Trust Signs 99 Year Lease on Maunsell Third Open 1346
The Swanage Railway Trust has a signed a 99 year lease on Maunsell Third Open S1346. This coach is similar to S1381 which is already undergoing restoration by the heritage coach volunteers at Swanage. These open coaches have seating arranged in three saloons which was a major departure from the compartment coaches that had previously dominated coaching stock. The three saloons, one of which was for smokers, provide a total of 56 seats making this second open coach a very useful addition to the Railway's growing heritage coach fleet.
The coach is owned by a small syndicate of long-time Swanage Railway volunteers who will cover the cost of restoration. The coach is currently nearing the end of a structural restoration and mechanical overhaul at Ramparts in Barrow Hill. The work to restore the interior will be carried out by volunteers when the coach returns to Swanage.
S1346 has had varied past. It was blown of its bogies during a WW2 raid on carriage sheds at Clapham before being repaired and returned to service. Following withdrawal it became a classroom near Waterloo before becoming privately owned. Following spells on the Kent and East Sussex and Rother Valley Railways its condition deteriorated and with no immediate prospect of restoration it was sold to the current owners. More recently, it has spent time in storage before moving to Rampart, first in Derby and then Barrow Hill. It is hoped that it will return to traffic in early 2022
Photo Credit: Nigel Benning - 1346 resplendent in green undercoat outside Barrow Hill works