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Nearholmer

Met. Pullmans to Verney Junction

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Posted (edited)

There is always an RMWeb member who knows, and I suspect that on this topic there might be one who wrote the book on this subject ........

 

I've been trying to make sense of the history of the train services on the Aylesbury to Verney Junction route, and to work out where the two Met Pullman cars fitted into the story, without much success.

 

On the disused station website for Verney Junction there is a timetable for c1900, which shows a roughly 2-hourly slow service VJ to Baker Street - this was before the Pullmans and at that stage there were no GCR trains (I think they started in 1902).

 

Bradshaw for April 1910 (after the Pullmans arrived on the Met, I think) shows again a roughly 2-hourly service, but the second Up train is a "fast", running non-stop after Aylesbury to Marylebone, so a GCR service, and there is a return late afternoon GCR service. But, there is no Met fast service, they are all slows (some very slow!), and no mention of Pullmans.

 

So, when did the Pullmans start running from VJ, and did the Met run a fast service from there?

 

The GCR had a beautiful 12-wheel driving trailer coach that was used to form some of the service pattern, shuttles from Aylesbury, right through to it ceasing in 1936, which I only mention because I like it!

 

Thanks in advance for any clues, Kevin

 

 

Edited by Nearholmer
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Funnily enough I just read about this. If you have the book Pullman Pride there’s a wee section in there about the Met Pullmans. It’s says Pullman car “Mayflower” went into service on 10th June 1910. There’s also a working timetable for 1939 if that’d be any use. PM and I can photo it for you. 

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I can't give a proper response immediately - checking required for a proper response in due course.  My recollections, from when I was approached to answer this question before,  are that Verney Junction had very little Pullman service over the years.  I remember checking samples of 1919 and late 1920s-early 1930s Working Timetables and it seemed Quainton Road was the furthest extremity for inbound Pullman workings.  Outbound workings didn't seem to go beyond Aylesbury.

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Posted (edited)

Nightstar

 

Excellent. And since I don't have the book, yes, please!

 

So, into service just after the date of the copy of Bradshaw that I have.

 

Engineer

 

Thanks. I've been told that the Up Pullmans were not staffed until the train got to QR, but were part of the train all the way from VJ. All in all a bit of a mystery.

 

Kevin

Edited by Nearholmer

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As that part of the countryside is still very quiet today with lonely looking cows watching you walk the track, (what's left of it)  it is possible that the coaches were not passengered either for that part of the journey. Or if you were the passenger from Verney Junction would you get in the habit of having a snooze until the kettle boiled on the approach to Aylesbury.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Trog said:

As that part of the countryside is still very quiet today with lonely looking cows watching you walk the track, (what's left of it)  it is possible that the coaches were not passengered either for that part of the journey. Or if you were the passenger from Verney Junction would you get in the habit of having a snooze until the kettle boiled on the approach to Aylesbury.

 

So one's VJ - QR daily commute could be by Pullman but dodging the supplement? Or were the cars unlocked by the staff boarding at QR?

Edited by Compound2632

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The only thing that ever commuted from VJ to QR was a cow, or possibly a sheep. 
 

As Trog says, this a quiet district.

 

My working assumption is that the Met hoped to turn it into an outer Metroland, but that the powerful local landed interests stomped on that idea.

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Posted (edited)

With limited time, progress made on analysis of Pullman workings at several moments, using various sources including the Jackson Metropolitan Railway history and some Working Timetables.  As this is an analysis and involves transposition of information, there may be errors.  

 

01/06/2010  Pullman services commenced

 

October 1911
Morning Pullman trips started from Aylesbury and Chesham.  Verney Junction outbound and return trips included.
Saturdays only:  Liverpool Street 1359 depart to Verney Junction 1619 arrive
Saturdays only:  Verney Junction 1800 depart to Baker Street arrive 2010
Saturdays excepted:  Liverpool Street 1814 depart to Verney Junction  2020 arrive
Saturdays excepted:  Verney Junction 2115 depart to Baker Street arrive 2317

 

WT 113 18/11/1912
Verney Junction had one Pullman service per weekday.  Each Pullman was assigned its own working

 

Galatea MF and Saturdays working
Aylesbury depart [Pullman empty] 0753 arrive 0748 Quainton Road
0808 depart Quainton Road arrive Liverpool Street 0956
Trips during the day to Aylesbury, etc.
MF 1814 depart Liverpool Street and return 2115 Verney Junction to Baker Street
Saturday 1359 depart Liverpool Street and return 1805 Verney Junction to Baker Street

 

Mayflower - MF and Saturdays working
Aylesbury depart empty 0624 arrive 0714 Chesham
0855 depart Chesham arrive Liverpool Street 1005
Trips during day to Harrow and Aylesbury, etc

 

 

29/01/1917
Morning Pullman trips were from Quainton Road and Great Missenden.  Verney Junction trips included:
Saturdays excepted:  Liverpool Street 1814 depart to Verney Junction 2023 arrive
Saturdays excepted:  Verney Junction 2114 depart to Baker Street arrive 2317

 

 

WT 154  13/01/1919
No Pullman trips to Verney Junction.  Timetable detail and notes reveal that the named paths [Mayflower and Galatea] were designed to exchange actual vehicles each day during the week.  Between trips, trains move empty between City termini and Neasden

 

Mayflower - MF and Saturdays working

Pullman [empty] coupled into Down train 27 at Aylesbury depart 0730 arrive 0743 Quainton Road and forms 0801 departure
Up train 27 0801 depart Quainton Road arrive Aldgate 0957.  All stations to Chorley Wood and Chenies, then Northwood, Wembley Park for loco change, Baker Street and all stations to Aldgate.
MF timetable has Chesham pm trip.  All stations to Baker Street, Wembley Park for loco change, Pinner, Northwood, Rickmansworth and all stations to Chesham.
Saturday Only has afternoon and late evening trips to Aylesbury
Saturdays Excepted finishes Neasden 2212, Pullman to be formed in next day 0738 departure Wembley Park to Great Missenden
Saturdays Only finishes Aylesbury 2412, Pullman to be formed in 0730 departure

 

Galatea MF and Saturdays working
Pullman [empty] formed into Down train 28 Wembley Park depart 0738 arrive 0832 Great Missenden to form 0826 departure
Up train 28 0826 depart Great Missenden arrive Liverpool Street 1040
Saturdays Only Early afternoon trip to Aylesbury
Saturdays Excepted finishes 2436 Aylesbury.  Pullman to be formed into next day 0730 departure
Saturdays Only finishes 1334 Aylesbury.  Pullman moved Aylesbury 2007 to Great Missenden 2029 in readiness for Monday working

 

 

WT 33 13/03/1933
No Pullman trips to Verney Junction.  Timetable describes No.1 and No.2 services for the two Pullmans.  Between trips, trains move empty between City termini and Neasden

 

No.1 Service Saturdays Excepted
[Monday only] Train 98 [5x coaches + Pullman] Depart Neasden 0544 to Baker Street, then to Aylesbury arrive 0718, then to Quainton Road.  Pullman empty throughout.
[Except Mondays] Pullman [empty] and 2x additional coaches coupled to Down train 98 at Aylesbury depart 0732 arrive 0744 Quainton Road and forms 0809 departure
Up train 98 0809 depart Quainton Road arrive Liverpool Street 0953
Late afternoon trip Aldgate to Amersham, evening trips Baker Street to Chorley Wood and Chenies then Baker Street to Aylesbury, finish 2519 to form next day 0912 departure
No.1 Service Saturdays Only
Pullman [empty] coupled into Down train 98 at Aylesbury depart 0732 arrive 0744 Quainton Road and forms 0809 departure
Up train 98 0809 depart Quainton Road arrive Liverpool Street 0953
Afternoon trip Aldgate depart 1333 to Chesham 1446, returns Sunday depart 0730 to Neasden, for Monday 0544 departure

 

No.2 Service Saturdays Excepted
Up train 100 0912 depart Aylesbury arrive Liverpool Street 1041
Down train depart Liverpool Street 1730 to Aylesbury arrive 1858
No.2 Service Saturdays Only
Pullman coupled into train 100 at Aylesbury, depart Up 0912 to Liverpool Street arrive 1041
Afternoon trip Liverpool Street 1258 to Aylesbury arrive 1433.   After arrival, Pullman removed, to be added later to train 96
Evening trip train 96 Aylesbury depart 2017 to Baker Street 2140
Late evening trip Baker Street depart 2206 to Chorley Wood and Chenies arrive 2248
Chorley Wood and Chenies depart 2253 to Baker Street arrive 2341
Baker Street depart 2400 to Aylesbury arrive 2519, to form Monday 0912 Up train

 

 

WT 69 17/7/1939
No Pullman trips to Verney Junction.  Timetable describes No.1 and No.2 services for the two Pullmans.  Between trips, trains move empty between City termini and Neasden

 

No.1 Service Saturdays Excepted
[Monday only] Train 118 Depart Neasden 0532 to Baker Street, then to Aylesbury arrive 0721.  Pullman empty throughout.
[Except Mondays] Pullman [empty] coupled into Down train 118 at Aylesbury depart 0824 arrive Liverpool Street 0952 1/2
Late afternoon trip Aldgate to Amersham, evening trips Baker Street to Amersham and to Aylesbury, finish 2522 to form next day 0910 departure

 

No.2 Service Saturdays Excepted
Up train 120 0910 depart Aylesbury arrive Liverpool Street 1039 1/2
Down train depart Aylesbury 1732 1/2 to Aylesbury arrive 1905

 

No.1 Service Saturdays Only
Pullman [empty] coupled into Up train 118 at Aylesbury depart 0824 to Liverpool Street 1039 1/2
Afternoon trip Aldgate depart 1330 1/2 to Chesham 1450, returns Sunday depart 0730 to Neasden, for Monday 0532 departure

 

No.2 Service Saturdays Only
Pullman coupled into train 120 at Aylesbury, depart Up 0910 to Liverpool Street arrive 1041
Afternoon trip Aldgate 1306 to Aylesbury arrive 1438.   After arrival, Pullman removed, to be added later to train 115
Evening trip train 115 Aylesbury depart 2017 to Baker Street 2148
Late evening trip Baker Street depart 2158 to Amersham arrive 2252
Amersham depart 2301 to Baker Street arrive 2353
Baker Street depart 2406 to Aylesbury arrive 2521, to form Monday 0910 Up train

 

Edited by Engineer
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That is absolutely marvellous “gen”.

 

Many thanks indeed for all of the work that must have gone into compiling it.

 

Kevin

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Thanks. My knowledge related more to the Pullman cars as vehicles than to their perambulations.

 

one little curiosity of their operation was that on occasions when either Pullman was unavailable, the substitute was the Rothschild saloon, and because of its greater length, one of the Dreadnoughts in the set had to be swapped out for a shorter Bogie stock carriage.

 

 The one aspect of the Pullman cars' operation that does puzzle me is their inclusion in the special opening train for the Stanmore branch, as both they and the Rothschild saloon, which was also in the train, were vacuum braked, whereas the two motor coaches were MW stock, which was air braked. The obvious course of action would have been to use a pair of the MV stock motor coaches, as these had the requisite side buffers, screw couplings and vacuum brakes as they were designed to work with modified steam stock.

 

Jim

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Posted (edited)

With a little more time, I've studied more of the relevant services and sources that may help.  It may be that the original question, and some of the side comments, still need closure.  

 

I've had quick looks at other sources and at Pullman workings for years 1921 and for 1926 and thereafter, to look for changes in approach, as follows:

Pullman Car workings were reduced to one car on 7 August 1917 and restored to two-car workings fron 25/2/1918.

 

1921 workings look, superficially, very similar to 1919 for trips, paths and timings.


The second supplenent to the 1926 WT, dated 1 November, retimes Inbound train 90 [0809 Quainton depart] with the aim of passing Northwood [previously a calling point].


There are clues in the Metropolitan GMs circulars that 1926 was a tough time all round with rising costs.  Further changes, simplifications and shifts in services followed in subsequent years.


The 11 July 1927 WT has broadly familiar workings for two Pullman Cars.


The 1 May 1928 WT has a single Pullman working, named Mayflower.  Looking superficially at Saturdays Excepted, this has the morning trip Quainton Road to Liverpool Street, then Aylesbury, Baker Street and stow at Neasden.  The pm trips were Liverpool Street, Aylesbury, Baker Street, Chorley Wood and Chenies, Baker Street and Aylesbury, finishing 2519 with the Pullman detached and stabled to join the 0730 Down.  The Saturdays Only working is quite similar in pattern, but middle day trips adjusted for the Saturday return peak.

There is no overt explanation for the change and we could speculate many reasons,  As in 1917, it may simply be hard times.   The Galatea or No. 2 working is relatively less active than its companion, so may have been curtailed, or the travel market may have changed.  Given that there were two Pullmans plus the Rothschild Saloon as cover, I think it's unlikely that the change was forced by the non-availability of sufficient vehicles.


The 1 October 1929 Working Timetable returns to a Two-Pullman Car pattern, and is the first to designate the published two SE + SO workings as No. 1 and No. 2.  Trip patterns are broadly familiar but this is the first instance where the No.1 service has the Pullman Car in the train consist [albeit Empty] from Neasden 0538 to Quainton Road 0742.  This sets the style and format for subsequent publication of Pullman Car workings.

 

 

The question of Pullmans serving Verney Junction:
Workings from the start until about 1918 show one instance of an outbound trip to Verney Junction at the end of a working day [Saturday being an earlier finish of work than MF].  After a fairly substantial layover, 101 minutes in one instance, the train returns inbound as a Pullman service.  

 

Even though the service pattern evolves over time, there is solid evidence from various Working Timetables that at least one of the Pullmans spent overnights at Aylesbury, even after the end of Metropolitan services further North.  

 

I acknowledge that Working Timetables are not the absolute and perfect statement of what goes on around the railway - I can remember instances of variations on the ground for practicality, service regulation or local optimisation.  So, it could theoretically be possible for a Pullman to find its way to Verney Junction for overnight - attachment to a Goods working from Aylesbury may be one option to consider but there don't seem to be footnotes or column notes to support this.  However, the Inbound morning Pullman service starting from Quainton Road was variously 0801 or 0809, getting to the City just before 1000.  That train originated from Neasden a little after 0530, and there was not sufficient time in the schedule to extend the train to Verney Junction and return to Quainton with added Pullman.

 

The early am travel option from Verney Junction does need exploring.  I sense that, for the service over the Verney Junction route, the original questioner will need little more detail from me except by request.  In the January 1919 timetable it is shown as a GC service, nominal interval 1.5 to 2 hours during the weekday between Aylesbury and VJ, though not running at times when the scheduled Metropolitan pm service covered the route.  It looks as if this 'GC' service originated on a Weekday from Aylesbury at about 0640 and its first return trip from VJ, depart 0727, terminates short at Quainton Road at 0750 and returns to VJ at 0808, so providing a two-way through connection with train 27.  

 

As for commuter use of the Inbound service, I remembered mentions of this and now have found a couple of references, admittedly second-hand or third hand. Closest to source is a short article by C. Gooch and E. J. S, Gadsden, reporting their visit to Sir Harry Verney at Claydon House.  He was the powerful local landed interest for the area and had long-standing close personal connections with the Metropolitan Chairman.  The Verney family owned the land served by the railway, selling a small portion to the Metropolitan to enable its presence at Verney Junction.  Sir Harry was a commuter user of the railway and was, from 1920 to 1929, a Director of the Metropolitan.  The article reports Sir Harry as saying:  "... I travelled each day from Grandborough Road, and was always the first passenger in the Pullman Car, quite often the only one on the train as far as Aylesbury."  These words may be interpreted either that the morning Inbound Pullman Train consistently served Grandborough [albeit off timetable] but it could be simply that the distinguished traveller made the one-station hop from Grandborough to Quainton and was able to transfer to the London train with freedom to enjoy any seat in the Pullman Car.

 

I do recall other references and images which would enable more comment on train consists related to Pullman workings, and on using a Pullman and the Rothschild Saloon in the Stanmore opening train.  These will take a long while to unearth, so I'll avoid opening a rolling stock discussion here where we concentrate on operational and business matters.

Edited by Engineer
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Once again, many thanks for that comprehensive briefing.

 

Kevin

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On 29/05/2020 at 12:58, Nearholmer said:

The only thing that ever commuted from VJ to QR was a cow, or possibly a sheep. 
 

As Trog says, this a quiet district.

 

My working assumption is that the Met hoped to turn it into an outer Metroland, but that the powerful local landed interests stomped on that idea.

 

I'm not totally convinced that the Met actually thought about it that much to be honest. Ironically the local landed interests are these days quite keen on the idea of astroturfing the place with houses off the back of East West Rail.

 

I think insofar as the Met consciously thought about what it was doing at all (certainly north of Aylesbury) it's more likely that this was mostly one of Watkin's cunning plans to get through to the north (remember when the Met's purchase of the line went through it was being discussed that Baker Street would be the London terminal of what would become the GC).

 

The Met may well have (later) hoped to build "outer Metroland", but I reckon initially it was a white elephant designed to do nothing more than guarantee the MS&L's future path to London.

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Yes, this has been chewed-over at length in the ‘Varisty Line’ thread and my ‘Buckingham Branches by Bike’ thread, and there was definitely a ‘pushing north’ strand to it.

 

Perhaps I get tricked by the fact that the white elephant stations looked so entirely suburban.

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