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

dubscottie

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I wonder if the sleeper + 73 pictured above was in connection with the Royal Train?

The Queen Mother inaugurated the Hastings line electrification and travelled on the Royal Train which included Mk3 vehicles.
 
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AY1975

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I believe that in the early 1970s BR ordered a prototype Mark 3 sleeping car, then cancelled the order.

I rather suspect that the 1978 Taunton fire meant that BR was in more of a hurry to replace the Mark 1 Sleepers than they would have been otherwise.
 

hexagon789

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I believe that in the early 1970s BR ordered a prototype Mark 3 sleeping car, then cancelled the order.

I rather suspect that the 1978 Taunton fire meant that BR was in more of a hurry to replace the Mark 1 Sleepers than they would have been otherwise.
I understood that they were on order at the time of Taunton but then delayed in order to incorporate more safety features as a result of recommendations from the accident report?
 

RLBH

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I believe that in the early 1970s BR ordered a prototype Mark 3 sleeping car, then cancelled the order.

I rather suspect that the 1978 Taunton fire meant that BR was in more of a hurry to replace the Mark 1 Sleepers than they would have been otherwise.
Looking at the order dates, 380 Mark 1 sleepers were built from 1957 to 1964. Given that a coach was expected to have a 40 year life with a major refurbishment at the half-way mark, that would suggest that they should have been done up between 1977 and 1984, then replaced in the 1997-2004 timeframe.

Was there a significant fleet of pre-Nationalisation sleeping cars still around that would have needed replacing in the late 1970s/early 1980s? I could see the Mark 3s being intended to replace this notional fleet, but withdrawal of sleepers and the effects of the Taunton fire meaning that the older stock was withdrawn without replacement and the Mark 3s used to replace Mark 1s.
 

Taunton

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Was there a significant fleet of pre-Nationalisation sleeping cars still around that would have needed replacing in the late 1970s/early 1980s? I could see the Mark 3s being intended to replace this notional fleet, but withdrawal of sleepers and the effects of the Taunton fire meaning that the older stock was withdrawn without replacement and the Mark 3s used to replace Mark 1s.
No, the last of the pre-Nationalisation designs, the LMS design 12-wheelers, actually built in about 1950-51, were out of service around 1971, having only served 20 years. Hauled stock built in the 1950s commonly lasted only about 25 years.
 

RLBH

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No, the last of the pre-Nationalisation designs, the LMS design 12-wheelers, actually built in about 1950-51, were out of service around 1971, having only served 20 years. Hauled stock built in the 1950s commonly lasted only about 25 years.
Ah, a beautiful theory, only spoilt by facts....
 

delt1c

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No, the last of the pre-Nationalisation designs, the LMS design 12-wheelers, actually built in about 1950-51, were out of service around 1971, having only served 20 years. Hauled stock built in the 1950s commonly lasted only about 25 years.
Last sighting for me of an LMS 12 wheeler was on southbound sleeper at Aviemore which i believe would be later than 1971.
 

Helvellyn

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Looking at the order dates, 380 Mark 1 sleepers were built from 1957 to 1964. Given that a coach was expected to have a 40 year life with a major refurbishment at the half-way mark, that would suggest that they should have been done up between 1977 and 1984, then replaced in the 1997-2004 timeframe.

Was there a significant fleet of pre-Nationalisation sleeping cars still around that would have needed replacing in the late 1970s/early 1980s? I could see the Mark 3s being intended to replace this notional fleet, but withdrawal of sleepers and the effects of the Taunton fire meaning that the older stock was withdrawn without replacement and the Mark 3s used to replace Mark 1s.
The Mark 1 Sleeping Cars needed replacing because by the mid-1970s non-airconditioned vehicles weren't considered suitable for what were InterCity services. The problem was that the vehicles couldn't be cascaded so had to be replaced, giving many a short service life.

I believe that in the early 1970s BR ordered a prototype Mark 3 sleeping car, then cancelled the order.

I rather suspect that the 1978 Taunton fire meant that BR was in more of a hurry to replace the Mark 1 Sleepers than they would have been otherwise.
I'm not sure on that given that the SLEP numbering started at 10500 - if there had been a cancelled prototype I think the production vehicles would have started at 10501.

The oddity (to me) is that the SLEs started at 10646. Suggests the original plans were for 146 SLEPs (10500-10645) rather than the 120 built (10500-10619) and more than 90 SLEs (the final two being fitted out as Royal Vehicles rather than being built as 10734/10735).
 

RLBH

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The oddity (to me) is that the SLEs started at 10646. Suggests the original plans were for 146 SLEPs (10500-10645) rather than the 120 built (10500-10619) and more than 90 SLEs (the final two being fitted out as Royal Vehicles rather than being built as 10734/10735).
236 ordered (presumably 146 SLEPs and 90 SLEs) but only 207 delivered, apparently. I'm guessing that the cancellations were predominantly SLEPs due to the loss of individual sleeping cars needing pantry accomodation.
 

matchmaker

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Last sighting for me of an LMS 12 wheeler was on southbound sleeper at Aviemore which i believe would be later than 1971.
I'm sure the post war LMS 3rd (or 2nd) class sleepers lasted well into the blue and grey era as well.

Edit: From a madel railway forum, referring to an Ian Allen ABC:

"In 1974 there were 7 LNER buffet coaches & 22 sleepers of LMS design"
 

WesternLancer

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Looking at the order dates, 380 Mark 1 sleepers were built from 1957 to 1964. Given that a coach was expected to have a 40 year life with a major refurbishment at the half-way mark, that would suggest that they should have been done up between 1977 and 1984, then replaced in the 1997-2004 timeframe.
.
Lucky it didn't play out that way or it would have been used as a certain reason to scrap the remaining sleeper routes at privatisation, I feel sure.
Or maybe VIA Rail would not have got the Nightstar stock after all, come to think of it...:s
 

Helvellyn

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236 ordered (presumably 146 SLEPs and 90 SLEs) but only 207 delivered, apparently. I'm guessing that the cancellations were predominantly SLEPs due to the loss of individual sleeping cars needing pantry accomodation.
Thanks. I didn't know how many were originally ordered. But it was 208 delivered. 10733 was written off in the Morpeth accident when it must have months (if not weeks) old plus the two bodyshells delivered as Royal vehicles.
 

Royston Vasey

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I have to say that ref the Plymouth carriage, it was regrettable when the DfT and FGW removed this under the review of the Night Riviera - as early arrivals to/from Plymouth are still not easy IIRC, using day trains - a point well made ref Manchester / Liverpool etc just up this thread.
My strategy is to purchase a ticket to Truro as the sleeper supplement is the same and the travel ticket little more for an extra 90 minutes in the bunk. Then grab a coffee, over the bridge for the 07.28 and use the return portion, splitting at Plymouth, arriving a little before 9 and resuming back to London after the day's business. It works well and the view of the Royal Albert Bridge at Saltash on a cold clear sunny winter morning is such a treat.
 

Steve Harris

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Last edited:

alistairlees

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Suggest is correct as the coach in the photo is not a sleeper. So to be honest the photo actually proves nothing, other than a suggestion that someone's memory is not iffy. Which is a shame.
Indeed, which is why I wrote t like that. But the presence of an ETHEL behind the 37 strongly suggests there are some mk3 sleepers in the consist. That's why ETHELs were converted.
 

alistairlees

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Steve Harris

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Czesziafan

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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.
That would coincide with the end of the Deltics - and what a stirring sight it was to see one of them at the head of a rake of Mk 1's with the steam heat going awaiting departure on the long overnight journey north.
 

Czesziafan

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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.
A few ex-LMS sleepers survived long enough to get BR blue and grey livery and may still be inexistence. At least one worked in the Irish Mail, and others on the Euston - Northampton - MML Glasgow train as far as I know.
 

Taunton

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A few ex-LMS sleepers survived long enough to get BR blue and grey livery and may still be inexistence. At least one worked in the Irish Mail, and others on the Euston - Northampton - MML Glasgow train as far as I know.
Post #155 above describes how these, to an LMS design, were actually built in 1951, shortly after the first Mk 1 standard stock appeared.
 

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