How to read old timetables...

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mister-sparky

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Hello!

Wondering if anyone can help me read an old timetable, because to me it’s quite confusing!

Its a North Eastern Region timetable 1963-64.

See pic below.

Does this mean for example, that the 5.45 stops all stations to Castleford Central, or does it mean that the 5.45 is non-stop to somewhere? Same with the others? Because some are in bold and some are in normal.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you.
 

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alistairlees

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They are indeed harder to read. The light type means it’s a smaller station, I think.

Though I think, in the case of Goole (which is indebted) it means a connecting service - look at the note about the through train to knottingley (which must mean it is not going as far as Goole).
 

geoffk

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The Goole times must all be connections at Monkhill. I've a couple of Bradshaws from 1959/60 and they are very hard to read as it's difficult to work out which are through services and which are connections. And some long-distance trains are spread over several tables. Once you get used to the later BR timetables, with wiggly lines to indicated a dated train, they are not so difficult. Nowadays we have more trains but a more standardised service pattern.
 
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Gloster

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I would read that as the 5.45 stops at all stations to Castleford Central and then either terminates there or continues on to somewhere other than Pontefract; more likely the former as there would probably be a note saying ‘Continues to...’ or similar. I think that the use of block letters, rather than light type was to make it easier to find the more important stations and to keep reading across on the same line for other stations. (That is ‘important’ as far as the individual timetable was concerned.) Places separated off by lines, as with Goole, are usually connections.
 

Taunton

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In that style of presentation the boldface is used for principal stations, which helps the readability but doesn't have any meaning about the operation of the service. Almost always the start and finish stations of a table were bolded.

"16 Goole", between the horizontal lines, is indicating that these are times there of a connection from the station above, Pontefract Monkhill, the detail being available in Table 16. If the train happens to run through to there, anywhere beyond the table, or the connection is other than at the station above the lines, that is shown by a note. The 4.19pm from Leeds is shown by note to turn off at Pontefract to Knottingley but not go beyond; Goole is still served by the usual connection.

The example 5.45 train would always be shown and spoken about as the 5.45am, as the table obviously includes both am and pm.

The current, different timetable style, where boldface is used for through trains and lightface is used for connections, came in a major change to timetable presentation, started in 1965 by the Western Region, and then the next year by all the others. This also coincided with the change to the 24 hour clock. The initial WR attempt had a whole series of issues in the way the tables were presented, they stopped showing mileages which caused a particular outcry and they were restored. No editor has ever dared remove mileages since!

The WR was very proud of their new timetable format before all the complaints started to come in. There was a chalked notice at Taunton ticket office on the first day describing them as now available. 1 shilling I think.
 
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StephenHunter

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As a further note, not all through services would be a single train; they might just be a portion or even a single carriage. This applies a lot with express trains and sleepers.
 
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