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Pullman Car 'Doris'
Brighton Belle Electric Car, built in 1932

This Car is no longer on the Bluebell Railway

Doris - west side - 17 April 2006

The west side of Pullman Car Doris, at Horsted Keynes on 17th April 2006
(Richard Salmon)

This Pullman Car, formerly located at Finsbury Park, was purchased by the Bluebell in 2006, and was intended for use as part of the Railway's Golden Arrow Pullman Dining Train. In the interim, since it was internally in very presentable condition, it was used occasionally as a static catering outlet for cream teas.

Subsequently, the 5BEL Trust was established to restore a 5-car BEL electric set for main-line operation, and "Doris" was initially the only first-class car which could be available to them, so a deal was struck where they would exchange steam-hauled kitchen car "Carina" for Doris. "Carina" is attractive to the Bluebell because it should be easier to maintain in the longer term than an all-steel Belle Car, and also because, like "Fingall", it was used on the Golden Arrow service.

Interior of Pullman Car Doris - Dave Clarke - 11 March 2007 The work required to put "Doris" into service on the Bluebell would have included:

  • reinstatement of gangway connectors (emu ones would not have been suitable in any case),
  • replacement of air with vacuum braking,
  • replacement of electric with steam heating,
  • re-wiring, redesigned as required for 24V lighting system, installation of dynamo, regulator and batteries, and through-lighting control,
  • mechanical overhaul,
  • work on kitchen as required,
  • remove many side-lights (windows) and repair corrosion around them, plus other corrosion on body as required.
This is all very similar to the work we undertook on ex-electric Pullman Car "Bertha" prior to its return to service in 1990. Clearly a lot of this work is now not required as the vehicle is to be restored for electric operation.

The photo on the right (by Dave Clarke) shows the fine interior.

The Bluebell Railway exchanged ownership of "Doris" with the 5BEL Trust for "Carina" in late October 2015, and "Doris" left the Bluebell soon after, early in November.


Type: Pullman Kitchen First
Built: Metropolitan-Cammell Carriage Wagon & Finance Co. (1932)
Pullman Schedule No: 282
5-Bel Set No: 2051 (later 3051)
Seating: 20 first class
Length: 68' 9" overall
Weight: 43 Tons
Withdrawn: 30 April 1972
Preserved: 1972
To Bluebell: 9 April 2006
Left Bluebell: November 2015
Current status: see Carriage Register entry for this vehicle
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