When did each Sleeper route change to Mark 3s?

AY1975

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Following on from the various now-closed threads on Sleeper services past and present (such as www.railforums.co.uk/threads/sleeper-services-past-and-present.135785 and www.railforums.co.uk/threads/night-trains-in-bygone-eras.109744), does anyone know when each Sleeper service changed from Mark 1s to Mark 3s?

I believe that King's Cross-Aberdeen was the first to change over in January 1982, followed by King's Cross-Edinburgh in May of that year.

I have seen a photo of the Glasgow Sleeper derailed somewhere north of Watford in December 1982, still formed of Mark 1s, so I would guess that WCML Sleeper services changed to Mark 3s some time in 1983. I seem to recall that for a short while the Inverness was Mark 3s but the Fort William was still Mark 1s (so must have run as a separate train in those days, or maybe as a portion of the Stranraer?).

I also seem to remember that the Paddington-Penzance went Mark 3 in about July 1983, and the long since withdrawn Scottish internal (Glasgow/Edinburgh-Inverness) was the last to change in May 1984.
 
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co-tr-paul

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Scottish sleeper only ever got as far as Plymouth. Unsure of dates. Riviera goes PZ to Pad. Name was reintroduced from same date as mk3 intro. Had not been in use since 50s at least.
 

theblackwatch

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First Mk. 3 Sleepers on the WCML were on 6th Dec 1982 when the 'Night Limited' (Euston to Glasgow) went over from Mk.1 operation. I thought Bristol-Glasgow/Edinburgh was September 1983 rather than prior to July?
 

co-tr-paul

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I remember cleaning the Glasgow sleeper at SPM but that was between sep83 and Aug 84 so can't say date exactly. Apart from SLEPs, rest of train was normal coaching and buffet stock Never had a name, we always called it the Glasgow Sleeper.
The mk 1 was very different suggest Wikipedia and Flickr, surprisingly, very very few survive.
 

47271

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Probably the most compelling difference between the mk1 and mk3 sleeper in my view is fire safety and protection.

I don't want to be morbid, but if you want a detailed understanding of how a mk1 sleeping coach worked, and in particular its archaic ventilation arrangements, read the Railway Inspectorate report into the Taunton fire of July 1978.

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

co-tr-paul

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Still remembered by us at Long Rock even today. We still have to transport linen up to Reading and one part of the guards van is out of bounds shall we say because the on train WiFi server gets warm. Not in vain were those lost.

I was sort of aware that any question regarding why the mk3 sleeper was developed would involve the sensitive answer about Taunton. Lessons learnt for the bemifit of all...... .hard way.
As a trainer of other staff, I do mention it. Its Sleeper train history even though its at its worst but I can vouch that every alarm in eery berth and toilet and corridoor door is tested as a part of our exam schedule.
 
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GusB

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Probably the most compelling difference between the mk1 and mk3 sleeper in my view is fire safety and protection.

I don't want to be morbid, but if you want a detailed understanding of how a mk1 sleeping coach worked, and in particular its archaic ventilation arrangements, read the Railway Inspectorate report into the Taunton fire of July 1978.

http://www.railwaysarchive.co.uk/docsummary.php?docID=396
The strength of the Mk3 was also praised in the report into the Morpeth derailment in 1984.

http://www.railwaysarchive.co.uk/eventsummary.php?eventID=165
It is a measure of the excellence of the design of the current Mk III sleeping car that not a single person was killed in this latest accident, and of the 29 passengers and 6 train crew taken to hospital with injuries, all the passengers and 3 of the crew were discharged after treatment; only the driver and 2 sleeping-car attendants were detained with more serious injuries.
 

Taunton

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I was living on the other side of the world at the time and was astounded seeing the local television news there show pictures from the Taunton scene, with the Staplegrove Road bridge prominent behind the locomotive.

I never understood how one of the key issues was the bed linen was being stacked in the vestibule because the van it previously was loaded in was reported withdrawn, yet on the accident train there was a full BG marshalled immediately in front of the sleeper, which had also started from Plymouth, and by the way the mails were ready to be loaded into it at Exeter, that seemed to be the standard formation.

I wouldn't describe the sleeper ventilation as archaic, especially compared to Mk 1 passenger stock of the era, in fact it seems to have been notably comprehensive; it was only from the accident report that I learned how much there was to it.
 

AY1975

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The lounge cars came in well after the Mk3s entered service.
Yes, although in the latter days of Mark 1s some Sleeper trains had a "Nightcap Bar" which was actually a converted Mark 1 Pullman car. I would guess that their food and drink offerings (if they did any food at all) would have been far more limited than the present day lounge cars, though.

Going back even further, longer distance Sleeper trains such as London to Aberdeen or Inverness would have had proper restaurant cars serving dinner in the evening before going to bed, and maybe breakfast in the morning before getting off.
 

Bald Rick

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Yes, although in the latter days of Mark 1s some Sleeper trains had a "Nightcap Bar" which was actually a converted Mark 1 Pullman car. I would guess that their food and drink offerings (if they did any food at all) would have been far more limited than the present day lounge cars, though.

Going back even further, longer distance Sleeper trains such as London to Aberdeen or Inverness would have had proper restaurant cars serving dinner in the evening before going to bed, and maybe breakfast in the morning before getting off.
Which raises an interesting point, the sleepers before the WCML was electrified must have taken rather longer to get up to Inverness and Aberdeen. What was the journey time?
 

theblackwatch

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When did these two sleeper services finish:

1. North Tyne Loop-KGX
2. Durham Coast-KGX

Both were Mk 1s
As of May 1982 there was still a 'portion' which ran from Newcastle via Sunderland to Darlington where it joined up with a Edinburgh-King's Cross sleeper (and the same in the opposite direction).
 

Taunton

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Which raises an interesting point, the sleepers before the WCML was electrified must have taken rather longer to get up to Inverness and Aberdeen. What was the journey time?
This led to the last BR "Dinner, Bed & Breakfast" train in the 1970s. The down Royal Highlander from Euston had a restaurant car on the front, which was shunted off at Crewe. Then at Perth early the next morning one of the Scottish Region's small handful of old vacuum-braked cars was added, again to the front, which served a standard BR substantial breakfast. The Inverness catering crew had apparently been on duty all night, having provided dinner on the Up Highlander on its first leg, arriving at Perth before midnight, so were likely somewhat bleary by the time they brought the bacon and eggs round. The Up service got to Euston sufficiently early that the restaurant at Euston station was seen as sufficient. Down passengers could have gone into the Inverness station hotel (still there and an elegant historic place to stay) but quite a proportion of the passengers got off at the various stops along the Highland Line where no such facilities existed.

When I was in Scotland at the time a female colleague used to go for business meetings from Edinburgh to Inverness on the Scottish internal sleeper, just one car from each of Glasgow and Edinburgh to Inverness which joined at Perth. There were just four Scottish composite sleepers allocated to this circuit, plus one spare. Although entitled to First Class (single berth), she said she always just booked Second Class (twin berth) as another solo female traveller was unknown.
 

gordonthemoron

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This led to the last BR "Dinner, Bed & Breakfast" train in the 1970s. The down Royal Highlander from Euston had a restaurant car on the front, which was shunted off at Crewe. Then at Perth early the next morning one of the Scottish Region's small handful of old vacuum-braked cars was added, again to the front, which served a standard BR substantial breakfast. The Inverness catering crew had apparently been on duty all night, having provided dinner on the Up Highlander on its first leg, arriving at Perth before midnight, so were likely somewhat bleary by the time they brought the bacon and eggs round. The Up service got to Euston sufficiently early that the restaurant at Euston station was seen as sufficient. Down passengers could have gone into the Inverness station hotel (still there and an elegant historic place to stay) but quite a proportion of the passengers got off at the various stops along the Highland Line where no such facilities existed.

When I was in Scotland at the time a female colleague used to go for business meetings from Edinburgh to Inverness on the Scottish internal sleeper, just one car from each of Glasgow and Edinburgh to Inverness which joined at Perth. There were just four Scottish composite sleepers allocated to this circuit, plus one spare. Although entitled to First Class (single berth), she said she always just booked Second Class (twin berth) as another solo female traveller was unknown.
wasn't there also a Glasgow-Aberdeen sleeper carriage which detached at Perth?
 

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