Along with No.949 it was rescued from a farm near Cranleigh where it had been used as a storage shed since soon after World War I. Originally oil lit, one lamp illuminated all three passenger compartments, which didn't have partitions above the tops of the seat backs.
A suitable Southern Railway van underframe has been obtained, and will be shortened to carry this body. Restoration work on the body of No.949 commenced in 2004 after completion of No.661, and restoration of No.328 is also under way. These three will run with three LCDR carriages for the time being until we have enough vehicles to form a complete Stroudley train.
Research has shown that this was part of a very early experiment in electric lighting, having a generator and batteries within the guards van powered from a belt of the axle running up through the floor. It would therefore potentially form a very interesting museum exhibit. It is recorded as having been part of "Crystal Palace Block Set" Train No CP21 in 1897.
The coach is stored on a temporary underframe (ex-PLV 1728, DB977038) under an overall tarpaulin, and was moved into the OP4 shed at Horsted Keynes in 2018.
Type: 4-wheeled Suburban Brake Third (Diagram 34)
Built: 1876 at Brighton
Seating: 30 3rd class
Weight: Original: 9 Tons
To Bluebell: 17 May 1998
Owner: Bluebell Railway Trust
Right: 676 at Horsted Keynes, May 1998. (Richard Salmon)
Further Reading: LB&SCR Carriages, Volumes 1 & 2, Ian White, Simon Turner and Sheina Foulkes, Kestrel Railway Books, 2014 & 2016.