Your experiences of unbelievable rolling stock diagram allocations (past and present)

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ChrisHogan

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There were the regular workings of 156s to Portsmouth Harbour from November 1988 for several months on the Cardiff services. The fairly newly introduced 155s had had door problems but when one opened whilst in passenger service the whole fleet was grounded. This happened on a Friday afternoon and as a result a batch of brand new 156s on the way to Scotland from the factory were diverted to Canton and over the weekend crash conversion courses were held for Cardiff crews to enable them to start working the Portsmouth services on the Monday. In all, 25 x 156s were loaned to Canton to cover the 155 duties which saw them working to Manchester, Birmingham and the West of England.

It was rather more than one incident. By the time BR HQ was finally convinced to take the 155s out of service, there were at least six sets impounded at Canton "no fault found" after door open incidents.
 
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Peter Mugridge

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That was a superb spoof - a Liverpool to Paris "pacer" - only spotted when "long temps dans le Tunnel" , and a set swop due to "un brigue a casser un fenetre a Edge Hill" (sic) - followed by a promise of the receipt of Black Pudding" to the "Chef de Circulation" at Paris Lundy. Wonderful bit of railway banter

I remember that as well.

Written by David Maxey wasn't it?
 

Beebman

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My memory has been jogged of a couple of other interesting examples I experienced from the early 80s (both I think from 1982).

The first was a short journey on a stopper from Pangbourne to Twyford which was formed of a 31 on a short scratch rake of Mk1s - I had the comfort of a declassified Open First!

The second was a trip from Eastbourne to Victoria in a 9-car DEMU set - however that was a scheduled working in the late afternoon (which is why I timed my journey then!) to get a set of stock from St. Leonard's Depot to London to work peak services on the Oxted line.
 

HowardGWR

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I think that on GWR lines, the first dmus and thereafter 15x was a huge downgrade from Mark 1 or 'old GWR' corridor stock. Hopefully, as turbos take over elsewhere, at least 158s will be more commonly used, for instance, on the Weymouth line.
 

387star

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Class 150s on over five hour journeys from Brighton to Great Malvern. Plenty of time if on a 150/1 to admire the green and blue colour clash of the ex Centro workhorses now lost to Northern. Ex Northetn 150207 was also a bizarre unit for the route although it's now in GWR livery.
As an aside the morning Portsmouth to Brighton GWR service when a 2 car has to skip Emsworth Southbourne Angmering and Portslade which must cause commuter annoyance.

I remember seeing a Virgin Voyager on loan to Crosscountry at Bournemouth a year or two ago... so off that even the traincrew were taking pics.

Finally as a kid I remember a Central Trains 158 with an Arriva Trains Wales Guard working a Wessex Trains service to Cardiff from Portsmouth.
 

4REP

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Back in the 80s in different years there were a class 50/mk2 stock and also a Rep/TC combo diagrammed on the Portsmouth direct route.
 

Jamesrob637

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I know it's not a passenger train per se, but didn't the NMT include Mk1s for a time? So 43s effectively hauled Mk1s.
 

Whistler40145

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What was the story of a pacer making it to Inverness? Was this in service or just as a trial run?

Another mention for the thread I can think of is 150001 working up to Oban (and Mallaig?). What a torturous few hours that must've been compared to a rake of Mk1s.
A Pacer would’ve made a horrendous journey had they been passed for use in Scotland
 

Clansman

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A Pacer would’ve made a horrendous journey had they been passed for use in Scotland
A little known fact, but 143s actually ran between Waverley and Bathgate when it reopened in '86. Thankfully they didn't stick around for long, and Scotland was able to avoid the pacerisation of commuter services!
 

Whistler40145

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A little known fact, but 143s actually ran between Waverley and Bathgate when it reopened in '86. Thankfully they didn't stick around for long, and Scotland was able to avoid the pacerisation of commuter services!
I had the awful thought of a Pacer squealing around every curve on the West Highland Line, I could imagine a train load of passengers with bad backs, headaches and violent sickness
 

Jamesrob637

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I had the awful thought of a Pacer squealing around every curve on the West Highland Line, I could imagine a train load of passengers with bad backs, headaches and violent sickness

Imagine Far East tourists having to endure thato_O
 

Matt_pool

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Twice a day back in the late 80's/early 90's the Liverpool Lime Street to Cardiff service was operated by a class 37 and 4 x Mk.1 carriages.

On arrival from Cardiff at Lime Street the 37 had to push the carriages back into Edge Hill tunnels, run around the carriages, then push them back into the station.

These trains also called at smaller stations in the Liverpool suburbs - Edge Hill, Mossley Hill, West Allerton and Allerton (now South Parkway).

A few years ago I was getting a FGW train from Truro to Plymouth and expected it to be operated by a HST as the journey the previous day from Plymouth to Truro was a HST. But no, instead a 2 carriage 150, that had originated in Penzance, turned up, and it was packed!

At the beginning of March I went to catch an EMR service from Manchester Oxford Road to Liverpool. The train would have originated in Norwich and is usally 2 x 158's or a 158 + a 156. But on this occasion it was a single 156 which was packed with standing room only. The heating was on full blast and there was a group of small kids making lots of noise.

Fortunately I only had to spend 40 ish minutes on this train from hell, but imagine if you had started at Norwich and were going all the way to Livepool. That's a journey of about 4.5 hours!
 
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In the early days of privatisation and when MTL holdings operated Regional Railways North East I had a few interesting runs. A couple that spring to mind are having a Class 142 and Class 153 doing the Newcastle to York, via Middlesbrough services. Having both on the fast line between Thirsk and York must have been a drivers treat. Mind you, on the 142 it was ‘fun’ and bearable on the tin rocket. Those where the days lol.

Hope everyone is safe and well.

Kind regards.

Lee-James.
 

scotrail158713

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A little known fact, but 143s actually ran between Waverley and Bathgate when it reopened in '86. Thankfully they didn't stick around for long, and Scotland was able to avoid the pacerisation of commuter services!
I’m glad that never materialised to anything permanent :)
 

Jamesrob637

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In the early days of privatisation and when MTL holdings operated Regional Railways North East I had a few interesting runs. A couple that spring to mind are having a Class 142 and Class 153 doing the Newcastle to York, via Middlesbrough services. Having both on the fast line between Thirsk and York must have been a drivers treat. Mind you, on the 142 it was ‘fun’ and bearable on the tin rocket. Those where the days lol.

Hope everyone is safe and well.

Kind regards.

Lee-James.

I did a Northern Spirit 156 York to Thirsk around the turn of the millennium. That was fun enough! I swear we had proper summers then not just warm rain... mind you some of the last few years have produced reasonable summer weather.
 

43096

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I know it's not a passenger train per se, but didn't the NMT include Mk1s for a time? So 43s effectively hauled Mk1s.
It had a couple of Mark 2s in it when it was first brought into use. These were replaced many years ago by two converted TGS vehicles.
 

Jamesrob637

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It had a couple of Mark 2s in it when it was first brought into use. These were replaced many years ago by two converted TGS vehicles.

Yeah I can vaguely remember Mk2s also. It just gave me some model railway inspiration to have my 43s top 'n' tailing 7 Mk2s: like a 90s XC set!
 

stantheman

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I recall when 150s were new in Scotland day trip was offered from Edinburgh to Wick and Thurso ...honest ...anyone confirm
 

Qwerty133

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As a one off I remember a singular 153 on the first off peak Leicester to Birmingham in half term week during the central trains days, another weird one is the time that East Midlands Trains decided that rather than take a 153 with a faulty cab out of service on the Matlock branch it made more sense to enclose the faulty cab by adding a 158. As a more regular service it always seemed weird for the 18:52 Birmingham to Leicester to be diagrammed for a 150 while all other services on the line had been 170 operated for some time.
 

Whistler40145

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Very 7 hours 20 minutes. Left Colchester on the return at 15:30 arrived in Barrow at 22:50. Was also a Blackpool North to Harwich PQ IIRC
The only time I’ve done that length of journey was a Harwich Parkeston Quay to Manchester Victoria during the Manchester Piccadilly remodelling project and was loco hauled behind a 47
 

Andy Pacer

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Fortunately I only had to spend 40 ish minutes on this train from hell, but imagine if you had started at Norwich and were going all the way to Livepool. That's a journey of about 4.5 hours!

Actually more like 5.5 - 6 hours and that's before you take into consideration the terrible reliability on that route. They are generally booked as 2 car between Norwich and Nottingham though, albeit 158!
 

InTheEastMids

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Any other such examples of unbelievable rolling stock allocations to diagrams that would make you think "christ almighty, how did they ever get away with that?"

I think, looking at the past But thinking about current (pre-covid) passenger levels, the idea of 2/3 car 170s on large numbers of MML London services is hard to fathom
 

4REP

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Class 150s years ago back in the late 80s before 158s were introduced were used on transpennine routes. Also under Northern spirit/ATN they were often used between Scarborough - Blackpool amongst 155/6/8 units. Even 142s were used when sprinters not available. I think a 142 were diagrammed Middlesbrough to Carlisle/Whitehaven.
 
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