Nottingham to Birmingham, pre privatisation

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Masborough

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Hi, is anyone able to give a general idea of what used to form services between Nottingham to Birmingham, from around the start of the 80s to privatisation? ie classes of Dmu/ motive power?

Also what would have been the origin and destination of any services?

Many thanks
 
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JonathanH

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Hi, is anyone able to give a general idea of what used to form services between Nottingham to Birmingham, from around the start of the 80s to privatisation? ie classes of Dmu/ motive power?

Also what would have been the origin and destination of any services?

Many thanks
In 1989, most of the hourly service from Nottingham to Birmingham was part of a sprinter service from Lincoln to Birmingham.

Nottingham to Cardiff came along later running every two hours. At this time, the Cardiff to Birmingham route was shared between Central and Wales & West operating in alternate hours. A Birmingham to Nottingham service operated in the opposite hour.
 

Masborough

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In 1989, most of the hourly service from Nottingham to Birmingham was part of a sprinter service from Lincoln to Birmingham.

Nottingham to Cardiff came along later running every two hours. At this time, the Cardiff to Birmingham route was shared between Central and Wales & West operating in alternate hours. A Birmingham to Nottingham service operated in the opposite hour.
Thanks JonathanH.

I had wondered whether the odd SouthWest to Birmingham, Derby Sheffield and onwards service instead went via or terminated at Nottingham (in the era I mentioned above). I'm not sure if this would have made operational sense.
 

alistairlees

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Thanks JonathanH.

I had wondered whether the odd SouthWest to Birmingham, Derby Sheffield and onwards service instead went via or terminated at Nottingham (in the era I mentioned above). I'm not sure if this would have made operational sense.
There were a couple. The overnight FO Nottingham - Paignton, and return on Saturday morning, went via Leicester and then Birmingham New Street. I think the wet early morning Bradford - Weymouth went via Nottingham too. I’m sure there were some local DMU services from Nottingham to Birmingham too. But not many in the early 1980s.
 

Gloster

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I had wondered whether the odd SouthWest to Birmingham, Derby Sheffield and onwards service instead went via or terminated at Nottingham (in the era I mentioned above). I'm not sure if this would have made operational sense.
Recollection from the early 1980s is that the only trains to Devon and Cornwall from Nottingham, and several other major cities, ran on summer Saturdays. With the thinning of these loco-hauled services, I doubt if new ones appeared.
 

JonathanH

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Thanks JonathanH.

I had wondered whether the odd SouthWest to Birmingham, Derby Sheffield and onwards service instead went via or terminated at Nottingham (in the era I mentioned above). I'm not sure if this would have made operational sense.
In 1989, when the Summer Saturday services to the South West still ran under the "InterCity Holidaymaker" naming, the Nottingham to the South West service on Summer Saturdays ran via Leicester, not Derby.

0822 Nottingham to Paignton - called Beeston, Loughborough, Leicester, Hinckley, Nuneaton, Cheltenham Spa, Gloucester, Bristol Temple Meads, Taunton, Exeter St Davids, Dawlish, Teignmouth, Torquay, Paignton

The return was 1440 Paignton to Nottingham with the same calls.

I think Nottingham to Birmingham via Derby has more prominence as a route now than it did in the 1980s.
 
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Sprinter107

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There were very few Birmingham to Nottingham trains in the early 80s. They were almost non existent. One of them was a 09.06 Birmingham New Street to Lincoln. Then around about 1984 - 1985 ish, a service of 5 or 6 through trains per day, roughly a 2 hourly frequency, were started, and were marketed as "Midlands Link" and run by Etches Park class 120 units. In the saloons of the class 120s were route maps, just one line, in a brown colour with the stations listed, and Midlands Link written on there. The 150s took over in January 1986, possibly running to an hourly frequency, and the service just took off from there.
 

edwin_m

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In 1987 there were 150s from the Skegness and Lincoln lines that coupled at Nottingham around 0800 then split at Derby for Birmingham and Crewe. This particular service, highly unreliable as might be expected, ceased in 1988.
 

Cheshire Scot

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There were very few Birmingham to Nottingham trains in the early 80s. They were almost non existent.
Likewise in the mid-70's.
Nottm to Derby was one train per hour, the Nott'm to Crewe which started back in Lincoln approx. two hourly, Derby to Birmingham likewise hourly on the NE-SW axis.
Nott'm to Leicester also one per hour, to St Pancras alternately fast (Leicester only) and Semi Fast (connect into fast at Leics), and Leicester to Birmingham hourly, mainly from Norwich and two or three times per day there was a Nottingham to Birmingham via Leics.
In theory this might give two options per hour but the 'connections' westbound at Leics were typically 40mins plus, and often not much better at Derby.
It is difficult to understand why these two cities were so badly connected back then.
 

Masborough

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Thanks to everyone for the info.
It is difficult to understand why these two cities were so badly connected back then.
Yeah, it is interesting; with Nottingham and Birmingham being such large cities and relatively close, I would thought that BR would have found a way to tack on at least a direct morning and evening express service, maybe even with first class provision. I appreciate commuting habits have changed since but surely there was a business market?

I say this without any knowledge of operational practicalities / any politics involved!

At least the people of Nottingham could have a summer holiday to the Southwest without too much hassle! : P
 

JonathanH

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It is difficult to understand why these two cities were so badly connected back then.
A greater degree of localism I imagine.

Did people who lived in Nottingham really consider going to work in Birmingham or make regular journeys there for shopping trips? Possibly not. On the other hand, perhaps there was just a greater acceptance of changing at Derby or Leicester. It should be noted that Nottingham and Coventry were linked (almost) hourly (with a reversal at Nuneaton) as well - certain hours these only ran as far as Nuneaton.
 
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edwin_m

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A greater degree of localism I imagine.

Did people who lived in Nottingham really consider going to work in Birmingham or make regular journeys there for shopping trips? Possibly not. On the other hand, perhaps there was just a greater acceptance of changing at Derby or Leicester. It should be noted that Nottingham and Coventry were linked (almost) hourly (with a reversal at Nuneaton) as well - certain hours these only ran as far as Nuneaton.
The Nottingham-Coventry service started only slightly before or just after privatisation. There was also an hourly Lincoln-Nottingham-Birmingham-Shrewsbury. Both disappeared in the pruning back of Central Trains in the early 2000s.
 

JonathanH

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The Nottingham-Coventry service started only slightly before or just after privatisation. There was also an hourly Lincoln-Nottingham-Birmingham-Shrewsbury. Both disappeared in the pruning back of Central Trains in the early 2000s.
Nottingham to Coventry was running most hours in 1989. Extensions of Lincoln trains to Shrewsbury were much later.
 

xotGD

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I recall changing at Derby on the odd occasion I needed to travel from Birmingham to Derby in the late 80s.
 

Bald Rick

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By the early 90s it was a pretty good service - hourly I think, with a good chance of a 158. I’m fairly sure here was a morning service to Birmingham off the Grantham line too (this would have been 92/3.)
 

JonathanH

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By the early 90s it was a pretty good service - hourly I think, with a good chance of a 158. I’m fairly sure here was a morning service to Birmingham off the Grantham line too (this would have been 92/3.)
Good chance of a 158 on the services which went through to Cardiff but I suspect not on the Birmingham to Nottingham trains.

My first (and second) rides on 150/1s were on Birmingham to Nottingham trains in 1993 and 1994.
 

Bald Rick

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Good chance of a 158 on the services which went through to Cardiff but I suspect not on the Birmingham to Nottingham trains.

My first (and second) rides on 150/1s were on Birmingham to Nottingham trains in 1993 and 1994.

I think that’s probably right. IIRC the Birmingham to Nottingham (only) services were the stoppers that called at Wilncote, and later Willington, and they we’re usually a 150.
 

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Around 1987, while staying with relatives in Derby, we had a day out to the Severn Valley Railway and used a Nottingham Birmingham service in both directions, it was formed of a Class 154 sprinter (Experimental Class 150 with Class 158 drive train and 90 mph max). As far as I can remember, it rode quite comfortably at those speeds. I remember speaking to the driver before departure from New Street on the way back and he said how much nicer it was to drive than the standard 150s as it had "ordinary air brakes" rather than the Westcode ones on the production sets!
 

Cheshire Scot

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Yeah, it is interesting; with Nottingham and Birmingham being such large cities and relatively close, I would thought that BR would have found a way to tack on at least a direct morning and evening express service, maybe even with first class provision. I appreciate commuting habits have changed since but surely there was a business market?
The occasional through trains in the 70's were anything but express as they offered the rare opportunities to travel between Beeston/Attenborough and Loughborough/Leicester and then forward with the 'normal' calls of Narborough, Hinckley and Nuneaton and possibly also Water Orton, i.e. probably all stations (others now on the route have opened since then). As far as I recall they were typically formed of Swindon Cross Country units so would have provided First Class although what market there would be for this on these occasional, slow, but at least through trains might be debated. Perhaps the typical business traveller of the day went by car.
 

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I remember catching a Nottingham– Coventry train for a day out in Coventry. Not sure what year, may have been a new link or experimental service?

I vaguely remember a Nottingham– Birmingham (through) service via Leicester? Obviously a longer journey time, so may have not used.
 

Class800

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In 1989, when the Summer Saturday services to the South West still ran under the "InterCity Holidaymaker" naming, the Nottingham to the South West service on Summer Saturdays ran via Leicester, not Derby.

0822 Nottingham to Paignton - called Beeston, Loughborough, Leicester, Hinckley, Nuneaton, Cheltenham Spa, Gloucester, Bristol Temple Meads, Taunton, Exeter St Davids, Dawlish, Teignmouth, Torquay, Paignton

The return was 1440 Paignton to Nottingham with the same calls.

I think Nottingham to Birmingham via Derby has more prominence as a route now than it did in the 1980s.
Not calling at Newton Abbot - that's something I've never seen - was it common previously?
 

JonathanH

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Not calling at Newton Abbot - that's something I've never seen - was it common previously?
There were about 20 InterCity trains into Paignton on a Summer Saturday in 1989 of which four, including the one from Nottingham, omitted a call at Newton Abbot.
 

WesternLancer

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I remember catching a Nottingham– Coventry train for a day out in Coventry. Not sure what year, may have been a new link or experimental service?

I vaguely remember a Nottingham– Birmingham (through) service via Leicester? Obviously a longer journey time, so may have not used.
I would use the Nottm - Coventry train pretty regularly in very late 80s and early 90s as part of journeys from Nottingham to Oxford.
 

Cheshire Scot

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Likewise in the mid-70's.
Nottm to Derby was one train per hour, the Nott'm to Crewe which started back in Lincoln approx. two hourly, Derby to Birmingham likewise hourly on the NE-SW axis.
Nott'm to Leicester also one per hour, to St Pancras alternately fast (Leicester only) and Semi Fast (connect into fast at Leics), and Leicester to Birmingham hourly, mainly from Norwich and two or three times per day there was a Nottingham to Birmingham via Leics.
The 1974 offering was two trains, 07.30 and 17.30 ex Nott'm, with unimpressive 1hr 48 and 1hr 58 journey times respectively, the p.m. train all stations, the a.m. one missed Water Orton. In essence Nottm to Leics and Leics to Bhm local trains worked by the same unit and advertised as through trains.

There were no through trains in the reverse direction (other than summer Saturday holiday trains).
 
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