1966 east coast sunday service

Discussion in 'Railway History & Nostalgia' started by UrieS15, 1 Feb 2020.

  1. UrieS15

    UrieS15 Member

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    I have a character in a novel who needs to travel from Leeds or Bradford to London earlyish on a Sunday in April or May. I imagine there will be regular services from Scotland via Leeds but it would be nice to be sure, and Bradford direct would be better. What time might they reach London? Any help would be really welcome.
     
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  3. leytongabriel

    leytongabriel Member

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  4. StephenHunter

    StephenHunter Member

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    OK, then... we're in the Deltic era of the ECML. Leeds to London is about 3 hours at this point, IIRC. Your character would probably be best to get the sleeper service that operated from Leeds at that time; you could get on the sleeping car well before departure, which would have been around 00.50am. It would have been attached to the Night Scotsman from Edinburgh at Doncaster and arrive around 6am, but I believe you could sleep in for a bit longer. A Deltic would have been on the front when you arrived at KGX:

    http://www.napier-chronicles.co.uk/wtt66summer.htm

    If I find my 1967 Eastern Region timetable, I can help more.
     
  5. alistairlees

    alistairlees Established Member

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    I don't seem to have the 1966 timetable

    But I do have the May 1968 timetable (valid from 6 May 1968 to 4 May 1969).

    "Early" on Sundays was not really a concept then, looking at this. The first express train to leave London Kings Cross was at 09.40, going to Bradford Exchange (as it then was) and arriving at 13.46. It also had a portion for Harrogate (arrive 14.00) with the train splitting in Leeds City. Stops were at Peterborough North (as it then was), Doncaster and Wakefield Westgate.

    The next train to leave Kings Cross was the 10.00 to Aberdeen.

    The one after was another train to Bradford Exchange, departing at 10.20 and arriving at 14.54. More stops and no Harrogate portion this time.

    On Saturday nights there was a 22.45 to Bradford Exchange that arrived at 03.45 and went via Wakefield Kirkgate (and Leeds City). No sleeping cars, though no doubt it conveyed an interesting mix of parcels and mail (and possibly newspapers) as well as passenger coaches.

    I don't know what the stock was for these trains.

    EDIT: I just realised this is the wrong way round, and you want from Bradford (or Leeds) to London.
     
  6. alistairlees

    alistairlees Established Member

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    On Sundays from 12 May to 15 September 1968 there was an 08.50 Bradford Exchange to London Kings Cross, arriving 13.22. It didn't run in the winter months.

    There was also an 07.23 from Bradford Exchange to London Kings Cross (arr. 11.48) that ran on Sundays from 16 June to 8 September.

    The earliest all year round train was the 10.20 from Bradford Exchange to London Kings Cross (arrive 14.55).

    All of these went via Leeds City. There were no Harrogate portions on these. They all (except the 07.23) conveyed restaurant cars.

    There were no other trains from Leeds to London at these times - almost every train from Leeds to London on a Sunday originated from Bradford. There were no connections on local services via Doncaster, because there were no local services between Leeds and Doncaster on a Sunday (the only 'local' station was South Elmsall, and this had no services on a Sunday).

    It was possible to get to London earlier by getting the 06.50 Bradford Exchange to Penzance ("The Cornishman") to Sheffield, waiting there for an hour from 08.38 to 09.55, then getting the 09.55 to London St Pancras (arr. 13.31). This went via Nottingham Midland. THere was also a direct 10.13 from Bradford Exchange to London St Pancras (arr. 15.13 so not that much slower than the train to Kings Cross); this went via Derby.

    Finally there were the Scotland to St Pancras trains that left Leeds at 02.28 (arriving in St Pancras at 07.40 and conveying sleeper cars; originated from Glasgow Central) and 03.10 (arriving in St Pancras at 08.30 and without sleeping cars; originating from Edinburgh Waverley and no doubt coming via Hawick (the route didn't close until January 1969)).

    I hope that helps.
     
  7. StephenHunter

    StephenHunter Member

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    The stock would have generally been BR Mark 1s (pretty much all the sleepers were) with an increasing number of Mark 2s, with some LNER-era stock that was slowly disappearing. Switching gradually from Eastern Region maroon to BR Blue-Grey.

    Locomotive haulage would have been a mixture of Deltics and 40s (then known as English Electric Type 4s as this was pre-TOPS), with the St Pancras services mostly 'Peaks', I believe.
     
  8. Marton

    Marton Member

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    Some canned on the period as I have the 1963 summer timetable. The Bradford 0705, and Leeds 0731, portions merged at Wakefield Westgate and arrived 1159.
    The next train was again merged at Wakefield but was 2C0, only. 0947 from Bradford arr KX 1438.

    there was also a Harrogate Sunday Pullman from Leeds Bradford and Harrogate. Arriving KX 2000

    The other way the 0912 from FS arrived St P 1530.
     
  9. UrieS15

    UrieS15 Member

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  10. UrieS15

    UrieS15 Member

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    Pure gold, just what i needed Thank you
     
  11. UrieS15

    UrieS15 Member

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    I remember going Bfd to Kx one Sunday on the Pullman in the early diesel days. The driver must have been seeing what it could do, because we arrived aboiut 15 minutes early and the stewards were doing their nuts because they hadn't got all the bills out, and people were walking off. I'd never experienced ssutained speed like it at that time. Thanks for your help.
     
  12. Bevan Price

    Bevan Price Established Member

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    One thing nobody has mentioned is that in 1966, trains for London Kings Cross mostly used Leeds Central, not Leeds City.

    I have a North Eastern Region timetable date 18 April 1966. From April until early June, the earliest train on Sundays was
    10:28 Bradord Exchange / 10:52 Leeds Central, combining at Wakefield Westgate, and due Kings Cross at 15:06.

    An earlier train commenced from Sunday 19 June, 07:12 Bradford Exchange / 07:36 Leeds Central, due Kings Cross 11:45.

    To get into London earlier, you would need to travel overnight, in a non-sleeper service, 21:25 Bradford / 22:00 Leeds. due Kings Cross at 03:36. A later arrival into Kings Cross at 04:39 required changes at both Leeds Central & Doncaster.

    In 1966, steam portions between Bradford and Leeds or Wakefield were still mostly steam-worked, usually by ex-LMSR 2-6-4 tanks or Black 5 4-6-0s.

    Via the Midland route, there were sleeper services from Scotland, depart Leeds City at 02:28 and 03:10, arriving London St. Pancras at 07:30 or 08:30. From Bradford Forster Square, the only connection for either service departed at 01:27.
    The first daytime service departed Bradford Forster Square at 06:38, and with a change at Derby, you could reach St. Pancras at 13:30. The next option was Bradford Forster Square 10:10 via Leeds, arrive St. Pancras 15:30.
     
  13. UrieS15

    UrieS15 Member

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    Dear Bevan, My apologies for the delay in replying to your very helpful note. I have been busy writing the 'Saturday' before the 'Sunday'. Please excuse my dimness but i was only an occasional visitor in those days and I had not realised that the Bradford departure would not go to Leeds and then South. Where did it go before Wakefield, it being Sunday I imagine it stopped on the way. Then I suppose the stops would be Newark, Grantham, Peterborough Stamford(?) Stevenage Hatfield Potters Bar(?) and in ? Or was it a totally different world? Did the timetable show any refreshment provision? I assume we have a Deltic from Wakefield. Thanks for any help you can give me, I clearly would have made a complete mess of the journey on my own. Roger
     
  14. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    I dont have the timetable to hand, but you can get some idea from what's online.
    1. Bradford-Wakefield was still IIRC via the old GNR route through Morley.
    2. It would certainly have stopped at Doncaster, some or all of Retford, Newark, Grantham, then Peterborough, possibly Huntingdon and/or Hitchin.
    Stamford isnt en route, Stevenage didnt replace Hitchin until around 1970 IIRC, and expresses didn't stop further in.
     
  15. Bevan Price

    Bevan Price Established Member

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    The North Eastern Region timetable did not show any stops between Peterborough and Kings Cross. **. Stops shown were Wakefield Westgate, Doncaster, Retford, Newark Northgate, Grantham & Peterborough. Most likely motive power would be a Class 55 (Deltic) or a 47, but a Class 40 was also feasible.

    ** - I have an Eastern Region timetable for June 1965 to April 1966, and that shows an equivalent train that had no booked stops between Peterborough and Kings Cross. That 1965/66 timetable also shows something unusual; presumably there must have been long-term engineering work, because Sunday trains started from Bradford Forster Square, called at Leeds City then Wakefield Kirkgate, then Doncaster. Presumably reversals occurred at both Leeds and Wakefield Kirkgate.

    (The engineering work may possibly have been changes to the track layout in anticipation of the closure of Leeds Central & transfer of services to Leeds City.)
     
  16. UrieS15

    UrieS15 Member

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    Dear Bevan, What a star you are. I'm sure you are on the money about the reason for the engineering work. Thank you too for the stops, I had forgotten Donny and Retford and the sprint in from Peterboro is a surprise. many thanks again.
     
  17. UrieS15

    UrieS15 Member

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    Dear Bevan, What a star you are. I'm sure you are on the money about the reason for the engineering work. Thank you too for the stops, I had forgotten Donny and Retford and the sprint in from Peterboro is a surprise. many thanks again.
    Dear 30907, Thanks for your input too,everything is helpful. I'm sorry somehow |I missed your message yesterday, my apologies. I hope this reaches yopu, the whole system is still a mystery to me.
     
  18. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    Thank you. Many of us enjoy looking up old timetables/dredging the memorybanks!
    I am away from home but Bevan Price might be able to confirm stops between Exchange and Wakefield for summer 1966.
     
  19. UrieS15

    UrieS15 Member

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    The next morning Margaret left Maisden in good time, but when she reached Drigg’s house she found him impatient to move on. He thrust an envelope into her hand, “That’s your tickets, but there’s a change. I should have remembered Exchange is shut on Sundays, because of the malarkey of closing down Leeds Central. We’ve got to get you to Forster Square.”

    “Not a problem is it? “ Margaret said.

    “I hope not, but I was in Bradford on Friday and there were roadworks all around there. If I can’t get into the forecourt you’ll have to walk, and that’ll take time.” He hefted her case onto the back seat, and seconds later they were on their way.

    As he predicted the entrance was blocked and by the time he had parked Margaret was waiting by the barrier, with an agitated looking official.

    “She wouldn’t get aboard until her husband had kissed her good-bye.”

    Drigg’s jaw dropped then he grabbed Margaret and kissed her hard, muttering into her hair, “I’ll take that as a ‘yes’ then, shall I?”

    Margaret clambered free, grinned and nodded. “I‘ve held the train up long enough.”

    She hurried after the ticket collector who was holding a door open for her. As she boarded, the guard blew his whistle and the train began to move. Drigg stood at the barrier gazing at the receding coaches, and Margaret waving from the last window.
     
  20. Bevan Price

    Bevan Price Established Member

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    In earlier years, trains might have called at somewhere like Morley Top, but by 1966, they would run non-stop, either via Morley Top, or via the Wortley Curve.

    I think the route via Morley Top closed to all traffic in about July 1966. After it opened in March 1967, trains would also have called at New Pudsey station.
     
  21. UrieS15

    UrieS15 Member

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    Thanks Bevan
     

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