A Car Called Constance - The History of the Gilbert Cars from the days of the South Eastern Railway to those of the Southern Railway
Booklet published by the South Eastern & Chatham Railway Society in 2007, 44 pages. Large A4 size booklet (N5583)
From the foreword: In the last decades of the 19th Century, there was a vogue on Britain's railways for American-style open saloon cars. They were intended to offer a new standard of comfort as against the typical cramped compartment with its tiny windows and whale-oil lighting, seating six in first-class and up to twelve in third. The Pullman Car Company supplied many of the new style carriages, but other companies were involved, including Britain's own rolling-stock builders.
Part One of this book traces the history of six American-style cars working the Kent coastal services from 1892 to 1930. The cars were twice rebuilt, and known variously during their lives as the Gilbert Cars, the Troy Cars, the American Cars, the American Car Train and the Hastings Car Train. When the Pullman Car Company eventually acquired the cars, they were each given an individual name.
At the end of its working life, some time between 1927 and 1930, the car called Constance was sold as a holiday home and preserved behind a facade - out of sight and out of mind. Some 70 years later it was rediscovered by a group of enthusiasts and is currently being restored on the Bluebell Railway in Sussex. Part Two assesses the controversial evidence for the way the Gilbert Cars looked externally and were arranged internally. The probable solutions to the controversy are illustrated with detailed diagrams. These should help future historians assess the evidence and also enable railway modellers to recreate the cars with considerable exactitude in any of their three incarnation...
The condition of the booklet is generally excellent. The covers are clean and bright, the staple spine is intact and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound. There is a small price sticker on the rear side cover.