The introduction of Mk3 Sleepers and old routes served by sleeper services

WesternLancer

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Interesting aside, I spotted an old Rail magazine from I think May 1984 yesterday, this had an article featuring a ride on the final 'old' sleeping cars, these being the Mk 1 sleepers. All of the other Mk1 diagrams must have changed over to Mk3s by then, and this was the last to go. I'll have to read it carefully but it sounded like an Inverness to Edinburgh and Glasgow service, made up of 2 Mk1 sleepers and I think seated coaches plus probably full brakes for parcels etc, which divided en route, one sleeping car for each destination. I think it said this was to be replaced by a single Mk3, presumably to only one of those destinations, at the May timetable change.

The article highlighted the fact that each Mk1 Sleeper compartment was still equipped with a chamber pot, which I had not previously knowno_O
 
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Highlandspring

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I never travelled on a mk1 sleeper but I'm sure I've read somewhere that the chamber pots were self emptying - you put it away in a little cupboard and it automatically tipped the contents out. I did see one on eBay a few years ago but managed to resist the temptation.
 

WesternLancer

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I never travelled on a mk1 sleeper but I'm sure I've read somewhere that the chamber pots were self emptying - you put it away in a little cupboard and it automatically tipped the contents out. I did see one on eBay a few years ago but managed to resist the temptation.
Interesting, thanks.
It seems that surviving vehicles are now few and far between and mostly in pretty poor condition. I think another thread suggested only 6 or so remain, 4 of them being at Carnforth and probably only fit for scrap, another at Bluebell in somewhat better condition.
 

WesternLancer

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View attachment 63269 i have to hand, purely by coincidence the new timetable, 12 May 1984, introducing the new "hotel" facilities
Thanks for posting - interesting to read.

That Rail article implies the route I mentioned was the last one to go over to Mk3 sleepers, suggesting that many other routes had gone over previously, eg maybe at least in 1983. I wonder when the 1st route went over to the then 'new sleepers' - eg is that 1984 timetable feature the first such example promoting the new stock.

I recall being impressed when they were introduced and seeing them, though I didn't get to travel in one until 1986 I think.
 

Steve Harris

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. I'll have to read it carefully but it sounded like an Inverness to Edinburgh and Glasgow service, made up of 2 Mk1 sleepers and I think seated coaches plus probably full brakes for parcels etc, which divided en route, one sleeping car for each destination. I think it said this was to be replaced by a single Mk3, presumably to only one of those destinations, at the May timetable change.
I think you might find it was a Glasgow - Inverness / Aberdeen service (split at Perth), travelled on it circa 1988.
However I might be wrong as the 31 year old Memory DIMM is getting old now.
 
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WesternLancer

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I think you might find it was a Glasgow - Inverness / Aberdeen service (split at Perth), travelled on it circa 1988.
Interesting to note it still operating in 1988 (an internal scotland only sleeper service) - I'll have to dig out an old timetable though I don't have a full set.
 

johnr57

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more from the 1984 timetable
there is also Euston Carlisle, and Kings Cross - Aberdeen via the East coast

img20190520_14035254.jpg img20190520_14023993.jpg
 

BRX

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Thanks for posting these, very interesting to see.

3 sleepers arriving in Inverness each morning.

And Perth would have had 4 services from/to London each night?

It seems odd that the two London-Inverness services are both portions of trains, in one case the other part going to Stranraer and the other case to Fort William.

You'd think it would be easier to run one long train straight to Inverness, and have the other one split between Stranraer and Fort William. No doubt there is a good reason for it being as it is though!
 

Bletchleyite

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Interesting that at that time both Bletchley and Milton Keynes Central had a service! With MK much bigger there must surely now be more demand (and more justification than for Watford) - I guess the platforms are too short, but could it be done with SDO?
 

WesternLancer

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more from the 1984 timetable
there is also Euston Carlisle, and Kings Cross - Aberdeen via the East coast

View attachment 63274 View attachment 63275
Thanks for this - great to see. Needless to say would be keen to see scans of any of the other sleeper timetable pages from your 1984 NRT if you would be minded to post them.

I didn't realise Saturday night sleepers still ran then either, thinking they had been phased out much earlier.
 

WesternLancer

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Thanks - great to see that, much appreciated.

I recall doing the Bristol to Edinburgh route in about late 1985 or early 1986, but in a seated carriage. Had just about got to sleep when at New Street a fair few people fresh from the pub got on to head for Wolverhampton or Stafford maybe, shattering the silence of that carriage....I don't think I could afford the berth supplement at the time, which was IIRC was £15

Bank of England inflation calculator says that is c£43 now
 

Hooligan

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I think you might find it was a Glasgow - Inverness / Aberdeen service (split at Perth), travelled on it circa 1988.
However I might be wrong as the 31 year old Memory DIMM is getting old now.
The Edinburgh and Glasgow northbound Inverness sleepers used to join together at Perth and for some reason the southbound service used to split at Stirling
 

johnr57

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The Edinburgh and Glasgow northbound Inverness sleepers used to join together at Perth and for some reason the southbound service used to split at Stirling
i remember as a youngster on the northbound being on that service, quietly sleeping away only to be awoken by the shunting at Perth, look out of the window to see Dewar's distillery, nodded off again but seemed to pass back and forth past the distillery several times.

this must have been late 60's but sending my mum into loft now to see if she can find the evidence!
 

Steve Harris

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Thanks - great to see that, much appreciated.

I recall doing the Bristol to Edinburgh route in about late 1985 or early 1986, but in a seated carriage. Had just about got to sleep when at New Street a fair few people fresh from the pub got on to head for Wolverhampton or Stafford maybe, shattering the silence of that carriage....I don't think I could afford the berth supplement at the time, which was IIRC was £15

Bank of England inflation calculator says that is c£43 now
Yep. Deffently £15. Did the Bristol - Glasgow service in 1987. Same service as you (split at Carstairs) but in a sleeper.

Only thing is, i should of went to Edinburgh, as i might of been able to get the number of the Lickey Banker engine. (Glasgow portion being at the front. Banking Loco at rear).
 

47271

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I wonder when the 1st route went over to the then 'new sleepers' - eg is that 1984 timetable feature the first such example promoting the new stock.
I don't know if it was the first route, but I'm reliably told King's Cross-Aberdeen went over to mk3s in December 1981.
 

WesternLancer

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I don't know if it was the first route, but I'm reliably told King's Cross-Aberdeen went over to mk3s in December 1981.
Interesting - thanks - quite a slow roll out then, across the routes. I see my platform 5 stock book says the Mk3 were under construction from 1980 - 85 so that would make sense.
 

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The Scottish Region were pretty much the last to hang onto steam heat from what I remember. Pretty sure they still had a few 47/0s with working boilers right up to 1986/87. Would that be due to them still having to heat the mk1 sleepers a couple of years earlier?
 

Mag_seven

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The Edinburgh and Glasgow northbound Inverness sleepers used to join together at Perth and for some reason the southbound service used to split at Stirling
I remember as a youth travelling on the seated portion of those and staggering bleary eyed onto a steam heated mark one class 26 hauled service to Kyle or wherever at Inverness!
 

Cowley

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I remember as a youth travelling on the seated portion of those and staggering bleary eyed onto a steam heated mark one class 26 hauled service to Kyle or wherever at Inverness!
Lovely!
I did the overnight from Inverness to Glasgow as a seated passenger in May 1988. There was a loco change on route (47636 for 47644 is ringing a bell) wherever the portions split.
The train was quite busy and incredibly hot, I think the heating must have failed but on full blast.
My stepbrother and I fell asleep on a heap of mailbags in the BG with all the windows open. Probably lucky we didn’t end up in Penzance. :lol:
 

edwin_m

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Thanks for posting these, very interesting to see.

3 sleepers arriving in Inverness each morning.

And Perth would have had 4 services from/to London each night?

It seems odd that the two London-Inverness services are both portions of trains, in one case the other part going to Stranraer and the other case to Fort William.

You'd think it would be easier to run one long train straight to Inverness, and have the other one split between Stranraer and Fort William. No doubt there is a good reason for it being as it is though!
Maybe something to do with an electric on the WCML being able to handle a much greater load than a diesel on the Highland? Having said that the footnotes say one of the trains is only combined from October onwards so probably has more berths to at least one of the destinations in the summer.
 

Journeyman

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Interesting, thanks.
It seems that surviving vehicles are now few and far between and mostly in pretty poor condition. I think another thread suggested only 6 or so remain, 4 of them being at Carnforth and probably only fit for scrap, another at Bluebell in somewhat better condition.
Yeah - as someone who is bit of a sleeper geek these days (blame two and a half years working for Caledonian Sleeper), I think it's a real shame that the Mark 1 sleeper is verging on extinction. If I had the spare cash I'd love to save one. However, the last surviving wooden-bodied LNER sleeper - which remained in service until 1972 - is currently undergoing extensive restoration at Bo'ness, and is shaping up very nicely.
 

Highlandspring

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The mk1 sleepers were absolutely stuffed full of blue, brown and white asbestos to such an extent that removing it all is virtually impossible, which is why so few have survived.

The Edinburgh and Glasgow northbound Inverness sleepers used to join together at Perth and for some reason the southbound service used to split at Stirling
An old Perth driver did explain this to me once years ago, I’m sure he said it was something to do with turn length for the traincrew.
 

Cowley

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The mk1 sleepers were absolutely stuffed full of blue, brown and white asbestos to such an extent that removing it all is virtually impossible, which is why so few have survived.


An old Perth driver did explain this to me once years ago, I’m sure he said it was something to do with turn length for the traincrew.
The only thing with that is that you’d think the incoming portion loco would return with the corresponding portion?
Wish I’d stayed awake now...
 

Journeyman

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The mk1 sleepers were absolutely stuffed full of blue, brown and white asbestos to such an extent that removing it all is virtually impossible, which is why so few have survived.
They're also not much use in preservation, apart from volunteer dormitories. When surplus Mark 3s came along, in better condition and without the asbestos, most railways were happy to snap them up.
 

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