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Old 12th September 2017, 19:56   #1
Poshpaws
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Default Early class 253 operations

Thanks to an amazing older thread on RailUKforums ( http://www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=38938 ), I now know that the very first HSTs delivered to the Western Region had this formation:

DMB - TF - TF - TRUK - TS - TS - TRSB - TS - DMB

This was reformed after a couple of years when it became clear that 2 catering cars was an extravagance. TRUKs that had already been introduced were sent to the Eastern Region for inclusion in the class 254s, and were replaced by an additional TS, giving the following formation:

DMB - TF - TF - TRSB - TS - TS - TS - TS - DMB (new build Western Region class 253s from this time were similar, but with a TRUB in the place of the TRSB).

The third early change was the introduction of the TGS which replaced the end TS, giving:

DMB - TF - TF - TRSB - TS - TS - TS - TGS - DMB

Now the questions:

1. Does anyone recall whether the TS cars inserted in the sets to replace the TRUK were shuffled around between sets to keep numbering consecutive so, for example, 253001 would have W42003/4/5/6, or whether the new build TS was just swapped in one per set making the above W43003/4/5/91? I know this would have been a big exercise, but BR was rather proud of the HSTs.

2. I seem to remember that while there were two catering cars they were both orientated with the seating area toward the centre of the train, then single catering cars were orientated with the seating portion facing second class on a TRSB and first class on a TRUB. Can anyone confirm or correct this?

3. I seem to recall that depot allocation stickers were carried on car ends, below the C3 restriction label and the technical details. Again, can anyone either confirm or correct this?

4. Does anyone know whether the DMBs were fitted with rooftop smoke deflectors before or after the TGS cars were inserted?

I hope these questions are OK, I have actually been asked to model an early HST set, and want to make sure it is as accurate as possible. Also, if anyone knows a good reference book for this, I would love to hear about it.

Thank you for your indulgence, and also thank you in advance to anyone who has this information.

Mike
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Old 12th September 2017, 20:01   #2
Wilts Wanderer
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I can't answer any of the specifics, but I can recommend 'The Power Of The HSTs' as a good photographic reference book, particularly if it is a 1st edition published in the mid-80s. All the (black/white) photos will be from prototype HST through to completion of the fleet without anything after about 1982 so plenty of early shots.

Edit: this is the one you want

https://www.amazon.co.uk/POWER-HSTs-...er+of+the+hsts

Last edited by Wilts Wanderer; 12th September 2017 at 20:03.
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Old 12th September 2017, 20:02   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilts Wanderer View Post
I can't answer any of the specifics, but I can recommend 'The Power Of The HSTs' as a good photographic reference book, particularly if it is a 1st edition published in the mid-80s. All the (black/white) photos will be from prototype HST through to completion of the fleet without anything after about 1982 so plenty of early shots.
Thank you. Searching for it now.
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Old 12th September 2017, 21:09   #4
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I don't know if this will help you buy these are the formations of 253's in Ian Allan's 1985 book of Coaching Stock (published by RCTS/Ian Allan)

Pictures from book uploaded https://imgur.com/a/jOZn2
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Old 12th September 2017, 21:28   #5
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These notes are just from memory so may help (or prompt someone to disagree who has evidence....)

I didn't ride on a WR HST until 1978 but recall very well (as an excited 9 year old) the details. By this time they were marshalled as TS-TS-TS-TS-TRSB-TF-TF; the TRSB had (as the name suggests) Standard Class seating (InterCity 70 seats in blue moquette) and I'm pretty sure the Standard Class was continuous so that would have placed the buffet counter to the First Class end.

I don't think the coaches were shuffled to get the extra TS in; the whole fixed formation thing fell apart pretty soon IIRC hence the loss of the set car ends.

Unless someone says differently, from my own experience the TGS was added to the coach sets - it didn't replace a TS. They appeared at around the same time as the roof exhaust baffles were being fitted; therefore at the time of the changeover it is likely that non-baffle fitted power cars would have been used on sets with TGS vehicles.
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Old 12th September 2017, 21:36   #6
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Default Early class 253 operations

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Originally Posted by thedbdiboy View Post
Unless someone says differently, from my own experience the TGS was added to the coach sets - it didn't replace a TS. They appeared at around the same time as the roof exhaust baffles were being fitted; therefore at the time of the changeover it is likely that non-baffle fitted power cars would have been used on sets with TGS vehicles.
The TGS vehicles replaced a TS car in each set, otherwise the sets would have been 8-car (Western) and 9-car (Eastern), long before those sets were lengthened in reality. The evidence for this could be seen in some of the Cross-Country sets where the vehicles were not in series, but something like every 4th or 5th - indicating they had been removed from another set.

The same applies to early WR sets - and may answer a previous question - where low numbered TS vehicles (4209x possibly - haven't got a source to hand) went into Cross-Country sets. I think this was because these TS cars were added when the sets went to only one catering car and were removed again when the TGS vehicles went into those sets.
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Old 12th September 2017, 21:44   #7
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The Platform 5 Pocket Books of the period gave the set numbers and formations as they evolved, so in those early years it was quite easy to track where vehicles from certain batches went into other batches and new builds... This only applied as long as the operating regions retained set numbers and formations... (If I had access to those books just now I could summarise these replacements and transfers, but just now I haven't..!)..
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Old 12th September 2017, 21:54   #8
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But yes, as 43096 says, there was a sequence of set formations made up with every 4th numbered TS vehicle, presumably dating from the introduction and insertion of the TGS vehicles... (The redeployment and repurposing and renumbering of HST catering vehicles is a whole nother story in itself..)..
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Old 12th September 2017, 23:42   #9
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The scans I have taken from a 1981 RCTS stock book give a helpful indication of what was happening when the TGSs were installed in the HSTs. For 400xx read 402xx and 404xx. For 403xx read 407xx.

At one point 42084-42110 had seemingly been in 253001-253027. The every fourth car coaches came from 253028-253040.
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Old 13th September 2017, 12:41   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonathanH View Post
The scans I have taken from a 1981 RCTS stock book give a helpful indication of what was happening when the TGSs were installed in the HSTs. For 400xx read 402xx and 404xx. For 403xx read 407xx.

At one point 42084-42110 had seemingly been in 253001-253027. The every fourth car coaches came from 253028-253040.
The 42084-42110 batch of TS vehicles will have been inserted as replacements for the redeployed 2nd catering vehicle in 253001-253027..
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Old 13th September 2017, 13:13   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 43096 View Post
The TGS vehicles replaced a TS car in each set, otherwise the sets would have been 8-car (Western) and 9-car (Eastern), long before those sets were lengthened in reality. The evidence for this could be seen in some of the Cross-Country sets where the vehicles were not in series, but something like every 4th or 5th - indicating they had been removed from another set.
Not only the Cross Country sets, but some of the later ER sets too (254033-037). As an example 254033 had 42162/166/170/174 as its TS cars, which came out of 254013-016 when they had a TGS inserted.

Quote:
The same applies to early WR sets - and may answer a previous question - where low numbered TS vehicles (4209x possibly - haven't got a source to hand) went into Cross-Country sets. I think this was because these TS cars were added when the sets went to only one catering car and were removed again when the TGS vehicles went into those sets.
It was 42084-110 that found their way into the Cross Country sets - although to complicate matters further, 42100-107 didn't last long on Cross Country duties as the sets (253048/049 from memory) were disbanded and the TS were used to bring 8 of the ER Class 254 sets, which had been reduced to 7 vehicles after withdrawal of some TRUK, back up to 8 cars.

As I said in the original thread (nearly 7 years ago!), the HST formation story is quite complex and a book could be written about it. Maybe one day...
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Old 13th September 2017, 15:41   #12
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An article in Modern Railways soon after their introduction showed that the fixed formation approach had been abandoned pretty early on - on the night they visited a depot Class 08 was shunting loose carriages around. A restaurant car had air conditioning failed, and while they did not have a replacement aircon unit they had a spare restaurant car, itself something not part of the fixed formations, which was shunted into place. I believe the Class 08 pilots at the HST depots were fitted with buckeye couplers for this work.
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Old 13th September 2017, 22:10   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taunton View Post
An article in Modern Railways soon after their introduction showed that the fixed formation approach had been abandoned pretty early on - on the night they visited a depot Class 08 was shunting loose carriages around. A restaurant car had air conditioning failed, and while they did not have a replacement aircon unit they had a spare restaurant car, itself something not part of the fixed formations, which was shunted into place. I believe the Class 08 pilots at the HST depots were fitted with buckeye couplers for this work.
I'd certainly disagree with the statement that fixed formations were abandoned - it was more that short term changes took place. Proof of this lies with set LA02, which was the first GWR set to go off lease a few weeks ago. The formation of this set can be traced back to the original 253015 - with 5 of the 7 coaches from the original booked formation still being together in LA02, after around 40 years!
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Old 13th September 2017, 23:35   #14
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It is likely that the Western kept formations together more than the ECML, that was their tradition. Their old diesel multiple units were the same, many in the 1980s still were in the original formation they had when delivered around 1960. Others did not do this.
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Old 14th September 2017, 13:06   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblackwatch View Post
I'd certainly disagree with the statement that fixed formations were abandoned - it was more that short term changes took place. Proof of this lies with set LA02, which was the first GWR set to go off lease a few weeks ago. The formation of this set can be traced back to the original 253015 - with 5 of the 7 coaches from the original booked formation still being together in LA02, after around 40 years!
That's quite impressive, wonder if this is repeated throughout the rest of the 253xxx series?

As you say, a book would be interesting!
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