Buffet Car 680
Drawn by & copyright: Sue Lawrence
Built: Bulawayo Workshops
Service entry: 1951
Cost: £7,493.00
Wheels: 2'10" Dia.
Overall length: 58'0" Over headstocks.
Number 680. Bulawayo repair sidings.
Photo. Geoff Cooke
Number 680 is a wood framed coach, built in
Bulawayo utilising the underframe of an older
dining car purchased from the South African
Railways in 1938.

Number 680 was an experimental vehicle, and it
was never named. It is the only buffet or dining car
on the railway with this distinction.

As originally built, 680 had a small kitchen, long bar
counter, a 12 seat dining section, two coupes and a
toilet. It was intended for use on the new South East
line to Lourenco Marques (Maputo).

Two more buffet cars were built to a similar design,
but they dispensed with the accommodation and
extended the dining section to 24 seats. Number
680 was rebuilt to match the new vehicles.
Resulting from this, the windows at one end of the
dining section line up with the tables, but at the far
end they do not.

When Railway Safaris commenced service in 1986
this coach was used as a dining car. The "Buffet
Car" designation on the coach sides was changed
for "Dining Car", and from then the coach has been
considered a Dining Car.

When Railway Safaris stopped using the coach it
was hired to the Victoria Falls Safari Express.
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Number 680 Interior
Photo. Geoff Cooke
The bar when the coach was used on the Railway
Safaris train.
Photo. Geoff Cooke