This coach, together with our Stroudley First, No.661, Stroudley brake No.725 and Thirds No.328 and No.992, will form a complete LBSCR train dating from the same period as our two Terriers, also designed by William Stroudley.
Along with No.676 it was rescued from a farm near Cranleigh where it had been used as a storage shed since soon after the 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.
The exterior of the brake end as recovered still carried the set number "37 B", denoting its use at the end of a "Block" (i.e. close-coupled suburban) set of 12 gas-lit carriages. The set had, prior to 1907, been numbered "37 CP".
A suitable Southern Railway van underframe has now been shortenned to carry this body. The underframe, formerly belonging to SR Van U No.2411, has had 6 feet removed from its length. Restoration work commenced in July 2004 after completion of No.661, and we look forward to seeing a complete Stroudley train with a Stroudley engine, which will then form the oldest standard-gauge train in the country. Details of progress with the carriage's restoration are available here.
The photo on the right by Richard Salmon shows progress with the restoration as of 28 September 2019.
Type: 4-wheeled Suburban Brake Third (Diagram 34)
Built: (Midland Carriage & Wagon Co.) Sept.1881
Seating: 30 3rd class
Weight: Original: 9 Tons
To Bluebell: 17 May 1998
Underframe: modified, ex Van U (CCT) 2411 (DS 70249)
Owner: Bluebell Railway Trust
Further Reading: LB&SCR Carriages, Volumes 1 & 2, Ian White, Simon Turner and Sheina Foulkes, Kestrel Railway Books, 2014 & 2016.