28th Feb 2020
Enthusiasts will have a unique opportunity to see the six Bulleid carriages running together in preservation for the first time this March at Mid Hants Railway ‘Watercress Line’.
Two of these historic carriages belong to Mid Hants Railway and will be joined by four others from the Bluebell Railway. It will also be the first trip out for one of the two carriages having just been freshly overhauled.
The carriages will be pulled by 30925 - SR Schools Class ‘Cheltenham’ and 30506 - SR S15 Class on the weekend of Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 March 2020, evoking memories of when this type of carriage was commonplace.
The Bulleid coaches, designed by Oliver Vaughan Snell Bulleid CBE (1882-1970), a British railway and mechanical engineer, historically represent the transition from the wooden bodied carriages to the all-steel Mark I built by British Rail. These coaches were aesthetically advanced for the immediate post-war era boasting large picture windows, popular with holidaymakers in the heyday of UK based holidays, in the 1950s.
Used across the Southern Railway and finished in 1947, the media pronounced some of these carriages to be ‘the Dream Train’.
Simon Baggott at Watercress Line said: “The team here feels very fortunate to be able to operate all six Bullied carriages and we offer great thanks to Bluebell Railway for making it possible. These coaches played such a vital part in the history of carriage development and we hope enthusiasts enjoy the opportunity to come and visit them.”
On Saturday 14th 30925 and the Buelleid coaches will operate the following departures from Alresford: 11.00; 13.15; 15.15 and from Alton the 12.15; 14.15; 16.30
On Sunday 15th the 506 and the Bulleid coaches will operate from Alresford the 10.00; 12.20; 14.35; 15.45 and from Alton at 11.15; 13.30; 17.00.
For more information about the Watercress Line, including upcoming events, visit https://www.watercressline.co.uk/events
The reburishment of the Watercress Line's Bulleid carriages were funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Carriage S1456 received funding from PRISM to overhaul the bogies.