CrossCountry circa 1992: Southampton - Oxford - Birmingham?

duesselmartin

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Hi all. What stock did the Intercity services from around Southampton direction Birmingham via Oxford use around 1992. Did all stop and reverse at Reading?
Thanks
Martin
 
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Cowley

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Hi Martin. I spent a bit of time on these services back then and they were mainly 47/8 hauled with Intercity liveried aircon mk2 stock. That’s what I know for definite and they did all reverse at Reading.
I seem to remember that there were also a few services covered by HSTs though and unfortunately I can’t remember which ones. I think I remember seeing the buffer fitted 43s on these trains and maybe someone else on here will know more?
I’ve got a feeling that non buffer fitted 43s eventually worked services too, but I would’ve always gone on the locomotive hauled trains and probably not taken much notice of the HSTs.
 

duesselmartin

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Hi Cowley,
Thank you for your quick reply.
There are a number of videos in YouTube, but non shows the coupling of an engine. Although the 43s with buffers do feature.
This made me wonder.
Did the loco run around the train or was a second loco used?
Best wishes from Germany.
Martin
 

Cowley

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Hi Cowley,
Thank you for your quick reply.
There are a number of videos in YouTube, but non shows the coupling of an engine. Although the 43s with buffers do feature.
This made me wonder.
Did the loco run around the train or was a second loco used?
Best wishes from Germany.
Martin
As far as I remember the loco ran around at Reading.
For instance I was on the 1518 Manchester to Poole service on 15/2/1992 pulled by 47843 and I caught it from Birmingham New Street to Basingstoke. 47843 was on this all the way and I’m pretty sure it called at Reading. I remember 47s running around on services I was on at other times too.
 

30907

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As far as I remember the loco ran around at Reading.
For instance I was on the 1518 Manchester to Poole service on 15/2/1992 pulled by 47843 and I caught it from Birmingham New Street to Basingstoke. 47843 was on this all the way and I’m pretty sure it called at Reading. I remember 47s running around on services I was on at other times too.
They used the then platforms 8/9 which had a centre road as well, and the timetable always allowed for a runround.
 

Cowley

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They used the then platforms 8/9 which had a centre road as well, and the timetable always allowed for a runround.
30907 you’ve just filled in the gaps there, I remember that now.
Do you know if any of those trains going north took a left at Reading West Junction and avoided Reading station?
 

Dr Hoo

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By 1992 I am fairly sure that everything reversed in Reading General.

Even a few years before then it was pretty much only Summer Saturday 'extras' to Poole, etc. that took the west curve, probably because of lack of platform capacity at Reading General for even more reversals when the Great Western Main Line iteself also had extra services.
 

Cowley

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Does anyone remember what the story was with HSTs?
I remember that they were distinctly not allowed in third rail territory for years but then started to appear. I think the buffer fitted ones first? Eventually there seems to have been no problem with them and Virgin ones even worked to Bournemouth didn’t they? Was this something to do with a swing arm on a bogie or something similar?
I may need to ask an HST person about this because I (clearly) don’t know much about them.
 

43096

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Does anyone remember what the story was with HSTs?
I remember that they were distinctly not allowed in third rail territory for years but then started to appear. I think the buffer fitted ones first? Eventually there seems to have been no problem with them and Virgin ones even worked to Bournemouth didn’t they? Was this something to do with a swing arm on a bogie or something similar?
I may need to ask an HST person about this because I (clearly) don’t know much about them.
The Cross-Country HST sets were all fitted with short swing-link bogies to allow them to work these services.

The power cars used were any of the XC Craigentinny fleet (XC HSTs were split between Laira and Craigentinny at the time - it was Virgin who concentrated them in a single pool), though it should be noted that rigid sub-sector dedication of power cars was not always applied back then, so some East Coast power cars appeared - for example I believe 43096 was on the first HST to Poole!

I'm not certain what the timetable pattern was back then - think it varied a bit over the years. The general pattern evolved into two morning Manchester-Bournemouth trains, which then went back to Edinburgh and two corresponding Edinburgh starters which landed back at Longsight each night. There was also a Poole train (as noted above) but not sure if that was one of the trains mentioned above and extended through.
 
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yorksrob

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I used to catch this service a lot in around 2001-02. I caught the end of the Mk2/47 hauled services and there were always a lot of people getting on and off at Reading.
 

Cowley

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The Cross-Country HST sets were all fitted with short swing-link bogies to allow them to work these services.

The power cars used were any of the XC Craigentinny fleet (XC HSTs were split between Laira and Craigentinny at the time - it was Virgin who concentrated them in a single pool), though it should be noted that rigid sub-sector dedication of power cars was not always applied back then, so some East Coast power cars appeared - for example I believe 43096 was on the first HST to Poole!

I'm not certain what the timetable pattern was back then - think it varied a bit over the years. The general pattern evolved into two morning Manchester-Bournemouth trains, which then went back to Edinburgh and two corresponding Edinburgh starters which landed back at Longsight each night. There was also a Poole train (as noted above) but not sure if that was one of the trains mentioned above and extended through.
Just what we needed, thanks 43096.
 

30907

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30907 you’ve just filled in the gaps there, I remember that now.
Do you know if any of those trains going north took a left at Reading West Junction and avoided Reading station?
Think others have answered already, but the core services were booked via Reading General both ways from 1967 or so, leaving only the holiday extras, one of which survived IIRC quite late on in the pre-Voyager era.
 

Dr Hoo

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Another reminiscence from past years at Reading, IIRC. Platform capacity (at least full length platforms for through trains/reversals) was sufficiently tight that it was impossible to timetable some relief or additional services, e.g. around public holidays, compliantly. Instead of 'breaching the rules of the plan' with sub-standard headways or re-occupation times the schedules would simply show "panel to regulate" on the basis that some services were bound to be slightly perturbed, thereby creating space somewhere on either the Main or Relief sides.

Can anybody confirm my somewhat hazy recollection? Some regions would call this a 'forced pathway'.
 

Bevan Price

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The 1992 timetable shows a few summer saturday services that did not call at Reading, including a 10:40 Poole - Manchester service with no publicly booked stops between Winchester & Birmingham New St. There was also a 08:40 Newcastle - Poole that ran direct from Tamworth to Leamington Spa, and then non-stop to Basingstoke.

All other services call & reversed at Reading.

I think that loco changes at Reading were possibly eliminated when Class 47/8, fitted with long-range fuel tanks, became available. In my trips in the 1970s and early 1980s, loco changes at Reading were common.
 

43096

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The 1992 timetable shows a few summer saturday services that did not call at Reading, including a 10:40 Poole - Manchester service with no publicly booked stops between Winchester & Birmingham New St. There was also a 08:40 Newcastle - Poole that ran direct from Tamworth to Leamington Spa, and then non-stop to Basingstoke.

All other services call & reversed at Reading.

I think that loco changes at Reading were possibly eliminated when Class 47/8, fitted with long-range fuel tanks, became available. In my trips in the 1970s and early 1980s, loco changes at Reading were common.
On a point of pedantry, there is/was no such thing as a Class 47/8. They were 47/4s, just renumbered into the 478xx series to differentiate them as having long range fuel tanks; their design codes remained as 474nn.
 

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