Sleeper Train Stories BBC Radio 4

Discussion in 'Railway History & Nostalgia' started by Hannah Dean, 15 Nov 2018.

  1. Hannah Dean

    Hannah Dean New Member

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    Hello all,
    I produce a program for BBC Radio 4 called Wireless Nights presented by Jarvis Cocker where we explore nocturnal happenings and for our next series we want to hear unusual stories about sleeper trains.
    Have you had a experience on a sleeper train- perhaps you found love on a sleeper train or it could be something more sinister. We'd love to hear from you, so please feel free to email me at:
    Hannah.dean@bbc.co.uk

    All the best
    Hannah
     
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  3. co-tr-paul

    co-tr-paul Member

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    Maybe post this in both the Caledonian and Night Riviera threads too.?
     
  4. Hannah Dean

    Hannah Dean New Member

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    Thank you!
    Will do
    Hannah
     
  5. gordonthemoron

    gordonthemoron Established Member

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    Night train, Kemi-Helsinki (Finland), spent an enjoyable few hours in the buffet car with a bunch of drunken Finns and a Professor from Rovaniemi University who taught Lordi. There were a lot of metal fans going to a festival in Helsinki and the service had a smoking compartment which if it had seats would hold 6 people. Walked past it to use the toilet, it was like a sardine can, full of headbangers and OAPs :D
     
  6. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    Hannah - Do you just want stories of sleeper trains (as in carriages with beds in), or just overnight trains in general?
    I’ve travelled overnight on plenty of trains in the seated carriages, but not so often in a bed.
     
  7. Calthrop

    Calthrop Established Member

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    Drifting from topic: but -- not being an aficionado of heavy-metal, or any, music -- I felt highly curious as to who or what Lordi might be (was wondering, some obscure Finno-Karelian tribe and their language?). Resorting to Google, set me straight: a band, of the kind alluded to, founded by the eponymous Mr. Lordi.
     
  8. Taunton

    Taunton Established Member

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    I believe Jarvis may be a bit of a train buff - he has done a whole range of advertising and promotion for Eurostar in past years.

    The best programme ever about an overnight train was a BBC play in the 1980s "Caught on a Train" by Stephen Poliakoff, now on DVD. Very recommended both for the production overall and the train bits.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caught_on_a_Train

    PS - Hannah, when you next see Jarvis tell him "Well done and somebody needed to do it" for the 1996 Brits moment.
     
  9. Journeyman

    Journeyman Established Member

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    Did anyone see "La Couchette", one of the recent episodes of "Inside Number 9"?
     
  10. Traveller54

    Traveller54 Member

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    There’s a very funny Laurel and Hardy short when they were travelling on a night train with a double bass. Yes, it’s fiction but who knows there may be similar factual stories to be told.
     
  11. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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    "Berth Marks"

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0019686/

     
  12. Pigeon

    Pigeon Member

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    Gavin Maxwell used to have fun smuggling otters into sleeping compartments.
     
  13. Taunton

    Taunton Established Member

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    One of their older (1930) and better ones, not only for it's comedy slapstick but also for all the typical features of old USA Pullman sleepers, every little element of which they manage to incorporate, such as climbing into an upper berth, or the suspended net above the bed for you to put your clothes in (which Stan Laurel inevitably manages to get tangled up with). Shot mostly at the old street level Santa Fe station in Los Angeles, shortly before it was badly damaged in the 1933 earthquake, and before the classic Union Station in LA opened 10 years later. Santa Fe 4-6-2 1373 (Baldwin, 1913) also stars.

    This will waste 20 minutes for you!

     
    Last edited: 24 Nov 2018
  14. gazthomas

    gazthomas Established Member

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    Back to the original question, anyone able to help with their story?
     
  15. steevp

    steevp Member

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    I was on the sleeper to and from Inverness last weekend (excellent journey despite the ageing stock BTW) and in the lounge bar conversation led to the strange story of Geoffrey Howe's trousers - nothing like that has happened to me though (thankfully!)
    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/9-most-important-pairs-trousers-9444859
    Poor Geoffrey Howe lost his trews on the overnight sleeper train from Edinburgh to London King’s Cross station in 1982 when Maggie Thatcher’s Chancellor of the Exchequer. The pair was stolen while he kipped and later recovered by the cops but not soon enough to spare the blushes of a usually colourless politician who became a national figure of fun.
     
  16. rf_ioliver

    rf_ioliver Member

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    The band that secured Finland's first ever win in the Eurovision Song Contest. Considered to be legends here in Finland :)



    NB: note, they do not wear make up ;)

    The only night trains left in Finland now are the Helsinki-Kemijärvi (via Rovaniemi) and Helsinki-Kolari. Both use modern double-deck coached with some rooms having private showers. The restaurant car is probably the best place to meet Finns and drink - can recommend!

    There used to be services via Kuopio and Joensuu but these were cut about 10 years ago (or more in the Joensuu case). The Kuopio night train in the end had a restaurant car that refused to serve anything - a case of deliberately preventing people use the service (not to mention unavailability of tickets...for an empty train).

    Last time I did this service I ended up calling a pizza place in Kajaani and getting them to deliver it to the train.

    t.

    Ian
     
    Last edited: 24 Nov 2018

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