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6 hours ago, Covkid said:

 

That will be why BR(WR) hung on to theirs for so long then, and didn't immediately consign them to the scrapyards. As for spending money on them fitting multi working equipment to the ex Midland units - clearly a total disaster as you report. !!!

 

 

 

 

I wonder if I'm alone around here in having actually travelled on the original Blue Pullman?   And not just once but when I and a colleague were on-loan to the Cardiff Division for over a month in 1967 the Pullman was our regular train home every Friday.  But as we were travelling in 2nd Class we always had seats in the leading power car and the power cars were reputedly the best riding vehicles in the train.  A few years later, when working in South Wales, I had a cab ride from Cardiff to Paddington in a Blue Pullman and the riding was exemplary all the way up to London including the junction at Wootton Bassett and the nasty bit of reverse cant on the Up Main Line at Friars Jcn where if you were riding on a Brush 4/Class 47 you always had the horrible feeling that it was going to come off the road.

 

The afternoon 'High Tea' menu was pretty good although I have to admit that having tried the steak sandwiches I stuck with them on all the afternoon trips back from Cardiff.  Being able to have access to those sandwiches more than justified the Pullman supplement  of a few shillings.

 

Yes the MAN engines had the usual faults of their kind with a propensity to throw oil but the train's performance was nothing to worry about when everything was working properly and the WR trains often carried a Fitter on the longer distance workings.  I know I only travelled a handful of times but all the trains I used ran punctually except on the day of my cab ride when the Canton Driver was obviously a man who knew how to read a WTT and made sure he arrived at Wootton Bassett sufficiently ahead of the Bristol train to pinch its path and get a clear run away in front of it.

 

The 'new; one is an interesting concept and I do like the exterior colour scheme recapturing the i original which was mighty impressive and so very different back in the day.  But to be honest I do wonder about the pricing?  Clearly with social distancing measures reducing the seating capacity the cost is going to rise but I really wonder just how marketable it is compared with the top level of dining experience on the various steam worked specials.  The cachet and individualism will undoubtedly help to sell the train to prospective passengers but will a diesel, however pretty, be able to compete with the real Pullman experience of a trip on the VSOE (but I presume it will be serving hot food) ?

 

 

 

 

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As much as I admire the Pullman livery, I still think the best livery ever carried by HST’s is the original BR blue/grey, and it’s a shame that BR never adopted the black and yellow on the power cars, carried briefly by 43002 but repainted into standard livery before release into traffic.

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7 hours ago, jools1959 said:

As much as I admire the Pullman livery, I still think the best livery ever carried by HST’s is the original BR blue/grey, and it’s a shame that BR never adopted the black and yellow on the power cars, carried briefly by 43002 but repainted into standard livery before release into traffic.

 

I would be nice if a company acquires some ex MML power cars and makes a set in original livery.

I understand LSLs other one is going inter City not sure which version,  I liked the one with the yellow down the sides of the power cars 

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10 hours ago, fiftyfour fiftyfour said:

Well, its his money to sink into whatever flight of fancy he likes I suppose! Pullman dining is (or was pre Covid) still available on GWR but the notion of running an all First Class, all dining service train was abandoned by the mid 1980's almost certainly never to return. The product is designed to appeal to the general public and in that respect its starting from scratch as very people alive today were regular travellers on high end Pullman trains back in the day, its beyond the pockets of most enthusiasts even non-dining where a pair of us would have to pay £880 for one of the three day trips without even a morsel of food or any overnight accommodation. 

 

Yet he already operates a regular Statesman service which is always virtually sold out.  This will be just an extension of that but will allow 125mph running so be much easier to path on the modern railway.  I have already booked a couple of trips on it  - no better way to see the Central Wales line!

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11 hours ago, The Stationmaster said:

I wonder if I'm alone around here in having actually travelled on the original Blue Pullman?  

I did a round trip to Swansea in 1971 or 2. The ride wasn't wonderful, but the experience was not to be sneezed at. I think there were four of us, all lapsed spotters, but still up for something like that. 

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4 hours ago, Not Captain Kernow said:

 

Yet he already operates a regular Statesman service which is always virtually sold out.  This will be just an extension of that but will allow 125mph running so be much easier to path on the modern railway.  I have already booked a couple of trips on it  - no better way to see the Central Wales line!

So does this replace the Statesman or supplement it? From a lay persons point of view (when it comes to the market for fine dining trains) I would have thought too many trains dilutes the market, and also occurs to me that picking up in London, Manchester or other major cities may be viable whereas starting somewhere like Ayr and picking up at rural shacks around the borders and small towns like Kilmarnock and Dumfries is going to struggle to fill 400 seats.

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31 minutes ago, fiftyfour fiftyfour said:

So does this replace the Statesman or supplement it? From a lay persons point of view (when it comes to the market for fine dining trains) I would have thought too many trains dilutes the market, and also occurs to me that picking up in London, Manchester or other major cities may be viable whereas starting somewhere like Ayr and picking up at rural shacks around the borders and small towns like Kilmarnock and Dumfries is going to struggle to fill 400 seats.

 

Manchester! As far as I can see there is only ONE pick up in Manchester in the planned /Brochured booklet. 

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1 hour ago, fiftyfour fiftyfour said:

So does this replace the Statesman or supplement it? From a lay persons point of view (when it comes to the market for fine dining trains) I would have thought too many trains dilutes the market, and also occurs to me that picking up in London, Manchester or other major cities may be viable whereas starting somewhere like Ayr and picking up at rural shacks around the borders and small towns like Kilmarnock and Dumfries is going to struggle to fill 400 seats.

 

Supplement's it. LSL Will soon have the luxury end of the charter market sewn up with the Blue Pullman, Statesman, Saphos & Brighton Belle (although not owned by him, I was under the impression that LSL will have some involvement in operating it on the Mainline) as well as his own very exclusive set. I guess you'll be able to categorise it like this:

Blue Pullman : Go anywhere dining, 125 MPH day trips. 

Brighton Belle : Southern Dining Trips, rival to the VSOE, offers it's own uniqueness being an EMU. 

Statesman : Can be either steam or diesel hauled, usually on Landcruise duties to the Highlands 

Saphos : Steam Hauled day trips.

 

 

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Being just 13 when they were withdrawn I never got to travel on a Blue (or by that time, Grey and Greyer) Pullman, but I did see them passing Didcot at speed; Getting the vehicle numbers, white on grey, was not easy. The fares for the new train do look a lot but hopefully enough people are prepared to splash out for a special occasion to make it a success. Had it been available in 2003 I might have suggested it to my boss for my 25-year railway service meal out with him, but as I am still waiting for so much as a cheeseburger I know what the answer would have been ! 

 

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26 minutes ago, caradoc said:

Being just 13 when they were withdrawn I never got to travel on a Blue (or by that time, Grey and Greyer) Pullman, but I did see them passing Didcot at speed; Getting the vehicle numbers, white on grey, was not easy. The fares for the new train do look a lot but hopefully enough people are prepared to splash out for a special occasion to make it a success. Had it been available in 2003 I might have suggested it to my boss for my 25-year railway service meal out with him, but as I am still waiting for so much as a cheeseburger I know what the answer would have been ! 

 

Hard luck - my 25 years railway service meal was enjoyed in a very goode little Italian restaurant in Swindon.  But my Eurostar (early) retirement meal would appear to have been on a par with your 25 year meal - non-existent (although give them their due Eurotunnel did treat me to a very nice farewell lunch in Lille).

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7 hours ago, johnd said:

 

Manchester! As far as I can see there is only ONE pick up in Manchester in the planned /Brochured booklet. 

Indeed there is, and none at all that pick up in Birmingham or Leeds. How much of a market there is from Barrow and stations to Hebden Bridge, or from Perth and stations to Carstairs via Cumbernauld remains to be seen. To be clear, I'm not advocating a purely London centric pick-up policy, I'm just challenging the notion that there is a market for such a thing in tiny /less affluent small towns.

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On 04/11/2020 at 10:45, fiftyfour fiftyfour said:

Did everybody get this excited 15 years ago when a rake of ex Virgin Mk2's was done in the same colour?

 

Yes - and the 47s too

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20 hours ago, fiftyfour fiftyfour said:

Indeed there is, and none at all that pick up in Birmingham or Leeds. How much of a market there is from Barrow and stations to Hebden Bridge, or from Perth and stations to Carstairs via Cumbernauld remains to be seen. To be clear, I'm not advocating a purely London centric pick-up policy, I'm just challenging the notion that there is a market for such a thing in tiny /less affluent small towns.

 

When I travelled on the Cumbrian Coast Statesman in September it picked up at Derby, Long Eaton, Attenborough, Beeston, Illkeston, Alfreton, Chesterfield, Chinley, New Mills Central and Manchester Victoria.

 

A good number picked up at every one of those stations, so perhaps they have a good idea about where their market is!

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19 hours ago, beast66606 said:

 

Yes - and the 47s too

They were done by FM Rail which I think went bust not long after the paint dried on the Mk2’s and Class 47’s.

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15 minutes ago, Not Captain Kernow said:

 

When I travelled on the Cumbrian Coast Statesman in September it picked up at Derby, Long Eaton, Attenborough, Beeston, Illkeston, Alfreton, Chesterfield, Chinley, New Mills Central and Manchester Victoria.

 

A good number picked up at every one of those stations, so perhaps they have a good idea about where their market is!

 

It's not just about those areas but the ease of access to those stations from a wider hinterland.  Plus whether it's easy for people to park their cars at those stations or get a connecting train etc etc.  I'm over my skies suggesting it but I also wonder whether the pathing means that you might as well stop anyway.  If you're following a commuter train, you might as well make a virtue out of being slowed anyway.

 

Agree that they will have way more information on their market from enquiries and bookings from their sister companies than anyone here does, unless one of their employees is a member,  which wouldn't be a complete surprise...  They'll know that customers from X which may be many miles from Y always board at Y.  If I was them, I'd use some GIS type visualisation to look at where their customers are relative to the different potential station stops as they do their planning.

 

 

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I don't know what sort of tie-in or association they have with Steam Days but that concern has a lot of experience about knowing which places work as suitable calling points for picking up business.   Clearly they know what they're at as seemingly unlikely spots keep cropping up so they are obviously commercial in business terms.

 

A good example for hinterland access is Slough which of itself sounds like - and probably is - not offering much of a market but it has an extensive hinterland going quite a few miles both north and south of the GWML extending into some well heeled locations which have reasonable road access to Slough.

 

Pathing and station capacity is obviously also going to drive choice of calling points on the busier routes.  For example Steam days sometimes use Twyford on the GWML which has totally inadequate parking capacity and limited public transport access other than by rail.  But it seems to work and no doubt makes a useful spot to lose a few minutes waiting for a suitable path or platform at Reading .  Whether it will still work in future with (makes me very) Cross rail trains chewing up Relief Line capacity is a new, and different, issue.

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Slough makes complete sense, the amount of money swilling around within a ten mile radius must be immense. As does a trip which picks up in Derby, nearly Nottingham and nearly Sheffield- tapping into three population centres that must exceed 2M. Does Ayr, Troon, Kilmarnock, Kirkconnell, Dumfries, Annan and Gretna amount to the same enabling the same sized train to be filled- that was my point!

 

Farrow understood his market better than most- nothing of his on the MML ever missed Luton Airport Parkway (for example) and this was well supported by people (like me!!) who could get there far easier than geographically closer stations and has a large car park which is cheap at weekends.

 

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5 hours ago, fiftyfour fiftyfour said:

Slough makes complete sense, the amount of money swilling around within a ten mile radius must be immense. As does a trip which picks up in Derby, nearly Nottingham and nearly Sheffield- tapping into three population centres that must exceed 2M. Does Ayr, Troon, Kilmarnock, Kirkconnell, Dumfries, Annan and Gretna amount to the same enabling the same sized train to be filled- that was my point!

 

Farrow understood his market better than most- nothing of his on the MML ever missed Luton Airport Parkway (for example) and this was well supported by people (like me!!) who could get there far easier than geographically closer stations and has a large car park which is cheap at weekends.

 


Whilst in absolute numbers, it’s clearly going to be less but I wouldn’t underestimate the wealth across different parts of the UK.  Just search for houses in any areas with criteria of over 700k!  In any event, the question is whether you can fill one train and not several on any given day.  Nor are you looking to fill the entire train at each stop.  I’d reckon they might, over a year, have more calls at Slough at other areas with greater population density but a few trains per year across to a broader range of destinations clearly makes sense to them.

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On 01/11/2020 at 10:12, phil-b259 said:

 

I did read somewhere on here that the MTU engines do not like being shut down for long periods where as the Paxman models are happy with this. Given the nature of the charter business where the train will not be used day in day out the Paxman engined power cars will be a far better choice.


the MTU engines have to be preheated before starting them up, if you don’t then they can only be started 3 times (in their lifetime) without preheat before the engine has to be stripped and examined!

 

 

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1 hour ago, big jim said:


the MTU engines have to be preheated before starting them up, if you don’t then they can only be started 3 times (in their lifetime) without preheat before the engine has to be stripped and examined!

 

 

 

Just like their maybach ancestors 

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On 06/11/2020 at 16:29, jools1959 said:

They were done by FM Rail which I think went bust not long after the paint dried on the Mk2’s and Class 47’s.

 

We did a few of the early FM tours before the coaches were repainted, the MKII's were well past their best, and I seem to recall the organisation left a lot to be desired, they remembered among my friends as F***ing Miserable Railtours...

 

9 hours ago, The Stationmaster said:

A good example for hinterland access is Slough which of itself sounds like - and probably is - not offering much of a market but it has an extensive hinterland going quite a few miles both north and south of the GWML extending into some well heeled locations which have reasonable road access to Slough.

 

 

We fairly regularly used Slough to pick up Hertfordshire/UK Railtours, it was easier to carpool from Kingston/Surbiton/Walton to Slough than get to Paddington so early in the morning. It allowed an extra hour in bed, and much more reliability than relying on the first trains into London.

 

I did look at the Blue Pullman tours, the S&C tour - 06.00 at St Pancras? Too early for the first train from Surbiton Station, three nightbus' changing Kingston, Putney and Hammersmith before hitting the tube, and arriving with about 20 minutes in hand? Are you really going to risk not catching a tour where you might have spent £800-1200 for 4 people?  then two hours on the train before the sun comes up?  Back to StP at nearly half past 10 (assuming its on time) having been travelling in the dark since just after 4pm? Hardly sounds like a good day out for Joe Public, perhaps sensible mid-summer, but not a couple of weeks into January.

 

Jon

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18 hours ago, big jim said:


the MTU engines have to be preheated before starting them up, if you don’t then they can only be started 3 times (in their lifetime) without preheat before the engine has to be stripped and examined!

 

 

Not quite. If an MTU R4000 series engine that is under warranty is cold started it adds 100 hours to the engine clock, this on an engine that gets oil changes every 1000 hours and a half overhaul every 12,500-15,000 hours dependent on duty cycle and a full overhaul at double those numbers. So there is a cost to doing a cold start but in the HST install there is no requirement to do a half-life overhaul after three cold starts, I cannot speak for other applications current or historic. If you are running without warranty then you are very brave indeed, but can cold start as often as you like and overhaul it when you like!

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