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SOUTH DEVON RAILWAY rebuilds BR Mk1 SO to mini buffet with wheelchair provision

Interior of 4802
The fully reburbished interior of the large saloon

The rebuild and conversion of Second Open 4802 continues apace in the workshop at Buckfastleigh. The interior is rapidly progressing with the newly upholstered seating having recently been installed. The picture shows the disabled seating area with some of the fixed seating in place. In addition to the wheelchair space, comfortable moveable seating will be provided which will be stackable in the event of more floor space being needed for wheelchairs. The new buffet is beyond, complete with counter facing the wheelchair area. The buffet will also be able to provide a working area for staff serving cream teas into the seating area beyond and in to the next carriage in the train.

After the bodywork has been completed attention will turn to completing work on the running gear. The vacuum and steam heat systems have already been repaired and tested. Carriage 4802 was purchased in the early 1990's with the intention of it forming part of the dining train. With the subsequent purchase of Super Saloon 9116 'Duchess of York' from the PDR it found itself sidelined. With the current disabled carriage 6515 in need of major attention to its bodywork the plan was formulated to use 4802 as its replacement. Initially, it will go into chocolate cream livery for use in the GW set, replacing 6515 and 1917 which is in the set as buffet. Looking further ahead the London Group of the SDRA have a Hawksworth carriage 2180 on which a conversion has been started to provide a Great Western design vehicle to perform the disabled and buffet functions on the GW set. 4802 may then be repainted in carmine and cream for the Mark 1 set usually run as the second set at busy times.

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