Intercity Charter Unit

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Masboroughlad

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Before privatisation, what did the Intercity Charter Unit do excursion and hire wise? Did they pick up where Merrymaker excursions stopped.

What was their loco and carriage fleet list?

Did everything pass to Waterman Railways? What did they actually run before they threw in the towel?
 
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D1537

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They had a fleet of InterCity liveried MkIs (were they all first class - I forget?), and a fleet of Mk3 sleepers for overnight tours (usually the weekend Scottish jaunts).

Traction was usually from the IC pools, i.e. 47/4 and electrics, though of course on certain lines (i.e. the West Highland) they used 37/4s or other necessary traction. I did have RTC loco 47972 on a trip over the Central Wales line once, having said that.

Most of their tours were aimed at "normal" passengers, though they did run the occasional enthusiast special, I remember seeing one at Leeds having arrived with 89001 and the sole remaining 45 (45106) going forward over the S&C. I believe they did steam specials as well.

Trains seemed to almost exclusively originate at either London (and go north) or Carlisle (and go south).
 
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Cowley

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They had a fleet of InterCity liveried MkIs (were they all first class - I forget?), and a fleet of Mk3 sleepers for overnight tours (usually the weekend Scottish jaunts).

Traction was usually from the IC pools, i.e. 47/4 and electrics, though of course on certain lines (i.e. the West Highland) they used 37/4s or other necessary traction. I did have RTC loco 47972 on a trip over the Central Wales line once, having said that.

Most of their tours were aimed at "normal" passengers, though they did run the occasional enthusiast special, I remember seeing one at Leeds having arrived with 89001 and the sole remaining 45 (45106) going forward over the S&C. I believe they did steam specials as well.

Trains seemed to almost exclusively originate at either London (and go north) or Carlisle (and go south).

Thinking about the steam tours I think they must have owned the ETHEL units for a while as well?
 

D1537

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Thinking about the steam tours I think they must have owned the ETHEL units for a while as well?

I remember seeing one at Stafford once with an ETHEL tucked behind the electric so I dare say that was the case. Though thinking about it that may have been an ECS working, but I'd guess it was for a steam special.
 

Cowley

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I remember seeing one at Stafford once with an ETHEL tucked behind the electric so I dare say that was the case. Though thinking about it that may have been an ECS working, but I'd guess it was for a steam special.

I remember that all the steam enthusiasts and photographers absolutely hated them!
 

Taunton

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I believe a lot of their usage was "on hire" to InterCity at normal peak travel times. It was a bit of an extension of what had always been done with extra sets in marginal time. Just like the GWR "excursion sets" of the 1930s, which turned up on Christmas Eve reliefs.
 

D1537

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I remember that all the steam enthusiasts and photographers absolutely hated them!

Given the noise an ETHEL made, I'm sure it wasn't ideal when stuck between a steam loco and the train - well not if you wanted to listen to the loco. Didn't they paint the ETHELs in Intercity livery so that they matched the coaches?
 

Cowley

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Given the noise an ETHEL made, I'm sure it wasn't ideal when stuck between a steam loco and the train - well not if you wanted to listen to the loco. Didn't they paint the ETHELs in Intercity livery so that they matched the coaches?

Yes they did indeed but they quite often ended up working with maroon stock (including an intercity mk1 buffet). :lol:
Digressing here but I think they used to tick over on quite high revs when supplying heat. Was there a fund set up in the end to create a generator van? That’s ringing a bell somewhere in my mind, but I’m not sure if it was on intercity’s books?
 

43096

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The "InterCity Executive Saloon" (40513) was a Charter sub-sector vehicle.
 

D1537

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Yes they did indeed but they quite often ended up working with maroon stock (including an intercity mk1 buffet). :lol:
Digressing here but I think they used to tick over on quite high revs when supplying heat. Was there a fund set up in the end to create a generator van? That’s ringing a bell somewhere in my mind, but I’m not sure if it was on intercity’s books?

My memory is telling me the BSK (or BFK) that they converted into a generator car was painted maroon but as usual I stand to be corrected.

The noise an ETHEL made when providing heat was quite weird (as well as being loud), I always used to think it didn't actually sound like a 25.
 

hexagon789

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My memory is telling me the BSK (or BFK) that they converted into a generator car was painted maroon but as usual I stand to be corrected.

The noise an ETHEL made when providing heat was quite weird (as well as being loud), I always used to think it didn't actually sound like a 25.
Iirc correctly it was set up so the engine ran at a set rpm necessary to produce a reasonably constant ouput voltage. A higher rpm than idle but lower than might be typical in normal running for holding a speed, perhaps that's why it sounded a bit odd coupled with a lower load than it would have if it was moving the train as well.
 

Helvellyn

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Bounds Green maintained the Mark 1 ICHV (VIP) fleet, which was largely made up of FOs, BCKs and RBRs. However there were some smaller fleets:
  • 325 - Restaurant First that had served for a number of years in the Royal Train (numbered 2907);
  • 80041 - Kitchen Car converted from an RBR;
  • 2833/2834 - Staff Couchettes converted from BCKs that included a shower;
  • 6320 - Special Saloon renumbered from a Departmental Saloon
There were also a couple of Mark 1 FKs and BFKs plus the previously mentioned Mark 3A Sleeping Cars used on Land Cruises.

A couple of Mark 2D FOs were trial refurbished but I believe weren't considered suitable for long term use.

Old Oak Common did have Mark 2E FOs refurbished for an air-conditioned VIP, which operated with 2D BFKs and Mark 1 RBRs.

From the mid to late 1980s there was also the ex-Manchester Pullman fleet of ten coaches that was based at Euston Downside. The ten remaining vehicles were renamed after English Lakes and was known as the Lakeland Pullman.

Outside of the VIP fleet was the more general fleet. Initially based at Liverpool Edge Hill it migrated to Carlisle Upperby. Mark 1 TSOs and Mark 2D BFKs were joined by Mark 2D/2E TSOs displaced from CrossCountry.

Finally there was a small fleet of coaches for Steam Specials that wore LNER Tourist Green and Cream. Three sets of coaches were used over the years but only the latter two were allocated to InterCity. Used on the West Highland Line in Summer they could appear across the country in Winter when used as a general charter rake.

All the above is very high level and generalised. I am sure others will add details for specific years. But the Charter Train unit was quite large. It just didn't have a home come privatisation. When sold off to Waterman Railways it had been transferred to Rail Express Systems (Res). One thing I recall is that the ex-InterCity 47/8s were considered good locos so when the unit was sold Res kept them and sold mainly ex-ScotRail (via NSE and/or Res) 47/7s to Waterman.
 

D1537

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One thing I recall is that the ex-InterCity 47/8s were considered good locos so when the unit was sold Res kept them and sold mainly ex-ScotRail (via NSE and/or Res) 47/7s to Waterman.

Unsurprising, really. Most of the ILRA long range 47/4s had had far more recent overhauls, whilst the 47/7s were more long in the tooth and of course prior to that had been hammered to within an inch of their lives on the intensive push-pull services.
 
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