"Carina" on arrival at Sheffield Park on 5 January 2012
The 1951 Golden Arrow cars had been planned before the second world war; indeed the design, the LNER-design of underframe and Gresley heavyweight bogie, the marquetrie* panels, and some other materials date from 1938. The timing of their eventual completion in 1951 ensured they were associated with the "Festival of Britain" that year, some of the new Cars forming a short VIP train prior to the reformation of the Golden Arrow using the new cars, and others rebuilt to match, on 11 June. Distinctive due to their cleaner, more modern interiors, and particularly their rectangular rather than oval lavatory and pantry windows, they were the last "traditional" Pullman design to be constructed before the takeover of the Pullman Car Co. by the BTC in 1954. Subsequent designs were based on BR's standard rolling stock.
"Carina" was built as a first-class kitchen car, with separate arm chairs (as seen in the adjacent 1951 view of its interior), and entered service on the Golden Arrow on 11 June 1951.
It achieved fame when on 30 January 1965 it was one of the Pullman Cars forming the funeral train of Sir Winston Churchill. From 14 June 1965 Pullman cars just provided the first-class accommodation on the Golden Arrow train, with second class passengers travelling in ordinary carriages. In November 1968 "Carina" was remodelled with 2+1 seating, but still as first class, losing its name and "Pullman" branding, numbered as S307S. The photo above shows it still carrying that final BR corporate livery (albeit a Southern Region adaptation, which was used for the Brighton Belle and Golden Arrow Pullmans), applied in November 1968, and now rather care-worn after 43 years.
After withdrawal, in March 1973 it became a static restaurant at the Hotel Mercure, Dardilly near Lyon in France. It was recovered from there in 1980, being intended for use on the VSOE, and was partially stripped, with new end timbers prepared for it, before plans changed, and after many years of storage at Carnforth, Swindon and then from 1987, Stewarts Lane, it was sold and moved to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway in May 2002.
In 2006 the Bluebell acquired "Doris", intended to be overhaul for use as a kitchen car on the Railway's Golden Arrow Pullman Dining Train. Subsequently, the 5BEL Trust was established to restore a 5-car BEL electric set for main-line operation, and "Doris" was the only first-class car which was then available to them, so a deal was struck where they would obtain "Carina" and then exchange it for Doris. "Carina" is attractive to the Bluebell because it should be easier to maintain in the longer term than an all-steel Brighton Belle Car, and also because, like "Fingall", it was used on the Golden Arrow service.
The exchange of ownership of "Doris" with the 5BEL Trust for "Carina" was completed in late October 2015.
Carina, as built, 22 First-class seats
As remodelled, 28 First-class seats
Type: Pullman Kitchen First* The spelling of "marquetrie" (as opposed to the conventional "marquetry") is that used by Dunns of Chelmsford, and I take the view that since they made the panelling used in many of our Pullman cars, we should use their spelling also!
Built: Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon (1951)
Pullman Schedule No: 307
Number (from November 1968): S307S
Seating, as built: 22 first class
Seating, as remodelled: 28 first class
Length: 65 ft. 10 in. as built, later 66 ft. 1/4 in. (both over buffers)
Weight: 40 Tons (in both configurations)
Withdrawn: 30 September 1972
Preserved: March 1973
To Bluebell: 5 January 2012
Owner: Bluebell Railway