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By the time the Mk3 sleepers were being introduced the market for them was falling away.

 

Did they all come into use or were some stored from new and never used?

 

When were the various services stopped - Northwest England (1983?), ECML, Internal Scottish etc?

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According to details I've collected from various magazines, it would appear that all Mk3 Sleepers were put into service.

 

The North West services to Manchester and Liverpool were mooted for withdrawal in May 1983 but were given a reprieve unlike the Barrow service which ceased at this time.

 

ECML Sleepers were transferred across to the WCML from May 1988 with Mk3 stock introduced at the same time on Plymouth - Edinburgh/Glasgow  and  Edinburgh - Poole workings,

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I think the mk3 sleepers were introduced too late. I think they were in the design stage in the late '70s with introduction intended for c.1981 at the latest but didn't appear until 1983(?)

Parkin's book mentions that the mk1 sleepers hung in as long as they did as they were far from worn out, being specialist vehicles with relatively low usage.

The only case really for new sleepers was the fact that the interior standards had fallen way behind modern standards.

Day passengers could travel in mk2 & mk3 air-conditioned comfort, where the sleepers were basically unchanged from their introduction in the '50s.

By the time the mk3s came on stream in enough numbers, their market was shrinking with the sleeper network contacting amid the general downturn of the early-mid '80s.

I think the build was cancelled at some point, so not as many were built as was intended.

Edited by keefer

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Sticking this in here instead of having a splinter in the Bachmann thread!

 

They did withdraw some sleeper services soon after/during building the Mk3's but I didn't think it had much effect on carriage requirements until the bigger changes later in the 1980's when the ECML lost their sleepers? I'm happy to be corrected, were routes like Barrow and Stranraer just split portions off other trains enabling the more profitable Anglo-Scots sleepers to be strengthened? 

 

Looking at the 1988 platform 5 book suggests 12 didn't reach their 5th birthday in service assuming there were 120 SLEP and 87 SLE as built; 10524/528/659/664/667/669/676/677/681/694/695/698/721 are missing, a few of those may have been accident write offs or Royal Train convertees.

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Posted (edited)

The large gaps between batches is because BR cancelled the final batch as the writing was on the wall regarding overnight trains.  A pair were diverted from the final batch to be included in the royal train and numbered directly into the 29xx series.  
 

I think about 25 were leased to DSB, the Danish Railways in the late 80’s and when they returned to the UK, GNER planned to convert them into day coaches and extend their HST sets.  It never came to fruition and they ended up stacked at CF Booth.

Edited by jools1959

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56 minutes ago, keefer said:

I think the mk3 sleepers were introduced too late. I think they were in the design stage in the late '70s with introduction intended for c.1981 at the latest but didn't appear until 1983(?)

Parkin's book mentions that the mk1 sleepers hung in as long as they did as they were far from worn out, being specialist vehicles with relatively low usage.

The only case really for new sleepers was the fact that the interior standards had fallen way behind modern standards.

Day passengers could travel in mk2 & mk3 air-conditioned comfort, where the sleepers were basically unchanged from their introduction in the '50s.

By the time the mk3s came on stream in enough numbers, their market was shrinking with the sleeper network contacting amid the general downturn of the early-mid '80s.

I think the build was cancelled at some point, so not as many were built as was intended.

 

Wasn't the demise of the Mk1s partly down to aftermath of the fatal Taunton fire?

 

The integrity fo the MK3s was tested as early as November 1983 when the up Riviera came off the track at Padd.

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1 hour ago, keefer said:

I think the mk3 sleepers were introduced too late. I think they were in the design stage in the late '70s with introduction intended for c.1981 at the latest but didn't appear until 1983(?)

 

 

IIRC a large amount of that delay was caused by the 1978 Taunton Sleeper fire which killed 12 people by smoke inhalation. As I understand it the outcome of the official report required a complete re-think of virtually all aspects of the coach interiors and delayed production signifficantly

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1 hour ago, jools1959 said:

The large gaps between batches is because BR cancelled the final batch as the writing was on the wall regarding overnight trains.  A pair were diverted from the final batch to be included in the royal train and numbered directly into the 29xx series.  
 

I think about 25 were leased to DSB, the Danish Railways in the late 80’s and when they returned to the UK, GNER planned to convert them into day coaches and extend their HST sets.  It never came to fruition and they ended up stacked at CF Booth.

The main issue being that you cannot cut standard Mk3 window sized holes into a Mk3 sleeper bodyshell without losing the structural integrity. Other smaller issues like the lack of spare CDL equipment were surmountable, the window layout was the show stopper. By the time GNER realised this it wasn't too long to wait for ex Virgin XC HSTs to become available to extend the GNER HST sets.

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I suppose they could have made them into a swanky compartment coach, call them 'coupé class' and charge a supplement on top of 1st class fare. ka-ching! :)

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Five Mk3 sleepers were converted as gen cars for the failed Nightstar sleepers so they have there uses after their first life.

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3 hours ago, phil-b259 said:

 

IIRC a large amount of that delay was caused by the 1978 Taunton Sleeper fire which killed 12 people by smoke inhalation. As I understand it the outcome of the official report required a complete re-think of virtually all aspects of the coach interiors and delayed production signifficantly


The 12 people killed at the Taunton fire couldn’t get out because the doors were locked and they couldn’t escape.  The redesign of the interiors was to eliminate flammable materials from bulkheads and interior walls.

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Posted (edited)

Telford steam railway has a DSB liveried sleeper still..

 

https://telfordsteamrailway.co.uk/sleeper-coach-open-bookings/

 

And you can sleep in it too !

 

DSB hired the sleepers for several years as there was no use for them in the UK.

 

Many sleepers were sold to preservation in the mid90’s inturn displacing mk1 sleepers from staff accommodation.. though I believe the bogies were either retained or swapped.

 

The Manchester Sleepers demise strangely coincided with Rochdale’s MP Cyril Smith retiring... he was a regular user allegedly, story has it if sessions went on late in London, it was held.

 

 

In my 15May-1st October 1989 timetable, I have the following sleepers listed:

 

Euston: Sunday - Friday

2100 Fort William 0855 & Stranraer 0620 & Glasgow 0350

2120 Inverness 0750

2205 Aberdeen 0720

2215 Aberdeen 0830 & Inverness 0925 (serving West Midlands stations)

2245 Edinburgh 0626 (serving West Midlands stations)

2320 Liverpool 0226 & Manchester 0330

2345 Edinburgh 0617

2350 Glasgow 0635 & Carlisle 0427

 

Saturday sleepers also ran.

 

Paddington: Sunday to Friday

2355 Penzance 0824

 

Others...

 

2200 Plymouth - Birmingham NS  (Glasgow 0645/ Edinburgh 0700)

2035 Poole - Birmingham NS joining the above (this portion is SX)

2325 Edinburgh / 2320 Glasgow - Inverness 0415 (also runs Saturdays)

2240 Glasgow - Aberdeen 0316

 

all have a corresponding reverse run.

 

All berths are £22 for first class ticket holders, single occupancy, £20 for just about everyone else in shared berths, and £18 for Scottish internal services.

 

To think Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness and Aberdeen had 3 sleepers each per day.

Edited by adb968008
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As someone else has mentioned, a number were cancelled from the initial order which is why there is a gap in the numbering range between the two types - SLE and SLEP. Whether a number of both types were cancelled, or only one, I don't know.

 

There were some early casualties, I believe the Morpeth derailment (1984?) meant that one of the sleepers didn't even make a year in service, although I may be wrong. This is all from memory :-)

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7 minutes ago, dvdlcs said:

As someone else has mentioned, a number were cancelled from the initial order which is why there is a gap in the numbering range between the two types - SLE and SLEP. Whether a number of both types were cancelled, or only one, I don't know.

 

There were some early casualties, I believe the Morpeth derailment (1984?) meant that one of the sleepers didn't even make a year in service, although I may be wrong. This is all from memory :-)

The coaching stock books of the time list more numbers than were eventually built for both types, i.e. the cancelled ones were of both types. I don't have the books to hand at the moment to look up the actual number ranges involved.

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All of the SLE series were built, just not as SLEs.

 

10734 and 10735 were built as Royal Train stock, 2914 and 2915. 10733 was built as a normal SLE but was written off very early on (Morpeth?).

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Flood said:

All of the SLE series were built, just not as SLEs.

 

10734 and 10735 were built as Royal Train stock, 2914 and 2915. 10733 was built as a normal SLE but was written off very early on (Morpeth?).

 

Yes, the cancelled coaches 10620-10645 were SLEPs and seemed to be deleted before construction commenced.  On the few trains I used where there were still single sleepers (Holyhead, Barrow, Stranraer?) they always seemed to be SLEPs - since theses services seem to have lost sleepers earlier that the rest presumably this is why the last 25 were canned.

 

The bodies for 10734/10735 were used for 2914/2915 but had new Lot numbers so are normally seen as new builds and not conversions.  2914 was renumbered to 10734 some years ago.

 

The following were withdrawn after the Morpeth crash 10505, 10524, 10528, 10652, 10659 and 10733. The latter was less than 6 months old.

 

DSB SLEs were  10664, 10667, 10669, 10676, 10677, 10681, 10694, 10695, 10698, 10721 - four of which are preserved.

 

Following a derailment between Euston and Watford in the late 1980's several sleepers were stored to provide replacement BT10s on the damaged day coaches, I don't think any were reinstated into normal services but I think that one may have been converted to a Nightstar generator coach. I have a list somewhere.

Edited by Bomag
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In 1990 the Manchester/Liverpool sleeper was combined with the Carlisle sleeper which dropped a SLEP and BG at Preston, did this happen once Barrow services ceased? At this time the "Night Mail" from Holyhead to Euston still had a single sleeper in the consist and iirc remained that way until HSTs replaced all loco-hauled Intercity services on the route.

 

I think it was 92 when the Manchester/Liverpool again ran separately with the Carlisle/Preston running with extra parcels vans attached (which continued on to Scotland) and a year or so later both those trains stopped running and Carlisle was served by detaching 2 sleepers from one of the Scottish trains.

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The Nightstar generator conversions never saw their intended use did they?  What happened to them?

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As the SLEPs had a pantry (the P) and the SLEs did not, if there was only one sleeper coach on the train it would (should) be a SLEP. When there was more than one sleeper, they would normally be paired SLEP+SLE so that one pantry served two coaches.

 

Therefore it is interesting that they cancelled 26 SLEPs - presumably that would have led to a shortage of pantries compared to non-pantry coaches? Or were more SLEPs than SLEs going to be built (for the single coach scenario) and the cancellation evened the numbers out?

 

[Answering my own question: SLEPs I think were 10500-10619 (120 vehicles) whereas SLEs were 10646-10732 (87 vehicles). So still enough for SLE+SLEP pairs and individual SLEPs.]

 

On another note, some of the Mk3 sleepers ended up in preservation while still fairly young. I can remember going to Bo'ness and seeing a Mk3 sleeper in InterCity livery parked there (don't remember which version of IC livery), but looking very odd as it was sitting (perched?) on a pair of B1 bogies - presumably BR (as it was at the time) still needed all of the BT10s.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for all the responses.

 

It seems the sleepers lasted longer than I thought they did.

Edited by woodenhead

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13 hours ago, John M Upton said:

The Nightstar generator conversions never saw their intended use did they?  What happened to them?

 

I was given a guided tour of one in the 90s. Alas no cameras allowed but I was presented with an official photo of me outside it (do you think I can find it? :( ). It was at Derby where I did two weeks work shadowing.

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1 hour ago, dvdlcs said:

As the SLEPs had a pantry (the P) and the SLEs did not, if there was only one sleeper coach on the train it would (should) be a SLEP. When there was more than one sleeper, they would normally be paired SLEP+SLE so that one pantry served two coaches.

 

Therefore it is interesting that they cancelled 26 SLEPs - presumably that would have led to a shortage of pantries compared to non-pantry coaches? Or were more SLEPs than SLEs going to be built (for the single coach scenario) and the cancellation evened the numbers out?

 

[Answering my own question: SLEPs I think were 10500-10619 (120 vehicles) whereas SLEs were 10646-10732 (87 vehicles). So still enough for SLE+SLEP pairs and individual SLEPs.]

 

On another note, some of the Mk3 sleepers ended up in preservation while still fairly young. I can remember going to Bo'ness and seeing a Mk3 sleeper in InterCity livery parked there (don't remember which version of IC livery), but looking very odd as it was sitting (perched?) on a pair of B1 bogies - presumably BR (as it was at the time) still needed all of the BT10s.

All the BT10's were kept when the Sleepers were disposed of back then as they were needed for the rest of the Mk3 fleet.

 

Now who thinks Hornby would be onto a winner if they added an InterCity Swallow livery Mk3 sleeper into the 2021 releases? It would be so easy to turn out the standard issue version and the land cruise version as (I think) the only difference is that the land cruise livery ones had white roofs- as luck would have it the Lima tooling for the Mk3 sleeper has a separate roof.

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On 05/01/2020 at 19:02, Davexoc said:

 

Wasn't the demise of the Mk1s partly down to aftermath of the fatal Taunton fire?

 

The integrity fo the MK3s was tested as early as November 1983 when the up Riviera came off the track at Padd.

 

The demise of the MK1 sleeper was down to the fire at Taunton. The cause was mainly down to poor housekeeping by cleaners. They had left some of the dirty bed linen next to one of the train heaters onboard which overheated as the train headed up through Devon past Exeter.

 

I'm not sure if it was the Riviera service that came off the track though. It might have been but I do know some of them did come off the track after a derailment somewhere when the driver, who was intoxicated, failed to slow down towards a sharp curve which caused the coaches to derail. 

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I just know one thing I'd like is to see the MK3 sleepers make a comeback. Especially now there's suitable trains for them in the form of the Class 47, 86, 87 and 90. Along with the MK2f's and DVT. I got two but need two more to make things even on my layout.

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1 hour ago, nhdesigns said:

I'm not sure if it was the Riviera service that came off the track though. It might have been but I do know some of them did come off the track after a derailment somewhere when the driver, who was intoxicated, failed to slow down towards a sharp curve which caused the coaches to derail. 

 

Oh it was alright. Evening Standard 23 November 1983

 

Scan_20200110.jpg.da8c5591d98d41f22cd6ff93f495a420.jpg

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