Steam Traction at Thornton Heath in 1960?

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Dai Corner

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I was born near Thornton Heath station in 1960

My mother says she remembers taking me to Croydon on a steam train as baby so this would have been late 1960 or early 1961

Is this a likely scenario? When was that area electrified and if it was before 1960 were there still stopping steam trains we could have caught?
 
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30907

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Very unlikely in normal service conditions, but possible if services were disrupted.

There was plenty of steam passenger at ECR then, as the Oxted lines were wholly steam-worked, plus the Newhaven Boats and one or two others. But nothing stopped intermediately.

Scenarios that come to mind are an out of course stop - or a steam pilot to an EMU in very icy conditions - or even a steam-hauled excursion (excursion trains routinely called at South London suburban stations, but would normally have been EMU too).

Or perhaps it was one of the elderly SUBs formed from rebuilt narrow bodied steam stock? There were still some around at that stage...
 

steamybrian

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I agree with 30907..
I was born in Thornton Heath and in the 1950s lived next to the main line.
All the regular standard stopping passenger services were operated by 4 SUB EMUs with only the very occasional service by steam hauled. The fast services operated by a mixture of 2 BILs, 4 LAVs, 4-PUL/PAN and 4 COR with of course the Brighton Belle operated with 5 BEL The service you mentioned may have been an excursion, an EMU that had failed being dragged by steam or a special. The only regular steam hauled passenger services passing through were Victoria- Oxted- East Grinstead/Uckfield line services. Occasional steam hauled passenger services would be for example- excursions from other regions via the West London Line
Thornton Heath had TWO goods yards an up yard and a down yard. By 1961 freight services were mainly still steam operated with diesels beginning to appear.
 
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