18 February 2011Two major rail restoration projects can now be completed following the acquisition of historic Pullman car 'Carina' by the 5BEL Trust. The former Golden Arrow kitchen car has been transferred to the Bluebell Railway to allow them to complete a five car all-Pullman Golden Arrow rake. In turn, the ex-Brighton Belle Pullman first class car 'Doris' moves to the 5BEL Trust as the final car for their authentic Brighton Belle train set.
The 5BEL Trust and the Bluebell Railway have been working in close partnership to achieve these long held goals. "We're thrilled to help the Brighton Belle return to the mainline - it was such an important and iconic train and the 5BEL Trust really is breaking new ground in the restoration of electric trains," said Roy Watts, Chairman of the Bluebell Railway. "It has also been a long held ambition of ours to add a much-needed second kitchen car to the Golden Arrow."
"It's a happy day for those who long to see the Brighton Belle back on the mainline," said 5BEL Trust Chairman, Denis Dunstone. "Acquiring 'Doris' as our fifth and final car was not only the right move from a heritage standpoint, but it also demonstrates the benefits of like-minded organisations working together. It is clear to Roy and me that the heritage movement has been set a wonderful example by Carina's previous owner, Jim Kay, whose vision and generosity of spirit has allowed us to finally bring to fruition these two important programmes."
The Brighton Belle project was launched in 2009 and will see a complete train returned to the mainline. It is the largest rail restoration project underway in Britain.
Notes to Editors:
- The announcement was made by the 5BEL Trust and the Bluebell Railway at Brighton Modelworld, at which Brighton Belle Car 88 is starring. The 'real thing' is on display on the Brighton promenade from 17-20 February, while inside, visitors are greeted upon arrival by a nine metre mural of 'Doris'.
- Trailer Pullman First 'Doris' (Car 82) was built in 1932 by Metropolitan Cammell as part of an order from the Southern Railway for three five-car all-Pullman Brighton Belle (5 BEL) train sets. The Brighton Belle was the only electric all-Pullman train ever built and ran daily between London Victoria and Brighton from 1933 until 1972.
- The 5BEL Trust is professionally restoring a complete five-car train set to its original condition. Whilst it is intended to be operated regularly on the mainline, the Brighton Belle will also become the flagship of an Electric Railway Museum.
- Pullman Kitchen Car 'Carina' was built in 1951 by Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Co for the Golden Arrow service. A Type K, she was one of the last of the old-style Pullman cars to be produced. She is of significant historical importance, forming part of Sir Winston Churchill's funeral train and carrying the principal mourners from London to Bladon on 30 January 1965.
- Since the withdrawal of Pullman cars from service, 'Carina' has passed through a number of owners, but was never returned to service. For a while she was preserved at the Hotel Mercure in Lyon. In recent years, she has been stored by Jim Kay on the NYMR, awaiting deep restoration. It is expected that the return to full operating standard will take several years.
- The acquisition of 'Carina' is a key part of the Bluebell Railway's long-term plan for a five-car all-Pullman Golden Arrow train, providing a much-needed second kitchen. Several years ago, the railway acquired 'Doris' as a potential second kitchen, but recognised that the conversion from electric to steam specification might not be optimal from a heritage standpoint. The Bluebell Railway therefore agreed to release 'Doris' for the Brighton Belle project if another Pullman kitchen car could be found.
- For further information on the Brighton Belle and the 5BEL Trust: www.brightonbelle.com
- For further information on the Golden Arrow and the Bluebell Railway: www.bluebell-railway.co.uk
- Brighton Modelworld runs from 18-20 February at the Brighton Centre, Brighton: www.brightonmodelworld.com
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