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British Railways Mk.I BCK No. 21271
(built in 1964)

BR Mk.1 BCK 21271 - Richard Salmon - 9 August 2008

Corridor Brake Composite, as painted green, but otherwise still in departmental condition, in 2008. (Richard Salmon)

One of the very last loco-hauled Mk.I coaches built at Derby, it was ordered in August 1962 to replace Bulleid BCKs on through trains from Waterloo to the West Country. However, when the lines beyond Exeter were transferred to the Western Region of BR in 1963, the thirteen vehicles were left with little use except boat trains and special workings.

S21271 was built with vacuum braking, dual (steam and electric) heating and Commonwealth-type cast bogies, being delivered in June 1964. Until June 1965 it was "loose" (not allocated to a specific set) and from then to May/June 1966 it was part of 6-RB set No. 296, working between Bournemouth and Waterloo. It returned to "loose" afterwards.
The somewhat unusual formation of set 296 during this period was:

      BCK  21267
      SO    4000
      BCK  21270
      SO   unspecified
      RB   unspecified
      BCK  21271

In January 1967 it was repainted into blue and grey livery and from July 1967 to May '68, it was one of two BCK vehicles in 8-car BR Mark I set No. 64; whose duties were principally Ocean Liner services to Southampton Docks.
The formation of set 64 was:

      BCK  21271
      SO    3988
      SO    3991
      CK   15896
      SO    3993
      SO    3837
      SO    4393
      BCK  21272 

It was converted to air braking only during 1968 and the steam heating was probably taken out of use at the same time.

In May 1969, S21271 became part of set No. 39, which was a 4 or 3-car Mark I set used to form boat trains to Weymouth Quay or Southampton Docks. It remained in this set until 1974/75 when it again became "loose".
BR Mk.1 BCK 21271 as ADB977109, in ex-departmental condition in 1998 - Richard Salmon The formation of set 64 was:

      BCK  21271
      SO    3991
      CK   15896
      SO    3993

Later becoming:

      SO    3991
      BCK  21271
      SO    3993

Almost half this Lot of BCKs eventually became departmental vehicles, S21271 succumbing in 1982. It was first used by the S&T Dept. and later converted into a crew van for use with the Brighton-based breakdown crane. It had been intended that this Brake Composite coach should come to the Bluebell as a long term restoration project. However, in view of its previous use as a departmental mess vehicle, it initially became the temporary operational base for our permanent way maintenance department.

Photo, Above right: Corridor Brake Composite S21271 as ADB977109, in ex-departmental condition in 1998 (Richard Salmon).

Type: BCK (Brake Composite Corridor), Diagram 172
Built: 1964, at BR Litchurch Lane Carriage Works, Derby (Lot 30732)
Seating: 12 1st class, 24 2nd class
Original No: S21271
Other No: ADB 977109
Body Length: 64' 6"
Weight: 37 Tons
Preserved: 1996
To Bluebell: 8/9/1996
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Valid HTML 4.0 Transitional! Copyright: Text © Richard Salmon, December 1998 and Martin Skrzetuszewski, July 2007.
        Photos © Richard Salmon, December 1998, August 2008.
Principal research source: notes by Mark Brinton
Last updated by Richard Salmon, 26 April 2013 and reformatted 26 December 2021
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