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I've mislaid some notes I made some time ago about the actual, precise, dates when auto-trains last ran on the Greenford-Ealing service, and also for the Uxbridge and Staines Branches.  Can anybody help me on this, or point me to reference sources? 

So far as I remember the Greenford line went straight from auto-trains to Class 121 units.    

Both Staines and Uxbridge were operated by a combination of GWR railcars and auto-trains.  Towards the end of the 1950's the GWR railcars would operate mainly during the day,  until about tea-time,  when they then worked to Uxbridge  (which didn't have an afternoon service.)  Auto-trains then  took over on the Staines line.  They were all replaced so far as I remember by Class 121 units at the same time, and Southall presumably lost all it's auto-cars and GWR railcars at the same date. 

 

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Greenford  - went straight to Class 122 units wef 25th August 1958.  Uxbridge and Staines were later - October 1958 I think.  The 121s replaced the 122s in the spring of 1961 when the latter were transferred to Laira.  I'm not sure when the GW railcars finally left Southall.  The 122s worked in some strange formations with borrowed 116s and Cross-Country sets from November 1959 to cover Paddington suburban services until the 117s finally arrived and the GW cars would have been needed to cover the normal jobs of the 122s.

 

Chris

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Thank you very much for this. 

 I couldn't understand why I had the date of 1958 in my head for Greenford,  when I knew that the Class 121's weren't about until 1961.  I hadn't realised that the 122's were used on that route, and can't remember seeing any either,  although I may not have realised the difference at the age I then was.

I can well remember travelling in the GWR railcars to Staines, but didn't take any pictures until the 121's arrived. The auto trains all disappeared in one go at Southall (they had their own servicing line the other side of the Brentford branch) except for the spare car for the Marlow branch,  which was often just left in one of the goods sidings.  (although why not at Slough, which was a lot nearer)  I've no idea.

The 117's worked to Uxbridge as well, although never, I think, to Staines. Picture below is from 1962, just before closure. 

cowley.jpg

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Fear not, Jointline, 117s did work to Staines.  From the summer 1961 CWP:

 

Sets D11+D12

Empty West London - Padddington

6.38 am Paddington - West Drayton

7.37 am West Drayton - Staines

8.5 am Staines - Paddington

then stables in Paddington Yard, making one trip to Reading and one to Uxbridge in the afternoon/evening

 

Set D43 started at Leamington, picking up D42 at Oxford.  After a sojourn in Paddington Yard punctuated by a return trip to Oxford they worked:

4.39 pm Paddington Suburban - West Drayton

D42 was detached at West Drayton, working to Reading and Didcot.  D43 worked:

5.24 pm West Drayton - Uxbridge

5.50 pm Uxbridge - West Drayton

5.51 pm West Drayton - Staines

6.13 pm Staines - West Drayton

6.47 pm West Drayton - Paddington

Empty to West London

 

I wish I had the diagrams for winter 1959-60.  Sets were borrowed from Tyseley, Bristol and Cardiff because of late delivery of the 117s.  They were a mixture of 116s and Cross-Country sets and some strange workings resulted.  The Cross-Country sets which had made a return trip from Paddington to Birmingham starting at 7 am were turned out for an all stations working from Paddington to Reading and back in the evening.  This, I think, smacks of desperation.

 

Chris

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8 minutes ago, chrisf said:

Fear not, Jointline, 117s did work to Staines.  From the summer 1961 CWP:

 

Sets D11+D12

Empty West London - Padddington

6.38 am Paddington - West Drayton

7.37 am West Drayton - Staines

8.5 am Staines - Paddington

then stables in Paddington Yard, making one trip to Reading and one to Uxbridge in the afternoon/evening

 

Set D43 started at Leamington, picking up D42 at Oxford.  After a sojourn in Paddington Yard punctuated by a return trip to Oxford they worked:

4.39 pm Paddington Suburban - West Drayton

D42 was detached at West Drayton, working to Reading and Didcot.  D43 worked:

5.24 pm West Drayton - Uxbridge

5.50 pm Uxbridge - West Drayton

5.51 pm West Drayton - Staines

6.13 pm Staines - West Drayton

6.47 pm West Drayton - Paddington

Empty to West London

 

I wish I had the diagrams for winter 1959-60.  Sets were borrowed from Tyseley, Bristol and Cardiff because of late delivery of the 117s.  They were a mixture of 116s and Cross-Country sets and some strange workings resulted.  The Cross-Country sets which had made a return trip from Paddington to Birmingham starting at 7 am were turned out for an all stations working from Paddington to Reading and back in the evening.  This, I think, smacks of desperation.

 

Chris

Good information Chris. 

Earl's Court layout is taking a break for refurbishment until early 2021. But when it returns I'm planning on running a 119 set with Hawkesworth coach.  Seems like the lnfo you have suggests I could run some odd combinations as well. 

Terry 

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Terry, you could indeed.  How about two cross-country sets plus 122 driving trailer, which was the formation of the 8.0 am Paddington - Oxford?  Or a cross-country set plus bubble car, which formed an early morning Paddington - Didcot train hauling a parcels van as far as Reading?

 

I've not seen your new layout yet and look forward to doing so.

 

Chris

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40 minutes ago, chrisf said:

Terry, you could indeed.  How about two cross-country sets plus 122 driving trailer, which was the formation of the 8.0 am Paddington - Oxford?  Or a cross-country set plus bubble car, which formed an early morning Paddington - Didcot train hauling a parcels van as far as Reading?

 

I've not seen your new layout yet and look forward to doing so.

 

Chris

They sound good possibilities. 

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In the 1960 version I have  the 6.38, train number 2A52  as all stations to West Drayton & Yiewsley,  connects to Uxbridge and Staines West:

Single power car   ))

Drive end trailer    ))   West Drayton

3 car set                  ))

K Van  (Mails)          )     Uxbridge

K - attached at Paddington from Stop blocks.

 

Would look very good in model form,  but somebody would say it didn't happen!

Edited by jointline

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That would be the Paddington station working book, the first to use the four character alphanumerical reporting numbers.  Several formations included a single power car.  These and the drive end trailers must have come from somewhere.  My theory is that the GW railcars were retained to cover for them on the branches such as Greenford, Staines, Uxbridge and possibly Windsor. 

 

Chris

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The only other scheduled  service shown with identical formation (less van) is the 10.18 to Oxford.   Mostly 3-car or 2x 3 car sets.    

I wonder how they worked out three car sets were optimal,  as they were intended to replace the five coach Q sets (which carried on for another few months).  Perhaps they compiled actual usage statistics (or perhaps not!)

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I don't have the summer 1960 book but I do have the February 1960 reissue.  That shows the 4.18 pm Banbury formed as for the 10.18 am Oxford, which off the top of my head was the 6.38 am set after it had been to Staines and back.  During the 1960 summer timetable the 117s were finally beginning to arrive, which rather spoiled the fun!

 

I've no idea why the WR opted for three car sets.   Those allocated to Tyseley would have replaced 3 coach E sets, Cardiff's replaced five coach "standard" sets and Bristol's mostly multiple B sets.  The Cross-Country sets mainly supplanted four coach M sets but, as we all know, very little on the WR was straightforward!

 

Chris

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