Second (or third) class Pullmans

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Shimbleshanks

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I remember my father telling me how he and my Mum once travelled on the pullman train (probably from Yorkshire) to London in the late 1940s - very probably on their honmeymoon. Knowing my Old Man, it seems highly unlikely that he would have forked out for first class tickets - even on his honeymoon - so I assume that they travelled second class (or possibly it was third class in those days).

In many ways, a second or third class pullman seems a contradiction in terms. Was second class in a Pullman noticeably more comfortable than normal second class? Was the catering any different? I got the impression from what my father told me there was some sort of at-seat service, though I'm not sure if meals or drinks were included in the fare.

I get the impression that the diesel Blue Pullmans had second class accommodation, or at least some of them did. Again, was it noticeably more comfortable than normal second class of those days? But I think the electric loco-hauled manchester Pullman of the 1970s and early 1980s was first class pullman only. Not sure about other pullman trains of that era - were some of them first class Pullman and ordinary second class?
 
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30907

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My only Pullman experience was on the Brighton Belle (1971 I think, combined with a trip to Kemp Town). You paid the supplement (less than 1st class!), you got your reserved seat in the 2nd class car (in the case of the Belle it was the MBS, so not the most comfotable ride).
In the late 40s the other advantage was the reserved seat - I've read somewhere that seat reservations weren't restored post WW2 for some years. (The demise of the Devon Belle was supposedly connected with the restoration of seat reservations out of Paddington...)
I think travelling Pullman 3rd Class on a special occasion makes perfect sense; it was only in the 70s IIRC that Pullmans became 1st class only.
 

WesternLancer

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I remember my father telling me how he and my Mum once travelled on the pullman train (probably from Yorkshire) to London in the late 1940s - very probably on their honmeymoon. Knowing my Old Man, it seems highly unlikely that he would have forked out for first class tickets - even on his honeymoon - so I assume that they travelled second class (or possibly it was third class in those days).

In many ways, a second or third class pullman seems a contradiction in terms. Was second class in a Pullman noticeably more comfortable than normal second class? Was the catering any different? I got the impression from what my father told me there was some sort of at-seat service, though I'm not sure if meals or drinks were included in the fare.

I get the impression that the diesel Blue Pullmans had second class accommodation, or at least some of them did. Again, was it noticeably more comfortable than normal second class of those days? But I think the electric loco-hauled manchester Pullman of the 1970s and early 1980s was first class pullman only. Not sure about other pullman trains of that era - were some of them first class Pullman and ordinary second class?
I'd have to look at interior images but wasn't it the case the 1st class Pullman interior seating was one chair either side of the aisle, 3rd class being 2+1 abreast? Happy to be corrected.
 

Journeyman

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I'd have to look at interior images but wasn't it the case the 1st class Pullman interior seating was one chair either side of the aisle, 3rd class being 2+1 abreast? Happy to be corrected.
Southern Railway third class Pullmans were 2+2.
 

32475

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Here are some examples of tickets from the Brighton Belle. There are first class of course then there are older third class tickets and later second class tickets (from after third class was abolished).
Certainly on the Brighton Belle, the first class carriages had names whereas the third (later second) class carriages were referred to as Car No xx
9814BD5B-DCAF-4FD9-B625-8FF10562466D.jpeg
 

Cheshire Scot

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I'd have to look at interior images but wasn't it the case the 1st class Pullman interior seating was one chair either side of the aisle, 3rd class being 2+1 abreast? Happy to be corrected.
I travelled in second class on the Queen of Scots and the Golden Arrow in the sixties, both with 2 + 1 seating, and with comfort similar to 'normal' first class. I remember noticing first was 1 + 1.

I vaguely recall the Brighton Belle seconds were 2 +2 which would reflect the below.
Southern Railway third class Pullmans were 2+2.
 

jfollows

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But I think the electric loco-hauled manchester Pullman of the 1970s and early 1980s was first class pullman only. Not sure about other pullman trains of that era - were some of them first class Pullman and ordinary second class?
The Liverpool Pullman, which ran from 1966 to some point in the 1970s only, was mixed in that it had first class Pullman and ordinary second class as you say. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liverpool_Pullman may be right, I wasn't personally familiar with the service, whereas I often saw the Manchester Pullman in the latter half of the 1970s.
 

Welshman

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You mention your Mother and Father travelled probably from Yorkshire to London.

My 1962 timetable shows both the Yorkshire Pullman and the Harrogate Sunday Pullman charging a supplement of 12/- 1st and 6/- 2nd from Leeds, Harrogate and Bradford to Kings Cross, per single journey.

I don't know about any advantage regarding seating comfort, but you were offered an at seat service of meals and refreshments [which you had to pay extra for].

If you were tight for cash but wanted to savour the experience, for a 2/- supplement you could use the trains between Bradford and Leeds! Certainly an at-seat service of meals and refreshments would have been a novelty on that route, although you couldn't consume much in the 20 minute journey!
 

WesternLancer

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I travelled in second class on the Queen of Scots and the Golden Arrow in the sixties, both with 2 + 1 seating, and with comfort similar to 'normal' first class. I remember noticing first was 1 + 1.

I vaguely recall the Brighton Belle seconds were 2 +2 which would reflect the below.
V interesting - and notable that the SR and BR(SR) as a big user of Pullmans had a higher density layout as mentioned by @Journeyman
 

30907

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V interesting - and notable that the SR and BR(SR) as a big user of Pullmans had a higher density layout as mentioned by @Journeyman
Think the higher density seating only applied to the EMU cars.

Slihtly OT, but I remember the early 60s Metro-Cammell 2nds being repurposed as ordinary 1sts for trains like the Harwich continentals.
 

Shimbleshanks

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Interesting that the supplement for the Brighton Belle was only 20p. Even at early 1970s prices, that was quite a bargain.

You mention your Mother and Father travelled probably from Yorkshire to London.

My 1962 timetable shows both the Yorkshire Pullman and the Harrogate Sunday Pullman charging a supplement of 12/- 1st and 6/- 2nd from Leeds, Harrogate and Bradford to Kings Cross, per single journey.

I don't know about any advantage regarding seating comfort, but you were offered an at seat service of meals and refreshments [which you had to pay extra for].

If you were tight for cash but wanted to savour the experience, for a 2/- supplement you could use the trains between Bradford and Leeds! Certainly an at-seat service of meals and refreshments would have been a novelty on that route, although you couldn't consume much in the 20 minute journey!
Yes, that sounds quite plausible. They lived in Hull, so could well have connected at Leeds. I seem to remember my Old man complaining of stewards coming round all the time asking if they wanted anything, even when they didn't.

The Liverpool Pullman, which ran from 1966 to some point in the 1970s only, was mixed in that it had first class Pullman and ordinary second class as you say. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liverpool_Pullman may be right, I wasn't personally familiar with the service, whereas I often saw the Manchester Pullman in the latter half of the 1970s.
I have a dim memory of seeing the evening up Manchester Pullman in the Manchester suburbs in the 1970s when I lived there and I'm pretty certain it was all-Pullman, all first class. Presumably enough business patronage for such an elite train whereas that probably wasn't the case in Liverpool.
 

stj

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Think the higher density seating only applied to the EMU cars.

Slihtly OT, but I remember the early 60s Metro-Cammell 2nds being repurposed as ordinary 1sts for trains like the Harwich continentals.
These were then bought by SLOA in the 80s.Many are still around today.
 

Polarbear

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Interesting that the supplement for the Brighton Belle was only 20p. Even at early 1970s prices, that was quite a bargain.


Yes, that sounds quite plausible. They lived in Hull, so could well have connected at Leeds. I seem to remember my Old man complaining of stewards coming round all the time asking if they wanted anything, even when they didn't.


I have a dim memory of seeing the evening up Manchester Pullman in the Manchester suburbs in the 1970s when I lived there and I'm pretty certain it was all-Pullman, all first class. Presumably enough business patronage for such an elite train whereas that probably wasn't the case in Liverpool.
Yes, the Manchester Pullman was always a 1st class only service. The Liverpool Pullman operated until (I think) May 1975, but that was 1st class Pullman cars and 2nd class standard Mk2's.

The Blue Pullmans that operated on the Midland line were 1st class only, but the three sets on the Western region had 2nd class Pullman accommodation as well.
 

jfollows

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I have a dim memory of seeing the evening up Manchester Pullman in the Manchester suburbs in the 1970s when I lived there and I'm pretty certain it was all-Pullman, all first class. Presumably enough business patronage for such an elite train whereas that probably wasn't the case in Liverpool.
Yes, the Manchester Pullman was all first class. I sometimes went home to Macclesfield on the 16:43 stopper (but fast to Stockport) to Stoke Wolverhampton from Manchester Piccadilly which left on the Up Fast at the same time the 16:43 Pullman left on the Up Slow for London, the latter using the Styal line to reach Wilmslow. If we ran slightly late we'd then catch up and overtake the Pullman as it slowed for the 45mph junction at Slade Lane Junction whereas we were only restricted to 70mph at the same place.
 
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Welshman

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Yes, that sounds quite plausible. They lived in Hull, so could well have connected at Leeds. I seem to remember my Old man complaining of stewards coming round all the time asking if they wanted anything, even when they didn't.
Ah - the Yorkshire Pullman also had a portion from Hull, departing 10.12am [Sats excepted] and 11am [Sats only], attached at Doncaster. The supplement was still 12/- 1st and 6/- 2nd.
The stewards could probably not understand why they paid the extra if they did not want the at-seat service! :)
 

Taunton

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notable that the SR and BR(SR) as a big user of Pullmans had a higher density layout
Was Pullman not the contractor to the Southern Railway for all their catering services, whether branded Pullman or not, taking this business in 1930 from Spiers & Pond.
 

32475

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Yes, the Manchester Pullman was all first class. I sometimes went home to Macclesfield on the 16:43 stopper (but fast to Stockport) to Stoke Wolverhampton from Manchester Piccadilly which left on the Up Fast at the same time the 16:43 Pullman left on the Up Slow for London, the latter using the Styal line to reach Wilmslow. If we ran slightly late we'd then catch up and overtake the Pullman as it slowed for the 45mph junction at Slade Lane Junction whereas we were only restricted to 70mph at the same place.
I went on the all first class Met-Camm 1960s Manchester Pullman a few times in around 1983 / 84 and this was before the stock was replaced with the Mk3 incarnation of the Manchester Pullman when BR re-launched the service. I think these ran more frequently and had a few first class carriages at the London end of the train followed by buffet then ordinary non Pullman branded second class intercity Mk 3 coaches. The ‘Pullman’ coaches were in intercity livery but with the addition of Pullman crests and the carriages were named; Emeline Pankhurst was one I seem to recall and possibly Sir John Barbirolli.
I obtained this window sticker on one of the Met-Camm trains which indicates the route taken
 

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hexagon789

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Yes, the Manchester Pullman was always a 1st class only service. The Liverpool Pullman operated until (I think) May 1975, but that was 1st class Pullman cars and 2nd class standard Mk2's.

The Blue Pullmans that operated on the Midland line were 1st class only, but the three sets on the Western region had 2nd class Pullman accommodation as well.
I think it was Mk1s, because the Mk2 Pullmans were vacuum braked.

I remember my father telling me how he and my Mum once travelled on the pullman train (probably from Yorkshire) to London in the late 1940s - very probably on their honmeymoon. Knowing my Old Man, it seems highly unlikely that he would have forked out for first class tickets - even on his honeymoon - so I assume that they travelled second class (or possibly it was third class in those days).

In many ways, a second or third class pullman seems a contradiction in terms. Was second class in a Pullman noticeably more comfortable than normal second class? Was the catering any different? I got the impression from what my father told me there was some sort of at-seat service, though I'm not sure if meals or drinks were included in the fare.

I get the impression that the diesel Blue Pullmans had second class accommodation, or at least some of them did. Again, was it noticeably more comfortable than normal second class of those days? But I think the electric loco-hauled manchester Pullman of the 1970s and early 1980s was first class pullman only. Not sure about other pullman trains of that era - were some of them first class Pullman and ordinary second class?
The GSR in Ireland operated 4 Pullman cars, all third class from 1926. One being attached to the up and down Cork Mails, the others working initially to Limerick and back and later to/from Galway. For the supplement you essentially got slightly more comfortable seating and at-seat service. They were later re-seated with tip-up seats and used as ordinary third class vehicles into the 1950s.
 

Shimbleshanks

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Ah - the Yorkshire Pullman also had a portion from Hull, departing 10.12am [Sats excepted] and 11am [Sats only], attached at Doncaster. The supplement was still 12/- 1st and 6/- 2nd.
The stewards could probably not understand why they paid the extra if they did not want the at-seat service! :)
I suspect my Old Man had had his arm twisted into going a bit 'posh' for his honeymoon. Like me, he was almost ideologically opposed to paying extra for things like first class travel...
 

Taunton

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I think it was Mk1s, because the Mk2 Pullmans were vacuum braked.
The WCML 1966 Pullmans were indeed vacuum braked, some of the last constructed as the first AB Mk 2a came out the following year. The initial Mk 2 stock had been also vacuum, and these second class TSOs were those joined with the Liverpool first class Pullmans. This soon became a nuisance, especially when air con Mk 2 came along in 1971, because the Liverpool Pullman had to stay vacuum and thus continue using these older non-AC second class vehicles on the prime service of the day when the rest of it had changed over to air con.

Family travelled northbound on this more than once and said that dinner, second class, was distinctly better than normal, presumably done by the Pullman crew, although supposedly to normal standards.
 

hexagon789

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The WCML 1966 Pullmans were indeed vacuum braked, some of the last constructed as the first AB Mk 2a came out the following year. The initial Mk 2 stock had been also vacuum, and these second class TSOs were those joined with the Liverpool first class Pullmans. This soon became a nuisance, especially when air con Mk 2 came along in 1971, because the Liverpool Pullman had to stay vacuum and thus continue using these older non-AC second class vehicles on the prime service of the day when the rest of it had changed over to air con.

Family travelled northbound on this more than once and said that dinner, second class, was distinctly better than normal, presumably done by the Pullman crew, although supposedly to normal standards.
Ah so they used the original Mk2 (Mk2Z) stock with the Pullmans. My brain fir sone reason forgot/overlooked those vehicles when I posted, because I should know of the 2Z stock - the LMR ran them mixed with Mk1s in its express trains right up until it's first air braked stock - the 2C arrived.
 
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