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

WesternLancer

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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.
Nice to hear about the LNER sleeper.
 
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WesternLancer

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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.
Of course, though preservationists do achieve some great results with things that are not always 'much use' - eg full restorations of Victorian carriages rescued from being beach houses, when you could simply use a Mk1 instead. And come to think of it, preserved TPO carriages are not much use, since preserved railways don't carry post - as it were!

It would be great to see at least 1 or 2 Mk1 sleepers restored for posterity, and indeed the same for Mk3s. I would donate to such a project, but of course for the reasons you say it's not the highest priority.
 

30907

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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...
There was a Dundee and Aberdeen connection (mails and news?) off the down train, so I wonder if the second loco worked that. Arrival in Aberdeen was 0317 or some such time, and IIRC ScR even tried adding a Mk 3 sleeper one year (there being more than enough of them, and the oil boom was at its height).
 

Haywain

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As well as the services mentioned above, in the 70s there were sleeper services from London to places such as Barrow, Hull, Leeds, Newcastle, Manchester and Liverpool, as well as the Western region sleepers to south Wales and Devon/Cornwall. I did once travel on the Saturday night sleeper from Swansea to Paddington, Western hauled throughout!
 

WesternLancer

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As well as the services mentioned above, in the 70s there were sleeper services from London to places such as Barrow, Hull, Leeds, Newcastle, Manchester and Liverpool, as well as the Western region sleepers to south Wales and Devon/Cornwall. I did once travel on the Saturday night sleeper from Swansea to Paddington, Western hauled throughout!
Yes, I think any of those routes started to go after the start of HST 125 daytime services (though that won'd have been the reason for the Barrow service termination, obv!)
 

hexagon789

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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.
Yes, but the Aberdeen was northbound only.

The Mk3 sleeper to Aberdeen returned 'locked-out' in one of the push-pull sets to Glasgow. Usually the 1105 (a booked all Mk3 set), and usually between the push-pull set and loco.
 

Taunton

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From the Scottish Region in the 1970s :

The ScR had just five Sleeper Composites allocated long term, all the Anglo-Scottish ones (like the day coaches) were allocated to the relevant English region. There was a requirement for four per night, with one spare at Inverness, which covered just one car from each of Glasgow and Edinburgh to Inverness, passing en route. The stewards were based at both ends and did, like their cars, three return trips per week. The Inverness men (they all were) mostly were former Royal Navy stewards from Invergordon Navy base, who had retired from the Navy. The principal users of the Edinburgh car were Scottish Office civil servants, going to all day meetings in the North.

Lady who was a former colleague and then got a job at the Scottish Office described the procedure. In typical civil service fashion you had to attain a certain grade to get a first class single berth in the composite car, compared to the two-berth compartments in second class. This was the procedure to the extent that if the second class was full but there were first class berths available, you didn't go. However, given she was junior, she was booked second class, but the chance of there being another single woman to share the berth was pretty well unknown, so she always had a compartment to herself.

Meanwhile with the rolling stock, in best BR fashion the ScR ran the services fully with their own resources, both stock and stewards, and if there was a sudden vehicle failure at Edinburgh Craigentinny yard in the day, or steward illness, the Inverness spare would be positioned down in the afternoon, or a steward sent down by day train, rather than the embarrassment of having to wire York to borrow one of the several ER spare cars at Craigentinny. In fairness the ScR internal cars were fully traditional, steam heat, vacuum brake, and I think still on B1 bogies. The sleepers were only a small part of the consist, otherwise made up of Mk 1 compartment stock and several vans.
 

Haywain

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The sleepers were only a small part of the consist, otherwise made up of Mk 1 compartment stock and several vans.
Yep, many's the time I had a good night's sleep on one of those trains without going to the expense of booking a sleeper berth; one side of a compartment was just as good!
 

Highlandspring

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Did mk3 sleepers make it to Stranraer? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a picture of one there.

I’ll also contribute a story one of my colleagues told me about the Stranny sleepers... the few stewards based there were undertaking some sort of joint scam which the management was well aware of, involving selling their own drinks and keeping the money or stealing the soap and selling it or something like that. When BR decided to withdraw the service they arranged for the scam to be ‘discovered’ so they could sack those involved rather than pay for redundancy.
 

JModulo

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I’ll also contribute a story one of my colleagues told me about the Stranny sleepers... the few stewards based there were undertaking some sort of joint scam which the management was well aware of, involving selling their own drinks and keeping the money or stealing the soap and selling it or something like that.
Sounds like a friend I know from Stranraer (who I believe you know yourself) and a certain garage vending machine... must be something about the area.
 

Hooligan

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Interesting sleeper calls at Drem and Longniddry
strangely enough when short of a 101/107 I used the empties off the Inverness sleeper one morning to work 0810? from Dunbar, there were some strange looks when it pulled into station and fortunately there was a shunter, based there for Oxwellmains traffic, to do run round with the 47
 

jimm

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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
There definitely was still a sleeping car to/from both Edinburgh and Glasgow after the Mk3s took over on the internal Scottish services, as the old timetable posted above shows. I travelled in a still pristine Mk3 sleeper on the southbound service in September 1984 from Inverness to Edinburgh.

I think I was just trying to get to the Central Belt for the morning and the Glasgow car was fully booked, so I went to Edinburgh. Must have been a good night's sleep (and/or some light-touch shunting) as I can't recall being woken up when the train divided.

Theses services did indeed have seated coaches in both portions (early-build Mk2s in 1984, I think) and carried post and parcels (and newspapers printed in Edinburgh and Glasgow on the northbound run). Most of the vans' contents were obviously bound for Inverness and the surrounding area, but a fair proportion would be transferred to the early trains to Kyle and Wick/Thurso. The train from Glasgow was a favourite with Scotland supporters heading home to Inverness after midweek international matches at Hampden Park.

Did mk3 sleepers make it to Stranraer? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a picture of one there.
Yes, Mk3s were certainly in use by 1984 until the end of the Euston-Stranraer service in 1990.
 

WesternLancer

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There definitely was still a sleeping car to/from both Edinburgh and Glasgow after the Mk3s took over on the internal Scottish services, as the old timetable posted above shows. I travelled in a still pristine Mk3 sleeper on the southbound service in September 1984 from Inverness to Edinburgh.

I think I was just trying to get to the Central Belt for the morning and the Glasgow car was fully booked, so I went to Edinburgh. Must have been a good night's sleep (and/or some light-touch shunting) as I can't recall being woken up when the train divided.

Theses services did indeed have seated coaches in both portions (early-build Mk2s in 1984, I think) and carried post and parcels (and newspapers printed in Edinburgh and Glasgow on the northbound run). Most of the vans' contents were obviously bound for Inverness and the surrounding area, but a fair proportion would be transferred to the early trains to Kyle and Wick/Thurso. The train from Glasgow was a favourite with Scotland supporters heading home to Inverness after midweek international matches at Hampden Park.



Yes, Mk3s were certainly in use by 1984 until the end of the Euston-Stranraer service in 1990.
Thanks - all interesting to read.
 

matchmaker

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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!
I remember that as well! A school Railway Club trip - Glasgow to Inverness, Kyle, ferry to Mallaig, Fort William, Glasgow. Waiting to cross a southbound service in the loop at Murthly. Watching the inside of the windows freeze over as we crossed Drumochter...
 

WesternLancer

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From the Scottish Region in the 1970s :
In typical civil service fashion you had to attain a certain grade to get a first class single berth in the composite car, compared to the two-berth compartments in second class. This was the procedure to the extent that if the second class was full but there were first class berths available, you didn't go. However, given she was junior, she was booked second class, but the chance of there being another single woman to share the berth was pretty well unknown, so she always had a compartment to herself.
I can attest to the 1st / 2nd class issue. My mum was a civil servant and work required visits to places around the country to make films - she researched and wrote the films but this was a more junior civil service grade than the film Director and similar staff, who would get 1st class tickets. Result being it was not possible to discuss the work en route to the film location unless the senior graded people sat in 2nd class despite holding 1st class tickets.

This was in the 70s and early 80s. It would not surprise me if the same grade distinction ref travel ticketing didn't still exist in the civil service...
 

hexagon789

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The internal ScotRail sleepers ended in May 1990 with the looming Sprinterisation.

In their last years there were 5 internal routes:

Edinburgh-Inverness
Glasgow-Inverness
Glasgow-Aberdeen
Inverness-Edinburgh
Inverness-Glasgow.

The Scottish Region Mk3s were all SLEP vehicles.

Each portion (one each of Glasgow - Inverness, Edinburgh - Inverness, Inverness - Glasgow, Inverness - Edinburgh) used two TSO and a BSO drawn from the pool of air-braked vehicles used on day services from Inverness to both Edinburgh and Glasgow being Mk2a and Mk2c stock.

The sleepers worked a 5-day round circuit covering each of the Scoitish internal sleeper routes in turn (Edinburgh-Inverness; Inverness-Glasgow; Glasgow-Aberdeen; Glasgow-Inverness and Inverness-Edinburgh).

As I previously noted the Glasgow-Aberdeen was one-direction only, there being no return working from Aberdeen. It departed Glasgow on the 2330 to Inverness and waa shunted at Perth being attached to the 0110 to Aberdeen formed of a Mk2 air-con push-pull set. It then returned empty and locked-out as part of the 1105 Aberdeen-Glasgow which was formed of a Mk3a push-pull set.

On arrival at Glasgow usually the 47/7 working the set in would shunt out the sleeper into the adjacent platform where another loco would collect it. The 47/7 then re-attaching to its set.
 

Meerkat

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This was in the 70s and early 80s. It would not surprise me if the same grade distinction ref travel ticketing didn't still exist in the civil service...
Pretty sure that no civil servants get 1st class travel any more - got banned when austerity started.
Remember it being quoted as one reason long distance franchises underperformed revenue forecasts.
 

Ken H

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As well as the services mentioned above, in the 70s there were sleeper services from London to places such as Barrow, Hull, Leeds, Newcastle, Manchester and Liverpool, as well as the Western region sleepers to south Wales and Devon/Cornwall. I did once travel on the Saturday night sleeper from Swansea to Paddington, Western hauled throughout!
I remember the Leeds Mk 1 sleeper sat in a south facing bay. Think it was the then plat 11. I think one of the london-scotland trains dropped it off, but the passengers could stay on asleep until the morning. Then the next night people would go to sleep, and the coach would be shunted onto a train for the journey to Kings Cross.

I think I caught the bristol - Scotland sleeper as a seated passenger as far as brum. That would have been early 1980's
 

Steve Harris

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The internal ScotRail sleepers ended in May 1990 with the looming Sprinterisation.

In their last years there were 5 internal routes:

Edinburgh-Inverness
Glasgow-Inverness
Glasgow-Aberdeen
Inverness-Edinburgh
Inverness-Glasgow.

The Scottish Region Mk3s were all SLEP vehicles.

Each portion (one each of Glasgow - Inverness, Edinburgh - Inverness, Inverness - Glasgow, Inverness - Edinburgh) used two TSO and a BSO drawn from the pool of air-braked vehicles used on day services from Inverness to both Edinburgh and Glasgow being Mk2a and Mk2c stock.

The sleepers worked a 5-day round circuit covering each of the Scoitish internal sleeper routes in turn (Edinburgh-Inverness; Inverness-Glasgow; Glasgow-Aberdeen; Glasgow-Inverness and Inverness-Edinburgh).

As I previously noted the Glasgow-Aberdeen was one-direction only, there being no return working from Aberdeen. It departed Glasgow on the 2330 to Inverness and waa shunted at Perth being attached to the 0110 to Aberdeen formed of a Mk2 air-con push-pull set. It then returned empty and locked-out as part of the 1105 Aberdeen-Glasgow which was formed of a Mk3a push-pull set.

On arrival at Glasgow usually the 47/7 working the set in would shunt out the sleeper into the adjacent platform where another loco would collect it. The 47/7 then re-attaching to its set.
Cheers for that hexagon, as that ties in with my memory of doing All Line Rovers ( which i did in July or August).

Do you know when sleeper services finished on the ECML though. Was that at the same time by chance ?
 

Steve Harris

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I think I caught the bristol - Scotland sleeper as a seated passenger as far as brum. That would have been early 1980's
I certainly remember that service, did it in 1987. If my memory is correct the sleeping cars used to get shunted onto both ends at Bristol as the service was actually a Plymouth (or was it Penzance?)- Glasgow/Edinburgh service.
 

Cowley

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I certainly remember that service, did it in 1987. If my memory is correct the sleeping cars used to get shunted onto both ends at Bristol as the service was actually a Plymouth (or was it Penzance?)- Glasgow/Edinburgh service.
Plymouth. It was the 1S19 (21:00 from Plymouth?)
It was usually a 47/4 in the late 1980s to Birmingham New Street, and then an 86 to Glasgow with the Carstairs to Edinburgh portion being another 47/4.
It was usually banked up Lickey Incline by the resident 37 bankers as it quite often loaded up to 16 coaches.
 

hexagon789

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Cheers for that hexagon, as that ties in with my memory of doing All Line Rovers ( which i did in July or August).

Do you know when sleeper services finished on the ECML though. Was that at the same time by chance ?
There are sleepers from King's Cross in my 1981 timetable but not in my 1988 one. At a guess maybe 1984?

I believe several changes were made then as part of the Mk3 sleeper introduction.
 

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