West Coast mk2 formations

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ash39

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OK, going back in time a bit here, but does anyone know what a typical formation would have been in the late 90's (early Virgin days) ? I was surprised to see there seems to be no mk2 buffet car, is this right?

Also, I'm guessing from some of my old photos that there was a mix of mk2 and mk3 stock on the WCML at the time. Was there any rules/trends to what ran with what type of traction, or could anything go with anything?

I'm modelling a section of the WCML and want to know what to run with my class 90's and 87's.

Cheers
 
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yorksrob

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The Cross Country trains I used to catch tended to be a rake of Mk2 standards with a first class saloon/buffet carriage at the end. Can't remember how many carriages there were altogether.

Main line services used to be rakes of Mk 3's with a several 1st and second class carriages along with a buffet.
 

87015

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The Oxley Mk2 rakes for (mainly) Euston-West Mids work were loco, 4-6 TSOs, buffet, 3-4 FOs and DVT. There were a couple of different formations to suit peak flows.
 

ash39

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So they would've been mostly 86 hauled then as they were mostly on Birmingham services if I remember rightly?

Not much point anyway as Hornby don't seem to do a mk2 buffet, back to searching for elusive mk3's!
 

87015

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So they would've been mostly 86 hauled then as they were mostly on Birmingham services if I remember rightly?

Not much point anyway as Hornby don't seem to do a mk2 buffet, back to searching for elusive mk3's!
A good number of 86s on the West Mids but certainly it'd be a very rare day not to have a choice of 87s to keep going in the West Mids and the odd 90 to avoid - certainly have a representative of each class on Mk2s no questions asked! For a period some 87s were in theory restricted to West Mids workings aswell.

Sorry - Mk3 RFB on the WCML sets, Mk2 buffets were in the XC sets.
 

ash39

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Sorry, not following the last line just there. The WCML mk2 sets ran with mk3 buffet cars? Or have I misunderstood?
 

rail-britain

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OK, going back in time a bit here, but does anyone know what a typical formation would have been in the late 90's (early Virgin days) ? I was surprised to see there seems to be no mk2 buffet car, is this right?
Two main formations; one for Cross Country and one for West Coast

Cross Country :
BSO-TSO-TSO-TSO-TSO-RFO

West Coast :
DVT-FO-FO-FO-RFM-TSO-TSO-TSO-TSO-TSO

The buffet on the Mark 2 Coach is contained within the RFO, these were converted in the late 1980s
 

sprinterguy

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Virgin Crosscountrys' mark 2 rakes were formed of an mark 2F RFB micro-buffet vehicle, 5 TSOs and a BSO. You are right, ash39, that no mark 2 buffet or restaurant vehicles were originally built, but at the end of the eighties thirty two mark 2F FOs were converted into the first buffets that were used in the Crosscountry rakes.

On the West Coast, mark 2 rakes were typically nine carriages in length, and in late Intercity and early Virgin days utilised a mark 3 catering vehicle in their formation. They were typically formed of 5 x Mark 2 TSOs, a mark 3 RFM vehicle, and 3 x Mark 2 FOs, with a DVT at the London end, adjacent to the first class accomodation.

The mark 3 DVTs were utilised with all the West Coast mark 3 rakes, and with most, and maybe all, of the West Coast mark 2 rakes, while the Crosscountry rakes made use of BSOs for luggage storage.

I use words like "usually", "typically" and "generally" a lot in this post, because my abiding memory of the West Coast operation in early Virgin days is of barely organised chaos: Trains regularly ran in reverse formation, or shortformed, or with locos heading DVTs with TDM failures, or with locos hauling failed locos. It was even not unknown for an entire West Coast mark 3 rake, complete with DVT, to make it onto long distance Crosscountry services to the North East! The same often appeared to be true of the loco allocations:

In general, the West Coast mark 2 rakes were kept largely to the shorter distance services, such as Euston to Birmingham (A notable stronghold of the mark 2 rakes) and Manchester. The West Coast class 86s were also limited principally to these shorter distance services, although 87s, and presumably an occasional 90, could also turn up at New Street.

However, Virgin liveried class 86s could be found along the full length of the West Coast route as they worked the shorter Crosscountry mark 2 formations from Birmingham and Manchester to Edinburgh and Glasgow: In the loco hauled days of Virgin Crosscountry, Birmingham and Manchester to Edinburgh/Glasgow were both part of the Crosscountry network, and Birmingham to Scotland services were part of a longer distance service from the South Coast.

The class 87s were of course built specifically to power the Euston to Glasgow services, and throughout their lives on the West Coast they remained the dominant form of motive power on these services. At one time in the nineties, every Euston to Scotland service was booked for a class 87, although what services were booked for and what actually turned up were often very different things. Mark 3 rakes were mainly used on the Glasgow services, and also played a large part on the Manchester and Liverpool services.

Typically, class 90s were used mostly on Manchester and Liverpool services from my observations, but they were also no strangers to the Glasgow services by any means.

So in short, after that long winded post, anything goes for the West Coast in that era! And also beaten to it several times over in the amount of time it took me to write this post! :oops:
 

ash39

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That's great info, thanks for your help!

If I can track down a mk3 buffet in intercity livery then, I can do loco - TSO - TSO - RFM - FO - DVT which will give a realistic look .
 

CC 72100

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The Cross Country trains I used to catch tended to be a rake of Mk2 standards with a first class saloon/buffet carriage at the end. Can't remember how many carriages there were altogether.

Normally a BSO, then 5 TSOs, and then the Mark 2 which was half First class/half buffet which you mention was what I remember on XC services.

I also recall times when they were suffering really badly with fleet availability and shortened trains (some down to as little as 5 coaches - now where have we heard that before? :p ) would turn up regularly.

Some Wst Coast mark 3 formations with DVT would end up on XC from time to time - a summer Saturday service to the South West was one of these many a time on out trips down to Paignton.

With regards to the modelling, I'm not sure but they never used to do a RFO mark 2 in Virgin, certainly not in OO gauge/

Edit: Well beaten to it. Hope some of it comes in use though! :)
 

yorksrob

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Normally a BSO, then 5 TSOs, and then the Mark 2 which was half First class/half buffet which you mention was what I remember on XC services.

I also recall times when they were suffering really badly with fleet availability and shortened trains (some down to as little as 5 coaches - now where have we heard that before? :p ) would turn up regularly.
Yes, it was often fun and games at that time :D Particularly distressing on one occasion when the buffet car was locked out of use :(
 

CC 72100

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Yes, it was often fun and games at that time :D Particularly distressing on one occasion when the buffet car was locked out of use :(
Or when there was no buffet car. I have distinct memorioes of a TM setting up a makeshift 'buffet' on one of the bays of 4 in the BSO. Got a feeling the BSO was the wrong way round (seats at loco end, TM office nearest coach B) just to confuse things further! ;)
 

LE Greys

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I think the reason for the lack of MkII buffets was a huge oversupply of MkI buffets due to various catering cuts when MkIIs were in full production. When they finally wore out and speeds were increased to 110, there were a lot of ex-East Coast HST TRUKs, so they all got converted to modular catering (except for the ones that ended up on the royal train). They then built an additional batch. Results were always slightly incongruous, but they did the job.
 

D6975

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Or when there was no buffet car. I have distinct memorioes of a TM setting up a makeshift 'buffet' on one of the bays of 4 in the BSO. Got a feeling the BSO was the wrong way round (seats at loco end, TM office nearest coach B) just to confuse things further! ;)
I travelled in that set with the BSO back to front. The end doors to the BSO were open so you could get into it off the platform, but once you were in you were stuck, as the door into the brake area was locked!
 

ash39

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Remarkably, my local model shop has a mk3 buffet in swallow available, even though they are discontinued and supposedly hard to get hold of. Having said that, is it the right type of buffet car? I don't know if there are more than one type of mk3 buffet.



Would this, with a set of mk2's be prototypical?

Cheers
 

LE Greys

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It's not so clear on this image (attached to one of my posts in another thread), but if you have a look at the IC-liveried vehicle on the right, you will see that it has one blank, two narrow windows, one frosted half-window and five full-size windows. This is a RFM viewed from the buffet side running in an NXGE set (just after the transfer from Anglia). The other side has four full-size windows and four narrow windows. Sorry about doing it this way, but I still can't work out how to attach an attachment that's already been uploaded without uploading it again.

<EDIT> Now changed to a cropped version that gives more detail, and attached properly
 

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ash39

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That's useful, thanks! I was looking for images unsuccessfully on flickr but that's just what I was after. The mk2's are obviously 3m or so shorter in length but it's not really noticable in that photo, maybe it's paralex error though.

Looks like the buffet part doesn't have the red cantrail stripe like the model, as I suspected I think this is just on HST set coaches.
 

6Gman

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BSOs (and BSKs for that matter) often ran 'wrong way round' on LMR sets. Not sure if there was an issue with the doors being off the platform ends at some stations otherwise.

NOTE 1. This was in the days when passengers were expected not to open doors where there was no platform! [ H&S was less prescriptive in those days]
NOTE 2. This was in the days when parcels, trollies, motorbikes etc could be carried in passenger brake vans, so it was important that the van doors were within the platform length.
 

sprinterguy

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It's not so clear on this image (attached to one of my posts in another thread), but if you have a look at the IC-liveried vehicle on the right, you will see that it has one blank, two narrow windows, one frosted half-window and five full-size windows. This is a RFM viewed from the buffet side running in an NXGE set (just after the transfer from Anglia). The other side has four full-size windows and four narrow windows.
I agree with your generally accurate analogy, however I will add that, after looking back through my old photos, the window arrangement on the opposite side of the mark 3 RFMs comprised of a short narrow window nearest the door (Where the toilet window would be), then three full length narrow windows, followed by a further short narrow window. Then there's a half window length gap before you reach the four complete saloon windows.

In essence, the principal distinguishing feature is that only some of the HST mark 3 catering vehicles have three full size saloon windows (Some have four), while all the loco hauled mark 3 RFMs have four. So the Hornby model, while carrying a number appropriate to the loco hauled mark 3 range, uses the incorrect HST catering vehicle as a basis.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Looks like the buffet part doesn't have the red cantrail stripe like the model, as I suspected I think this is just on HST set coaches.
The mark 3 RFMs did have red cantrail stripes in Intercity days. These were dropped when privatisation came along, possibly even slightly before.
 

ash39

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The mark 3 RFMs did have red cantrail stripes in Intercity days. These were dropped when privatisation came along, possibly even slightly before.
Thanks for that. I'm modelling the era when Virgin took over but some IC liveried stock was still about, so I could do without it really. Might be able to airbrush over it if I mask well.
 

rail-britain

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Remarkably, my local model shop has a mk3 buffet in swallow available, even though they are discontinued and supposedly hard to get hold of. Having said that, is it the right type of buffet car? I don't know if there are more than one type of mk3 buffet
There are three main types in OO gauge, in INTERCITY livery
What you do is count the number of full size windows at the First Class end

If there are three windows, as in the sample image you provided, then this is the earlier RFB (Mark 3A) or TRFB (HST)
If there are four windows then this is one of the later conversions into a RFM or TRFM
Either is suitable for your requirements
 

ash39

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It's definitely the one above, but this is the newest release as far as I can tell? From the 2008 catalogue.

It doesn't matter too much anyway 100% accuracy is not what I'm after, just a prototypical look. I think I'll go for it, with the mk2's, and hopefully Hornby will release a set of mk3's in swallow again in future, and I can use the buffet with both. Win win.
 

HSTEd

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I have a related question.... were all loco hauled West coast loco hauled operations push pull? As I understand it there were Mark 1 rakes in service very late (the apparently notorious Northampton "cobbler rake"?) and I was wondering if they were ever operated with DVTs.
 

Helvellyn

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In the early 1990s, when push-pull formations were being introduced, some of the EBW (Euston-Birmingham-Wolverhampton) sets were 13 coaches: -

DVT-FO-FO-FO-FO-RFM-TSO-TSO-TSO-TSO-TSO-TSO-TSO

This was also when there were "Super Pullman" 12 coach sets on some of the Euston-Manchester sets, all formed of Mk 3 vehicles: -

DVT-BFO-RFM-FO-FO-FO-RFM-TSO-TSO-TSO-TSO-TSO

Virgin moved more to upping frequencies and having more standardised set formations, hence the move to a lot of sets being formed: -

DVT-FO-FO-FO-RFM-TSO-TSO-TSO-TSO-TSO (or only 2 FOs)
 

87015

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I have a related question.... were all loco hauled West coast loco hauled operations push pull? As I understand it there were Mark 1 rakes in service very late (the apparently notorious Northampton "cobbler rake"?) and I was wondering if they were ever operated with DVTs.
Cobblers (it was more than one rake) were 10-13 Mk1s to the end - never DVT. Intercity sector Mk1 rakes for frontline service however had gone many many years earlier bar the odd relief set - and of course catering and full brake vehicles.
 

sprinterguy

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In the early 1990s, when push-pull formations were being introduced, some of the EBW (Euston-Birmingham-Wolverhampton) sets were 13 coaches: -

DVT-FO-FO-FO-FO-RFM-TSO-TSO-TSO-TSO-TSO-TSO-TSO

This was also when there were "Super Pullman" 12 coach sets on some of the Euston-Manchester sets, all formed of Mk 3 vehicles: -

DVT-BFO-RFM-FO-FO-FO-RFM-TSO-TSO-TSO-TSO-TSO
I had a feeling I had seen photos of longer mark 2 rakes on the West Coast in Intercity days.

And thanks very much for posting the formation of the Manchester Pullman rakes (For which the mark 3Bs were built, for those that don't already know), I have wondered for a long time how they were formed.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I have a related question.... were all loco hauled West coast loco hauled operations push pull? As I understand it there were Mark 1 rakes in service very late (the apparently notorious Northampton "cobbler rake"?) and I was wondering if they were ever operated with DVTs.
Pretty much all the mark 2 and mark 3 rakes, probably all, became push-pull when the DVTs came in. As 87015 says, mark 1 rakes in mainstream West Coast service had gone long, long before that. I consider the Northampton "cobblers" to be more the equivalent of LMs' faster services to Northampton.
 

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The orginal "Manchester Pullman " mark 3B rakes had the Brake vehicles now used by FGW on the sleepers, didn't they? As far as I know, the only three non-DVT Mark 3 Brake vehicles built, as using mark 1/mark 2 brakes (before the DVTs were built) was considered fine. None of the BR standard carriage designs came in quite so many confogurations as the mark 1- the mark 2, as noted had few catering vehicles, and no sleepers, and mark 3 very few brake vans. Mark 4 must be the most limited range of the lot though!
 

sprinterguy

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The orginal "Manchester Pullman " mark 3B rakes had the Brake vehicles now used by FGW on the sleepers, didn't they? As far as I know, the only three non-DVT Mark 3 Brake vehicles built, as using mark 1/mark 2 brakes (before the DVTs were built) was considered fine. None of the BR standard carriage designs came in quite so many confogurations as the mark 1- the mark 2, as noted had few catering vehicles, and no sleepers, and mark 3 very few brake vans. Mark 4 must be the most limited range of the lot though!
Yeah that's right, the three mark 3 BFOs that were built for the Manchester Pullman were the only mark 3 brake vehicles built (Excluding the DVTs, as you say).
 

LE Greys

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Pretty much all the mark 2 and mark 3 rakes, probably all, became push-pull when the DVTs came in. As 87015 says, mark 1 rakes in mainstream West Coast service had gone long, long before that. I consider the Northampton "cobblers" to be more the equivalent of LMs' faster services to Northampton.
I seem to remember a lot of occasions where the loco found itself on the south end of the set hauling the DVT, presumably a result of TDM failures.

Always thought those DVTs would have made very good replacements for the RES PCVs, but that never happened.
 
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