Jump to content

Sign in to follow this  
Right Away

"Devon Belle" Observation Car - Turning

Recommended Posts

There are illustrations of the Devon Belle observation car being "spun" on the turntable at Ilfracombe, preparatory to attachment for the return working to London. 

 

However, my queries are:  After arrival at Waterloo, was the stock washed and berthed at Clapham and which turntable or "triangle route" was used to turn the stock/observation car?

 

One imagines the "fun and games" involved in detaching an individual vehicle, shunting onto a 'table, uncoupling the shunter, turning, hooking back on, returning to the train and reattaching, in the busy London area. To avoid this performance, perhaps the empties were routed onto the WLE line to Latchmere Jnc with a reversal back to Factory Jnc?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not Factory Junction. That is where the Ludgate Lines join the Chatham Lines to/from Victoria. No route to or from Waterloo there. And the Up Ludgate Line was often used to hold freight services destined for the South Eastern until a path to Brixton Junction and the Catford Loop was available. 

 

Perhaps you were thinking of Longhedge Junction, and into Stewarts Lane to reverse and proceed back via Longhedge to Clapham Junction Windsor Side? I do wonder about route knowledge for some of that. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The London end of the SW Division was not blessed with turntables. Apart from Nine Elms, the next nearest would have been Feltham. Stewarts Lane is not accessible from the SW lines other than by a roundabout route. The simple option would have been to turn the entire train by taking it round the Kingston or Hounslow Loops. Otherwise, it could have been a case of working the observation saloon down to Kew and using the triangle there, or taking up to Nine Elms. Given that the cars were all identified by loose letters displayed by the doorways during boarding (not like fixed designations of, say, an HST set) having the train reversed possibly wasn't much of a problem. It also avoided a second shunt to transpose the full brake with the observation saloon.

 

Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, jim.snowdon said:

The London end of the SW Division was not blessed with turntables. Apart from Nine Elms, the next nearest would have been Feltham. Stewarts Lane is not accessible from the SW lines other than by a roundabout route. The simple option would have been to turn the entire train by taking it round the Kingston or Hounslow Loops. Otherwise, it could have been a case of working the observation saloon down to Kew and using the triangle there, or taking up to Nine Elms. Given that the cars were all identified by loose letters displayed by the doorways during boarding (not like fixed designations of, say, an HST set) having the train reversed possibly wasn't much of a problem. It also avoided a second shunt to transpose the full brake with the observation saloon.

 

Jim

The full brake was a feature of the Bournemouth Belle rather than the Devon one. With the latter formed of a mix of Kitchen and Parlour cars, First and Third Class, Brake and non any re-formation would have caused mayhem with the seating plan ............ let's see what Julian Morel has to say in his book "Pullman! ( David  &Charles ; 1983 ) : "Two trains of up to 12 cars, each train with an observation car, were allocated to the service which ran to Ilfracombe, with a Plymouth portion. The train divided at Exeter Central. ...The seating capacity of the Ilfracombe portion - excluding the observation car - was 208 of which 138 were thirds. That of the Plymouth portion was 124 of which 102 were third class." - then, referring specifically to the observation cars - "After each trip the cars had to be turned , at Ilfracombe and at Nine Elms, since they always had to be the right way round at the rear of the train."

I think young Mr.Morel ( latterly Pullman Catering Manager ) has answered the OP's question.

  • Informative/Useful 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He has indeed. I shall have to ask a friend of mine, once the current hiatus is over, as he used to be a fireman at Nine Elms in the 1960s. 

 

Jim 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They didn't use the turn-table at Waterloo then??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was probably far easier to remove the whole train from Waterloo - to free the platform - then work the observation car back from Clapham to Nine Elms where there was a nice big 'table.

  • Like 1
  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 01/05/2020 at 09:38, Oldddudders said:

Not Factory Junction. That is where the Ludgate Lines join the Chatham Lines to/from Victoria. No route to or from Waterloo there. And the Up Ludgate Line was often used to hold freight services destined for the South Eastern until a path to Brixton Junction and the Catford Loop was available. 

 

Perhaps you were thinking of Longhedge Junction, and into Stewarts Lane to reverse and proceed back via Longhedge to Clapham Junction Windsor Side? I do wonder about route knowledge for some of that. 

Longhedge, of course. Silly me; got myself tangled up in the Battersea maze.

Thanks Ian.

  • Friendly/supportive 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, Right Away said:

Longhedge, of course. Silly me; got myself tangled up in the Battersea maze.

Thanks Ian.

You are not alone! ISTR it was part of the Stew Lane initiation, to stand someone near the electric loco shed and ask him (seldom a her!) to identify all the various lines at higher level. Longhedge box was a wonderfully quiet place in terms of trains to run - but had continuous train noises from the LBSC lines overhead and LSWR lines just behind! 

 

  • Like 1
  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the annoying issues with the Hornby Devon Belle Observations cars is the lack of a coupling! Hardly prototypical given turntable use on Southern and Kyle of Lochalsh when in use on that line! Sacrificed the lighting and replaced bogie with a Bachmann one so I can operate on my layout with T/T!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pictures of the train in the early years, when it included a Plymouth portion, always show its 4 coaches at the front of the train in both directions for obvious reasons. Turning just the observation car at Ilfracombe causes no problems with this formation as on return the Ilfracombe portion was added to the back of the Plymouth one at Exeter Central.

 

But what about on arrival back at Waterloo? Simply turning just the observation car will place it at the back of the Plymouth portion, and pictures show this consisting of a brake coach + 3 others. There is also a brake car at one end of the Ilfracombe portion. So you'd end up with both brake cars in the Ilfracombe half.

 

So turning car on the Nine Elms turntable must have been combined with re-marshalling the train as well. 

 

Some pictures of the train on the SEMG website.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.