Built initially for steam-haulage, this coach was converted for electric operation as a driving trailer in 1921, at which time the end compartment was rebuilt to a driver's cab. It was converted for steam haulage on the Metropolitan's Chesham Branch in 1940 as LT No.518, a push-pull driving vehicle. Purchased by the Bluebell in 1961, it was used during the sixties, since when it has been out of use except for filming work.
Right: The coach is seen on its test run, 25 January 1999, after eight years of restoration work (Lewis Nodes)
As part of the BASH project to return the set of four "Chesham" vehicles to working order, it has been stripped, and has received a new roof and two entirely new compartment walls.
Below: 394 is closest to the camera in this view of the three-coach set prepared for the launch of Composite 368 in May 2002 (Richard Salmon)
The driving cab, which was infested with dry-rot, has been stripped out and rebuilt as an ordinary passenger compartment, to return the coach to its pre-1921 condition; this has included re-converting the door opening from inward to outward opening, and the replacement of the doors thanks to two spares retained by London Transort's stores.
Much of the teak required for the reconstruction has been salvaged from various sources including old school lab benches, fire doors and factory staircases.
Following thirty years out of use and 8 years restoration work, the first two of the four Metropolitan coaches returned to public service in February 1999.
Type: Metropolitan Railway "Bogie Stock" Full 3rd
Built: (Ashbury) 1900, Rebuilt: 1921, Un-rebuilt: 1992-7
Seating: 70 3rd
Length: 39' 6"
Weight: 20 Tons
Original No: 394
Other Nos: 6702, 518
To Bluebell: 2/3/1961
Photo right: The interior of the first compartment restored, in August 1993 (Richard Salmon)
Details of its restoration are on a separate page.
A series of web pages are dedicated to details of the history and restoration of the four Metropolitan coaches.
See another photo of this coach from March 1997.