Norwich to London late 70's early 80's

Discussion in 'Railway History & Nostalgia' started by Rozenda, 23 Apr 2015.

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  1. Rozenda

    Rozenda Member

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    Good morning !
    Newbie here so apologies is there is any information already on this subject.
    I am having a go at creative writing and need some information on trains between Norwich and London during the above years.
    Any information will be helpful but specifically, train times, frequency, journey time, stops, cost of tickets etc.
    Also if anyone who was aged between 16 and 24 who travelled to London from a relatively rural area what were your experiences of London life.
    Many thanks in advance !
    :D
     
  2. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    For starters:
    On weekdays there was a train every hour, with a couple of extras for commuters - this pattern had been settled since the early 60s and didn't change until the line was electrified.

    Trains left London at 30 minutes past - on the even hour they called only at Colchester and Ipswich and took 1 hr 55, on the odd hour they called also at Manningtree Stowmarket and Diss, and took about 15 minutes longer.

    On the way back it was almost always 25 past from Ipswich, so either 29 or 42 past from Norwich.

    Can't dig out a fares book just now but I have got one somewhere.
     
  3. Rozenda

    Rozenda Member

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    That's brilliant thank you.
    Much Appreciated.
     
  4. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    Didn't the slows also call at Chelmsford, - they certainly did until the mid '70s.
     
  5. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    The timetable I glanced at (1981, Cooks) showed Chelmsford on SO, which I vaguely recall.

    You may be right - in the Britannia era they called at Witham too - but my 70's books are less accessible.
     
  6. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    My experience of the GEML was from 1970-1975. The '1Ns were almost exclusively class 47s pulling 9 to 11 MKI and MKII stock, (gradually moving ver to MKIIs as the decade progressed. The Fasts would get to Colchester from London in about 47-48 minutes providing no Southends were in the way at Shenfield. Generally, they didn't get much above 80 until they descended from Mountnessing past Ingatestone, (they were no match for the Clactons). It was probably that way until electrification brought the 86s.
     
  7. ChiefPlanner

    ChiefPlanner Established Member

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    Of course you had the old Liverpool St - dank and gloomy in the winter evenings - the East End Buffet bar ,(hideous orange plastic and rotten beer) and for the cogniscentii the splendid 1970's era cane chair and potted plant laden Bistro in the old Station Mangers Office on the upper deck. which did such glamerous things as Spag Boll and Garlic Bread. (rare in those days)

    London then was quite run down and grubby - falling population etc ....there were bits of regeneration going on -
     
  8. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    But travelling was so much more luxurious, waiting rooms, buffet cars, MKI coaches, corridors, slam doors, sliding quarterlights and single glazing, smoking, sheer luxury. :)
     
  9. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    Memories of eating in the Bistro before catching the Continental in 1981....hence the Cooks TT mentioned!
     
  10. Rozenda

    Rozenda Member

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    Thank you for all you help so far, keep it coming !
     
  11. ChiefPlanner

    ChiefPlanner Established Member

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    Service was not hourly either - there was nothing after 1930 from London - bar a connection off the 2150 Clacton (a 309) - with a 2 car Cravens DMU Shuttle to Ipswich. (on reflection it was a way of getting the Sudbury line unit back to Ipswich for fuelling !) - bt of a pain on winters evening. There was a very late train back which was a mail and parcels - which split at Ipswich for Peterborough and Norwich.

    Stock was decent MK2 (first with compartments) -with MK1 buffet car. NO restauraunt or trolley service I recall. Traction was the well kept Stratford 47 fleet - silver roofs and "namers" - "County of Hertfordshire , Suffolk etc) Always had TTI's on board + a guard - though the barrier checks at Liverpool Street were prerty good. Ipswich in 1980 still had a wide range of mechanical signalboxes - Ipswich Station / East Suffolk Junction / Ipswich Goods Junction towards London you had Manningtree / Ardleigh then Colchester PSB ..... journey times were pretty good actually.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    As a journey - social bit on London - the approach to Liverpool Street was a mass of social housing - but the Spitalfields are then had not been discovered by the gentrifyers and the now trendy Georgian houses were amazingly run down - often with sweatshops inside them. The old Market was still going strong - and "The City" had not crossed into the East End borders. Bishopsgate had good discount warehouse shops - where a 20 year old might have gone to the area for cheap , trendy clothes.Broad Street was going strong - albeit 2/3 derelict and the advneturous might have done a trip on a rattling 501 to the even then trendy Camden Market (good place to score hash easily)
     
  12. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    Didn't some of the Norwich trains still leave from/arrive at platform 9 which didn't used to have a proper gateline, or had they all moved to the East side by 1980?
     
  13. Rozenda

    Rozenda Member

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    Me again !
    I wondered if any of you have an idea of the cost of a one way and return ticket for c1978/79.
     
  14. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    PM or remind me in a couple of days and I'll look it up.
     
  15. Rozenda

    Rozenda Member

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    Thank you. I'll PM you Thursday.
     
  16. Taunton

    Taunton Established Member

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    I think the arrangement was still like this at the time, where platforms 9/10, and one or two sidings in between them, penetrated the concourse much more, but you could actually walk around the ends, although the high-level footbridge which led from the Bishopsgate street entrance gave a shortcut over these tracks. Long ago they apparently connected right through to the Metropolitan Line.

    It must have been early 1979 when I was visiting London and came into Liverpool Street mid-morning. There had been a bufferstop collision at platform 9, where plenty of gangers were at work on reinstating things trackside, the buffers themselves were twisted, while the asphalt concourse immediately behind had taken most of it, and was buckled up and cordoned off; work was confined to the track and had not started on what was probably waiting for a civil engineering gang. It must have been quite a thump. Unlike nowadays, it was probably all sorted out for the evening peak.
     
  17. 306024

    306024 Established Member

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    For as long as I can recall (1970s) platform 9 has been the traditional platform for Norwich. Even today many of the xx.30 departures are planned from platform 9, although with today's 30 minute frequency platform 10 tends to be used for the the xx.00 departures outside the peaks.

    The tracks from platforms 9 and 10 used to run under the Great Eastern Hotel, to a series of small turntables, apparently to deal with the hotel laundry. According to a book published in 1978 about Liverpool St station the link to the Met was from platforms 1 and 2, but because the two operating companies couldn't agree a fare structure they were rarely used and soon closed.
     
  18. Taunton

    Taunton Established Member

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  19. 306024

    306024 Established Member

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    Yep that's also the plan in the 1978 book I mentioned. Remarkable how so much was squeezed into the station throat area.
     
  20. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    Back at home now and I've found the 1983 National Fares Manual (sorry, I thought I had an earlier one. You'd need to reduce the prices rather as inflation was still fairly high then.

    First/Second Class
    Single 16.50/11.50
    Return 32.00/22.00
    Monthly Return 27.00/18.50
    Weekend Return 20.00/15.50
    Day Return NA/13.00

    Restrictions -
    Monthly Return, you had to stay over a Friday, Saturday OR Sunday night (I'd forgotten about the Friday bit!)
    Weekend Return, valid between Friday and Monday of one weekend (and could be used as a Day Return on Saturday or Sunday - relevant in First!). Not valid on the 1730/1810 from Liverpool Street on Friday.
    Day Return had NO restrictions whatever if issued from the country end, but was only valid from London after 0930 Mondays-Fridays, or 0835 via Cambridge. Those were the days!
    Break of journey was permitted on all these tickets.
     
    Last edited: 6 May 2015
  21. Rozenda

    Rozenda Member

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    Thank you that's fantastic !
     
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