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les101975jud

Southern Region Catering Stock

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I was a regular at Waterloo in the mid-sixties until the end of Steam in 1967.  I don’t recall many restaurant, kitchen or buffet carriages being around on the non-Pullman loco hauled trains to Bournemouth or on boat trains.  It could be because at the time I was just interested in the loco at the front.  Conversely, could it be because the journey time was quite short when compared to trains that had much longer mileages to undertake on the other regions.  Personally, I am not sure but perhaps it was the length of the journey that was the deciding factor in providing catering in those days.  Any thoughts or information?

Regards

 

Les

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There were quite a few Mark I restaurant buffets in Bournemouth line sets right up until electrification. Some Gresley buffets appeared on loan too. When the full electric services began, there was a full restaurant car service on principal services.

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1 hour ago, robertcwp said:

When the full electric services began, there was a full restaurant car service on principal services.

And hence the designation REP - Restaurant Electro-Pneumatic.

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There were some de-frocked Pullman cars (ex-Hastings Line when 6B were introduced?) serving as catering vehicles on the SW division in the 1960s too.

 

And, every fleet of BR(S) main-line electric and diesel MU stock included a catering version, which was a continuation (if in some cases slightly down-specified) of what had gone before, and the region seemed to retain catering on middle-distance services longer, or to greater extent, than the other parts of the country.

 

Mention of REPs has made me remember that any visit to Eastleigh, where I had to go quite often to witness tests of high voltage cables or accessories at the various Pirelli works, was a high-point of the week, because you could just about get through a full cooked breakfast on the way from Waterloo.

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Not forgetting the catering cars in the BUF, RES and the three GRI units on the Pompey road.

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Thank you for the replies so far.  I am hopeless on the electric and diesel multiple unit side of things.  My question was really addressing the state of play up until the end of Steam in 1967.  Presumably there would have been Bulleid and/or BR MK1 loco hauled stock around even with a Warship at the front instead of a Pacific loco.  And if so was there at least a Buffet provided?  Personally I cannot remember seeing any.

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The Warships appeared on the Exeter line trains after the end of steam, but not on the Bournemouth line, which went directly from steam (helped by a few Class 47s at the end) to electric. There were certainly catering cars on the steam hauled Bournemouth trains, with the red band at cantrail level as well as lettering on the side. Of course not every train had one, just as after electrification you could be unlucky enough to find a train made up of 4-VEPs instead of the 4-REP+4TC+4TC formation.

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Many Maunsell Kitchen Restaurants lasted until the early '60s. One in particular, No. 7969, now a Kitchen Buffet, remained in service until the end of 1967.

Bulleid catering vehicles were still very much in evidence. The rebuilt 'Tavern Cars' Kitchen Buffets lasted until the end of steam (1967-8), with most of their accompanying Restaurant Composites having been withdrawn a few months previously. Prior to these, the Restaurant Kitchens of the Bournemouth 6 - car sets had been replaced by Mk.1 Restaurant Buffets in 1962, with their Restaurant Semi - Open Firsts following in 1963 - 67.

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A copy of a timetable, even a public one, ought to give a lot of solid clues about catering provision.

 

if you google “Exeter central 1966 buffet car”, you will get some really good images showing, among other things, a maroon Greeley buffet in a diesel-hauled blue and grey rake, and the downgraded tavern cars. EC is a good place to search, because trains were split and re-marshalled there, some gaining or losing catering in the process.

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From Public Timetable dated 18 April 1966 - 11 June 1967

 

List of all weekday departures from Waterloo to Bournemouth (* = and Weymouth) listed as having refreshment facilities:

 

B = buffet

L = light refreshments (presumably a buffet, but only serving light refreshments)

 

SX = Monday to Friday;  SO = Saturdays only

 

08.30*, 10.30*, 11.30 - all B - SX (L - SO)

12.30  Pullman service - 'The Bournemouth Belle'

13.30* -  B - SX (L - SO)

15.30* SX - B

15.35 L

16.35* B  'The Royal Wessex'

17.30 and 18.30* B - SX (L - SO)

21.20 B - SX (nothing SO) - train ran to Poole arriving 00.26

 

One curiosity is that there was no service on the 19.30 to Bournemouth / Weymouth, but the 21.20 to Poole was given a full buffet service Mondays - Fridays.

 

The only trains reaching Bournemouth with a full restaurant service in this period were 'The Pines Express' (running via Reading) and 'The Bournemouth Belle'.

 

Edited by 73080
Edited to make list of departures clearer to understand
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