by Phil Coutanche (Lightmoor Press 2007)

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