RAILTOUR 13 March queries

Discussion in 'Railtours & Preservation' started by STEVIEBOY1, 17 Mar 2019 at 08:38.

  1. STEVIEBOY1

    STEVIEBOY1 Established Member

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    Good morning, I was on a railtour yesterday, 16 March to Cranmore. It was a great trip.

    I have a query about the rolling stock used, which perhaps some members of this forum may know the answers? Normally when I have been on any main line rail tour operated by either Steam Dreams, RTC or UK Railtours, the carriages have been either Mark one or Mark two, Maroon, "Blood and Custard" or GWR type Chocolate and Cream liveries, supplied by West Coast Railways or DBS from Southall, Carnforth or Eastleigh, all with window top lights that can be opened and non air conditioned. However yesterdays train was 13 coaches, one dark blue, the rest was in very smart BR Inter City type Blue & White livery, it looked very smart, the interiors were good too. You could not open the windows on this train, so I presume it would be air-con? I am not sure if this would have been an updated version of Mark two, or if it was in fact Mark Three? I wondered where these carriages would have come from now and where they originally would have worked in BR Days. I think some of the numbering on the coaches were M, so presumably on the MML or West Coast. Would they have been from old 125 sets, or loco hauled?

    We also passed in the Trowbridge area a Pullman type train going towards Westbury, so I presume either Belmond/VSOE or Northern Belle?

    I also heard there was a 125 special in the Westbury area later in the evening, so quite alot of specials around this weekend. :D

    Tks.
     
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  3. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

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    The coaches you had on the Somerset Strimmer yesterday were air conditioned Mark 2F coaches last used on BR on Cross Country, West Coast and Anglia locomotive hauled services. They have been painted in 'British Rail' blue-grey colours over the last few years having previously been in their previous operators' liveries.

    These are the coaches which are sometimes hired for non-enthusiast charters - eg they have been used for football specials, 'gin trains', a Hogmany Train etc.

    They are kept at Burton-on-Trent. Some of this fleet are in use with Scotrail on the Fife Circle commuter trains. They were built around 1973/74 and in use on the mainline railway until the early 2000s. More than one set of these can be made up but it is likely that they are now concentrating on the best examples.

    The mark 1 coaches you are more familiar with were last used by British Rail in the charter unit and are often used on railtours promoted by Pathfinder Tours and UK Railtours. They were built around 1960 and mainly painted in a chocolate and cream livery (with some in carmine and cream). They are kept at Eastleigh.

    There is a special exemption to use these coaches on the mainline railway as they are not fitted with central door locking, only manually controlled bolts on the inside of the coaches.
    https://orr.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/2545/riviera-trains-reg5-certificate-nr.pdf

    Some of these coaches are currently on hire to Vintage Trains at Tyseley which is why they weren't available for the charter you went on yesterday.

    More details here https://www.riviera-trains.co.uk/aboutus.htm

    The other train you saw near Trowbridge was the "Statesman" tour from Crewe to Portsmouth.
    https://www.statesmanrail.com/portsmouth-harbour-statesman/

    Again, this was Mark 2F carriages, operated by Locomotive Services Limited on behalf of Statesman Rail.

    I suspect that the '125 special' you refer to was a normal train. It is just that in the decline of the 125 fleet, the last remaining workings are gaining more interest.
     
  4. matt

    matt Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The Riveria mark 1s at Tyseley were used yesterday by Pathfinder. The others based at Eastleigh were unavailable so the mark 2 set from Burton was used instead.
     
  5. AnthonyRail

    AnthonyRail Member

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    Those coaches look fantastic behind a 50 or 55
     
  6. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    The 125 special in Westbury might be the rare(ish) sighting of a XC HST on divert due to the line being blocked between Bristol & Taunton via Yatton. The hourly XC services were going via Westbury and some were HSTs.

    (Personally I prefer the Mk2 set as I find the seats slightly better than the bench seats on the Mk1s)
     
  7. STEVIEBOY1

    STEVIEBOY1 Established Member

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    Thank you very much for your extremely informative and interesting reply, very kind of you. I had seen some similar carriages around the UK in the old Virgin and Anglia liveries, they have done a good job in repainting them in the blue-grey livery. They did look very clean and smart.
     
  8. STEVIEBOY1

    STEVIEBOY1 Established Member

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    Yes we noticed some odd movements, there was a GWR train going to Swansea via Bristol Parkway in the Dr Days junction area and also an XC Voyager going northbound in the Trowbridge area.
     
  9. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    That pair of 800s which called at Filton Abbey Wood which I suspect was a rugby special (http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/V28772/2019/03/16/advanced)
     
  10. STEVIEBOY1

    STEVIEBOY1 Established Member

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