As a follow up to our last post which featured the Royal Train at Kensington Olympia, I thought I would post this shot of the train showing eight of the carriages. If possible I would like to tray and identify the carriages that can be seen in the photo.
The carriages that can be identified at the moment from other photos, and a bit of research, are as follows (from the loco towards the photographer):
Ex LMS Coach (10071) numbered 5155m and described as a Staff Couchette
Ex ECJS 3908 Queen Alexandra’s saloon (a 12-wheeler)
BR Mk.1 Sleeper 2013 (In Blue/Grey livery)
BR Mk.1 Restaurant Car M325 (this went back into BR service in 1977)
Unidentified Coach (a 12-wheeler)
If anybody can help identify the unidentified coaches I would appreciate it. The 12-wheeler closest to Peter should be easy, but I cannot find any reference to it at the moment. It may be another ECJS coach which was used as a generator van and staff coach, but it’s got me flummoxed!)
When trying to research older photographs like this the internet always seems to be able to help, but in this instance I have struggled to find an online resource for the Royal Train, other than a useful Wikipedia entry! If anybody can point me to an online resource about the Royal Train I would very much appreciate it.
Finally, I am pretty sure that the locomotive is 47086 ‘Colossus’. Depending on the date of the photograph the loco was allocated either to Old Oak Common or Cardiff Canton depot. Given my limited knowledge of Royal Train engine operations, I think this may also help narrow down the date for the photograph to before October 1976 when the allocation to Cardiff was made; as I don’t suppose the loco would be prepared in Cardiff for a movement starting in London.
So I think the photo was taken in the summer of 1974, 1975 or 1976. Does this jog anybody’s memory?
This photograph raises lots of questions that I would love to know the answers to. Peter Collins seems to think that the diversion of some trains to Kensington Olympia from Euston was in the early 1970s, but can anybody get any closer than this? The trees seem to be in full leaf, so sometime between May and September; but which year? Can anybody actually identify the train, and really pushing the bounds of optimism the pair of Sulzers actually used?
I am no expert in the Royal Train, but does anybody have any details on the make up of the train in the early 1970s. There is a Mk1. Sleeper within the rake of coaches in blue/grey livery and also a maroon restaurant car. In addition there are two of the dedicated Royal Train saloons, but which ones I am unclear.
Whatever the service is, there is a buffet available for passengers given the contents of the trolley on the platform, although there doesn’t seem much if the service is a long distance one; half a dozen milk bottles won’t last long!
The photo captures the era when British Rail was moving away from steam and into the diesel era, at least when looking at the left hand side of the image. Look to the right half, and we see semaphore signals and steam era coaching stock (Royal or otherwise).
If anybody can help with further information, then please make contact through the form below, or via social media.
I’m currently compiling a book using some fantastic colour and black and white images taken by ex-railwayman Ronnie Gee, who finished his career as Stockport Station Manager. One such image is the picture shown above, which shows Thompson ex-Third Class vestibule M13925E (ex E13925E) included in the stock of the 15.05 Manchester Piccadilly to Plymouth service on the 16th June 1967. The coach was built at York to Diagram 329 in 1950, and had previously been in use on Anglo-Scottish services on the East Coast Main Line.
I would be very grateful if anybody can help shed light on some details of the transfer of the carriage to the LM Region. I’ve looked through some books I have, as well as the internet but have yet to find any further details. As the carriage sets tended to be marshalled from the same depot I assume that the coach was based at Longsight Carriage Sheds, but if you know better please let me know!
I like photographs like this as you often capture little cameos of life; this picture is no different as the lady in the first compartment is obvious to the world outside as she concentrates on varnishing her nails!
Further details of the book will be made available soon, but the collection of colour photos are some of the best I’ve seen, and being a railwayman Ronnie seemed to be frequently in the right place at the right time to capture movements of trains that today hold some historic significance (like that of the coach above).
If you can help, please use the comments box below to get in touch.