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

AY1975

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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.
There is a separate thread on surviving Mark 1 and older sleeping cars at www.railforums.co.uk/threads/surviving-pre-mark-3-sleeping-cars.168771/
 
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Shaw S Hunter

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It was certainly said in Modern Railways at the time that the extra fire precautions after Taunton had increased the price of the Mk3 sleepers significantly, and might even have contributed to the bottom dropping out of the sleeper market within a few years.
More importantly the increased cost per vehicle led to BR having to reduce the number of vehicles built meaning the network as a whole had to be slimmed down. Not sure which routes were cut as a result but it may have included Milford Haven and Durham Coast.

Anyone remember the Mk3 sleepers that operated in Denmark?
Gone by the time I got there but lasted until completion of the Storebaelt link allowed the elimination of train ferries with consequent speeding up of all through services making overnight services superfluous.

Don't remember the details but the Poole was definitely a new service - IC trying ways of increasing revenue from their over-large sleeper fleet using spare capacity on the existing network. My guess is that the loco was spare at Bournemouth overnight as well.
The Poole service had a similar arrangement to the more recent one on the Fort William ie only the sleeper worked through across Birmingham with seated passengers having to change portions there. A combined train including seats north of Birmingham would have been too long/heavy.
 

Taunton

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More importantly the increased cost per vehicle led to BR having to reduce the number of vehicles built meaning the network as a whole had to be slimmed down. Not sure which routes were cut as a result but it may have included Milford Haven and Durham Coast.
I think the thing that really did them in was, apart from a handful of services (including those still operating) most sleeper services were a few sleepers in a formation of vans and second class compartment stock, steam heated and vacuum braked, which the Mk 3 sleepers were quite incompatible with. The bottom was steadily dropping out of the overnight mail, parcels and newspaper traffic, and while Mk 1 compartment stock was fine for overnight travel, especially if two could lie down one each side, or even four, one in each corner. Mk 2 air braked open stock just didn't work for this.
 

47271

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A question that I've often wondered about and this seems as good a thread to do it on as any.

The heritage railways using mk3 sleepers as accomodation. How do they ventilate them with no aircon? Any time I've been on one when the power's gone off, the stuffiness has become unbearable very quickly. How do they deal with that?
 

hexagon789

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A question that I've often wondered about and this seems as good a thread to do it on as any.

The heritage railways using mk3 sleepers as accomodation. How do they ventilate them with no aircon? Any time I've been on one when the power's gone off, the stuffiness has become unbearable very quickly. How do they deal with that?
Gensets?
 

BRX

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A question that I've often wondered about and this seems as good a thread to do it on as any.

The heritage railways using mk3 sleepers as accomodation. How do they ventilate them with no aircon? Any time I've been on one when the power's gone off, the stuffiness has become unbearable very quickly. How do they deal with that?
Also... They must have to heat them continually to stop everything getting damp, which must be rather expensive.
 

muddythefish

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Used to see the down Milford Haven sleeper going through Johnston, Pembs, in the early 1970s. Usually a Hymek and three Mk 1s. Fascinating working, not sure how many sleepers started from Paddington or where they were dropped off. Presume it ended in the 1980s.
 

Shaw S Hunter

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Used to see the down Milford Haven sleeper going through Johnston, Pembs, in the early 1970s. Usually a Hymek and three Mk 1s. Fascinating working, not sure how many sleepers started from Paddington or where they were dropped off. Presume it ended in the 1980s.
This service at one time had the reputation of being a mobile knocking shop when MPs and other officials were apparently discovered using "special services" on board. There was something of a scandal about it though I was too young at the time to be interested in the details.
 

muddythefish

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This service at one time had the reputation of being a mobile knocking shop when MPs and other officials were apparently discovered using "special services" on board. There was something of a scandal about it though I was too young at the time to be interested in the details.
Me too. I was more interested in the Hymek. I should have peered through the windows! I love the old Milford and Fishguard lines - so busy in those days and such a variety of traffic.
 

Cowley

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This service at one time had the reputation of being a mobile knocking shop when MPs and other officials were apparently discovered using "special services" on board. There was something of a scandal about it though I was too young at the time to be interested in the details.
I want to know more! :lol:
Don’t leave us dangling (a phrase possibly used on the train)...
 

hexagon789

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Also... They must have to heat them continually to stop everything getting damp, which must be rather expensive.
They would, you just have to look at interior photos of Irish Mk3s rotting away pre-scrapping to see what a Mk3 can look like when it's not been used for a while.

Pretty grotty :s
 

RLBH

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We really ought to write a forum history of UK sleepers, or, perhaps, organise a Wikipedia article? There seems to be a gap in the current Wikipedia articles as they are based on the services that remain!
I don't believe that Wikipedia would be the appropriate vehicle for such a history. Their editorial policies require that articles be based on secondary sources without original research. A really good history would have to go back to primary sources - railway documents (timetables, carriage workings, engineering & management records) at the least, probably also parliamentary records, newspapers, diaries and so forth.
 

WesternLancer

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Thanks - the link in one of these to the Taunton Fire DoT report is v interesting, not least because of the details of the interiors that are described in the Mk1s which are, as prev pointed out, now very rare vehicles. Early in the report for anyone looking.

http://www.railwaysarchive.co.uk/docsummary.php?docID=396
 

43096

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They would, you just have to look at interior photos of Irish Mk3s rotting away pre-scrapping to see what a Mk3 can look like when it's not been used for a while.

Pretty grotty :s
From experience, if the vehicle is free of roof leaks (well mostly) then even after several years in store they will clean up pretty easily. Even the mould on seat covers will come off easily if they are dry.
 

hexagon789

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From experience, if the vehicle is free of roof leaks (well mostly) then even after several years in store they will clean up pretty easily. Even the mould on seat covers will come off easily if they are dry.
They cleaned up some for the Farewell to Mk3 tour, but I think they were chosen from among the best remaining vehicles.

I suppose anything is fixable if it's not too far gone though.
 

BRX

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From experience, if the vehicle is free of roof leaks (well mostly) then even after several years in store they will clean up pretty easily. Even the mould on seat covers will come off easily if they are dry.
I assume it's a very different story if they are inhabited part of the time though, with humans generating moisture that's going to condense in all sorts of places unless the vehicles are well ventilated and kept warm.
 

ChiefPlanner

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I think there was a post up this thread ref whether bar cars had existed on sleepers a while back ,and a respondent mentioned the Nightcap Bar. I can't find the post but in any case here is a 1976 picture of that ex Pullman Car at Wolverton in said livery:

https://twitter.com/RailwayCentral/status/1132724049229094912
We did an epic journey with a Freedom of Scotland pass circa 1976 (as a student) and got the 22xx Glasgow to Euston which featured the aforementioned "Nightcap Bar" - pretty grim in regards to catering which from memory was largely pork pies and tinned beer (remember the sexist Tennants can with "pin ups" on the can , though they were in Caledonian "blue") , next morning got no tea or coffee service. I wrote to the Scottish Region about this (complimenting them on their overall excellent and friendly service- but pointing out the lack of attendants etc), and the response was that it was down to the London Midland region not providing the staff.
 

Shaw S Hunter

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I want to know more! :lol:
Don’t leave us dangling (a phrase possibly used on the train)...
As I said I was too young at the time to be too interested in the details; certainly it was before I became a genuine rail enthusiast so it would have been during the early/mid 1970s. The best I can recall is suggestions that MPs, Lords, Judges and senior civil servants were implicated. It's the sort of thing that the tabloids lap up but also tend to exaggerate so from this distance in time I tend to be sceptical about the veracity of even my own recollection of the matter. The news/media environment was a much more relaxed place than today so short of actual photographic or documentary evidence it's the sort of thing which was quickly forgotten about. But the suggestion certainly lingered within the wider rail community.
 

Ken H

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As I said I was too young at the time to be too interested in the details; certainly it was before I became a genuine rail enthusiast so it would have been during the early/mid 1970s. The best I can recall is suggestions that MPs, Lords, Judges and senior civil servants were implicated. It's the sort of thing that the tabloids lap up but also tend to exaggerate so from this distance in time I tend to be sceptical about the veracity of even my own recollection of the matter. The news/media environment was a much more relaxed place than today so short of actual photographic or documentary evidence it's the sort of thing which was quickly forgotten about. But the suggestion certainly lingered within the wider rail community.
About the time of the Earl Jellicoe and Lord Lambton sex scandals then!

Just googled 'sleeper train sex scandal' Oh dear....
 

Steamysandy

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Interesting sleeper calls at Drem and Longniddry
The 0100 from Kings Cross to Newcastle conveyed couple of sleepers to Edinburgh making these calls.A one time lady friend referred to it as the boozers special!
One morning the rostered sets for the North Berwick service was blocked in by a derailment so the Empty stock from the Inverness sleeper was sent out to Dunbar and worked back as the replacement service train which in addition because of the derailment was routed via the Wanton Walls curve and the Edinburgh South Sub.
The unmade berths became seats!
Nowadays we can't even get to or from Dunbar - never mind Kings Cross thanks to privatisation.
Such is progress
 
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47271

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I think there was a post up this thread ref whether bar cars had existed on sleepers a while back ,and a respondent mentioned the Nightcap Bar. I can't find the post but in any case here is a 1976 picture of that ex Pullman Car at Wolverton in said livery:

https://twitter.com/RailwayCentral/status/1132724049229094912
Oh hell, that's a scary vehicle for the era of mk3s and HSTs. You'd need a drink if you were hurtling up the West Coast Main Line in one of those.

I also liked the reference in the earlier thread to a restaurant car of the down Inverness sleeper being shunted out at Crewe. Knowing how many people are still boozing in the lounge of the down Highlander by the time it reaches Crewe, I don't think that would be a terribly popular move nowadays...
 

WesternLancer

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Oh hell, that's a scary vehicle for the era of mk3s and HSTs. You'd need a drink if you were hurtling up the West Coast Main Line in one of those.

I also liked the reference in the earlier thread to a restaurant car of the down Inverness sleeper being shunted out at Crewe. Knowing how many people are still boozing in the lounge of the down Highlander by the time it reaches Crewe, I don't think that would be a terribly popular move nowadays...
Yes, not sure if that pic of the carriage was when it was redundant or not, but just looked it up and in fact it's been restored and still exists - so it seems, in the era of the IET!
http://www.semgonline.com/coach/pull_3.html

Ref the other point, occurs to me to wonder if licensing laws applied on trains then and if so would anyone have been boozing on board at such late hours back in the day,or were they exempt?
 

Bald Rick

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I wrote to the Scottish Region about this (complimenting them on their overall excellent and friendly service- but pointing out the lack of attendants etc), and the response was that it was down to the London Midland region not providing the staff.
I bet the word “Sassenachs” was implied if not written!
 

RLBH

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Ref the other point, occurs to me to wonder if licensing laws applied on trains then and if so would anyone have been boozing on board at such late hours back in the day,or were they exempt?
I believe they don't apply now, much less then. If train operators stop serving alcohol after a particular time, that's a result of a commercial decision on their part or a contractual requirement to do so.
 

WesternLancer

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I believe they don't apply now, much less then. If train operators stop serving alcohol after a particular time, that's a result of a commercial decision on their part or a contractual requirement to do so.
certainly not now, but then was an era of much stricter licensing so it may well have been the case in theory, hence my musing, though I rather suspect trains and ships (in domestic waters) etc may have been exempt back then.
 

hexagon789

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Ref the other point, occurs to me to wonder if licensing laws applied on trains then and if so would anyone have been boozing on board at such late hours back in the day,or were they exem
Not they didn't, but specifically only on trains themselves. At soon as you stepped on the platform normal laws applied, an enthusiastic bar steward got done for selling alcohol on a platform before the departure of a train at some time in the 1970s.

Don't ask me where I read that, I've toonmahy books to find that out in less than a decade! :lol:
 

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