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BR Mk1 Suburbans





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#1 wcml61

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 21:52

I have a couple of BR Mk1 Suburban coaches (57' short version) which I would quite like to use on my layout. My question is, apart from the commuter trains in and out of London and some of the other major cities, where and how were they used?

Would one or two have ever popped up in a local train for example, mixed with older (ex-LMS) non-corridor stock? My (future) layout is to be set in and around Preston in 1961, would the odd one have ever been seen there during this period?

Also did these vehicles ever wear unlined BR Maroon? (easier paint job...)

Sorry for all the questions, Google has not turned up anything useful so far.

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#2 Weekday Cross

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 22:17

BR Mk1 suburban coaches were used in local trains all over the country as old stock was replaced - but many of these were the 64ft version. They were normally seen in ones and twos, rarely more than one in a train.

The 57ft version was mainly for service around London, particularly well known on Moorgate trains from the Midland and the Great Northern lines, where they ran in complete rakes.

The Southern had rakes of 64ft coaches for the Exeter to Exmouth services, plus a spare set that wandered mainly around the South East. They later had some 57ft ones inherited from the Western region.

Early BR Mk1 suburban coaches were painted in the early BR unlined crimson livery.

#3 Leander

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 22:18

The 57' non-corridors were found in the Preston area working alongside ex-LMS stock. On the Southport line, the ordinary passenger trains were composed of two Brake Seconds and a Composite coach or Composite, Brake Second, Second. A Brake second or the Compo was often a BR vehicle (usually one in the train only).

Adrian Bradshaw's excellent Preston Station website has several photos here. See the sections on Penwortham Cop Lane and the Whitehouse Junctions. The Foxline Southport & Morecambe volume of Stuart Taylor's series of 'Journeys by Excursion Train from East Lancashire' also contains some useful images but my copy is about 320 miles away from where I am now!

Several ex-LNER non-corridors got cascaded into the north west in the early 1960s so there's an excuse to include one of the forthcoming Hornby Gresley non-corridors in due course.

On the subject of lining, I can only remember the BR stock in lined maroon.

#4 chrisf

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 05:50

On the subject of lining, I can only remember the BR stock in lined maroon.


All BR Mk 1 suburbans came out in unlined crimson, even the long underframe version allocated to the Southern. Unlined maroon was introduced in 1956 and lined maroon in mid 1959 but how regularly the coaches were repainted is a good question! Some vehicles went straight from crimson to lined maroon, others ended up on the scrap line in crimson or unlined maroon. It would be quite possible to have all three liveries in one set if depicted in 1959-1962.

It is always a good plan to look at loads of photographs for you never know what you may find. Suburban coaches used to carry lining on their crimson paint but this was abolished in 1952. There was, however, at least one WR coach still running around with lining in 1956!

Chris

#5 Removed a/c_stuartp

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 09:44

The 57' version certainly got as far as Scotland, they were fairly common in mixed sets with LMS and LNER suburbans, usually in odd ones and twos.

#6 Penrhos1920

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 12:25

A few made it to South Wales, although I'm not sure if they were teh long or short versions. I've seen several photos of rakes of 4 to 6 coaches mainly ex GWR but with the odd BR non corridor somewhere in the rake. But as has been said before never an entire rake of BR Mk1s.

#7 Xerces Fobe2

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 12:49

Class 501 EMUS were based on a 57ft frame suburbans the unlike the EPBS which were based on a 64ft frame.

Xerces Fobe

#8 wcml61

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 13:39

Thank you very much for all the helpful replies - it's amazing how difficult it is to find this info out via the usual sources! I did previously assume they were only used in/around some of the major cities, but a few days ago I discovered a photo of a non-corridor train in rural Scotland in the early 1960s which appeared to have a Mk1 sub in the formation (although wasn't 100% sure). Anyway this photo made me question this belief and now I'm very glad I did!

Also pleased I don't necessarily have to worry about lining as I'm never very happy with my attempts at it!

#9 Weekday Cross

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 14:28

Mk1 subs are easy to pick out in a rake of coaches as they have very rounded body sides, instead of the normal tumblehome used on pre-nationalisation stock.

#10 Pennine MC

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 16:35

Thank you very much for all the helpful replies - it's amazing how difficult it is to find this info out via the usual sources!


Depends what you call 'usual' I suppose, but this is a link to a post in one recent thread, which in turn links to various others. Not strictly what you were asking, but if you can stay the course they should have something of interest in them.

#11 wcml61

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 18:35

Thanks for the link, I did find those threads as part of my search but they still generally implied Suburbans were used on the lines close to London which is what I was trying to get away from. Hence the need for it to be spelled out one way or the other!

Thanks for the tip Weekday Cross, I will scrutinise the photo again to make sure but the definitive answers on here have fully answered all my general queries.

#12 Galtee More

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 17:17

Mk1 subs are easy to pick out in a rake of coaches as they have very rounded body sides, instead of the normal tumblehome used on pre-nationalisation stock.



For coach spotters, the body profile of BR Mk1s a continuous radius. Their 'truss rods' are close to the centre line of the vehicle and so, looking down the train or from a three-quarter angle, appear to have no underframe.

Ian


#13 chrisf

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 17:30

A few made it to South Wales, although I'm not sure if they were teh long or short versions.


Both!

As for being made up into sets, this was very much the exception. Those that went to the Kings Cross suburban services were, as were those bult to Metrogauge dimensions that worked from Midland suburban stations to Moorgate via the Widened Lines. From Paddington there were some 5-coach Q sets that were predominantly made up of BR suburbans but not totally as the WR only had 10 BR suburban composites. The Southern had four 3-coach sets for the Exmouth branch and a generous supply of seconds for strengthening. Apart from that it seems that the new coaches were sprinkled across the system in ones and twos so it is probable that they would have been seen marshalled with other designs.

Chris

#14 RANGERS

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 09:07

The Kings Cross sets at least were used on summer weekend services until the late 60s at least, so they ventured beyond their normal suburban stamping grounds. There are pics of them at Skegness (with a Baby Deltic at the front) and Hunstanton (with a 31), the latter may have originated from somewhere other than Kings Cross, I seem to remember the caption suggested Cambridge.

#15 Il Grifone

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 18:56

Originally, only SR (all) and WR (most) coaches were on the long underframe.

There is also some debate of the date of introduction of the maroon livery. My recollection is of a dark maroon/crimson earlier than 1956 and this seems to be borne out by photographs*, with the usual caveat about reading too much into the tones of monochrome photographs.

*The evidence of Hornby Dublo suburban coaches (introduced in 1954) being lined maroon has already been shot down, but there is really no reason for them to have got it wrong.

#16 APOLLO

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 19:17

BR Mk1 suburban coaches (along with ex LMS stock) was extensivley used in the Wigan area on Southport / Liverpool Exchange - Bolton /Manchester services up to the end of steam around 1966 (on these services).

I once remember travelling on the old GC Wigan Central-Manchester Central line, my records show 7 March 1964, a brand spanking new shiny type 2, D7586 was at the head of a rake of 3 or 4 suburban carriages. Probably a running in turn. A rare exception as this line was usually stanier 2-6-4 tank, small standard or black 5 worked.

The carriages were often filthy outside, usually OK inside, but with 6 a side seating were uncomfortable when full, especially if in a smoking compartment.

Brit15

#17 gra

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 20:13

Suburban brakes were also used on freightliner trains fo a while.

#18 chrisf

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 21:58

There is also some debate of the date of introduction of the maroon livery. My recollection is of a dark maroon/crimson earlier than 1956 and this seems to be borne out by photographs*, with the usual caveat about reading too much into the tones of monochrome photographs.

*The evidence of Hornby Dublo suburban coaches (introduced in 1954) being lined maroon has already been shot down, but there is really no reason for them to have got it wrong.


The "dark maroon/crimson" may have been the shade known as "wine red". This was an experimental livery tried out in 1948 and not adopted. However, Swindon had a lot of it and turned out many suburban coaches in that colour scheme. Some quad arts also carried that livery so there must have been a good stock of wine red paint at Doncaster as well. It could still be seen in the mid 50s. It must be doubtful whether any BR-built coaches carried it. Some ex-LMS coaches with limited life expectancy could well have kept LMS maroon. Reports to this effect appear in contemporary issues of the Railway Observer but given the insistence of some observers in describing the shade officially known as crimson in other ways it is very difficult to be certain!

I don't know about Hornby-Dublo coaches carrying lined red, be it maroon or another colour, but when crimson was first adopted for non-corridor coaches it came with lining. In 1952 BR ordained that the lining should be removed. This was about the time when it was decided to apply numbers to the right hand end of coaches. Rome wasn't built in a day and so there were still examples, on the Western at least, of suburbans running around in 1956 with lining and left-hand numbers.

Chris

#19 FelixM

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 08:55

Must be post-1959 due to lining:

6128476074_b1eccdd946_b.jpg
60923_undated by Robert Carroll, auf Flickr
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#20 kenw

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 20:47

As for being made up into sets, this was very much the exception. Those that went to the Kings Cross suburban services were, 

 

While reading this it just occurred that could the reason for the Mk1s on Kings Cross surburbans being formed in full sets be that a lot of the ex-LNER sets were formed of artic stock, so odd coaches couldn't be swapped?



#21 robertcwp

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 11:58

The BR Standard (Mark I) non-gangwayed stock never ceases to fascinate people.  To clarify some points made in earlier posts:

 

  • There were 596 short frame and 149 long frame ones

  • The short frame ones were allocated to all regions except the SR

  • As noted above, the long frame ones were all to the WR and SR initially

  • Only the short frame ones survived in service into the 1970s (until 1977) on King's Cross suburban workings

  • Only the ER/NER had any lavatory-equipped carriages and that region (at least from new) had no non-lavatory composites

  • Complete sets of Mark I non-gangwayed stock could be seen from early on although this seems to have been the case mostly on the ER - I have seen at least one photo of a full set on the ScR

  • Mixed sets including LMS, GWR or LNER designed carriages were common until the pre-nationalisation non-gangwayed stock was phased out in the 1960s

  • Mixed formations of gangwayed and non-gangwayed stock could be seen and were diagrammed as such in the 1960s on the SR and WR (possibly elsewhere)

  • Unlined maroon was the livery applied 1956-59 (or thereabouts) and when lining was introduced there were at least two styles

  • So far as I can establish, only long frame ones carried green and only short frame ones carried BR blue

  • I have yet to find a photo of a long-frame one in unlined maroon but cannot rule out that livery

  • None carried lined crimson as that style was phased out very early in the 1950s - I thought it was 1951 rather than 1952

A Mark I BS is first in this set followed by LMS designs:

 

8657198937_e877fe2065.jpg42705_Preston_BlackpoolN-ManVic_1-8-64 by Robert Carroll, on Flickr


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