7371Built: 1941Collett Brake Composite

Diagram E.159, Lot No. 1640

7371 - 28th March 2005

A brake corridor composite vehicle with two first and four third class compartments, this was the last of 15 coaches built to diagram E.159, the first being constructed in 1938. In its final years in railway service this coach formed part of the Swindon test train until it was acquired by the society in 1968.

Once a regular performer in the Society's Vintage Train and at Didcot, this vehicle was withdrawn from active service in the early 1990s for a ‘Rapid Repaint’. However this revealed that the galvanised metal panels were in a very poor condition having rusted in many places on the inside. The only choice was to replace the panels and this was duly undertaken together with the installation of safety glass. The new panelling was given several coats of paint to protect it.

Internally the coach was in a very shabby condition with water damage to some compartments and corridors. The affected wood has been replaced and the repainting/wood staining/varnishing has commenced. The 'bird's foot' upholstery that was installed in BR days was in much worn condition. All the seats had to be taken out and sent away for reupholstering by a specialist firm in Abingdon. Fortunately the society had a sample of the moquette (for the third class) that was used at the time the coach was built. This is green sea shell moquette and new was woven in Lithuania. The moquette for the first class is brown with gold piping and this too has been woven and applied to the appropriate seats. The GWR certainly did not believe in making it easy to remove the seats as a lot of wooden trim and doors had to be dismantled. Once the seats have been reinstated and the interior finished, the coach will be shopped out in chocolate and cream 'button' livery.

It is intended that once restoration of this vehicle is complete it will replace 7372 in our 'main line' set, releasing that vehicle in turn for its refurbishment!

7371 - November 2015 7371 - November 2015

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Page last updated:01-Oct-2016