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Severn Tunnel - Pilning to STJ car carrier service

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As the title suggests. I found this in said tome yesterday and have paraphrased it below for your collective enjoyment and, hopefully, discussion. I've opted for a typeface of the age to lend some period flavour:

 

SEVERN RAILWAY TUNNEL. Motor vehicles are conveyed from Pilning Station (Glos.) to Severn Tunnel Junction (Mon.). Telephone: Pilning 206 or Caldicot 210.

Service: - Cars and motorcycle combinations are conveyed in open wagons by certain trains only, and should be at the station at least 30 minutes before the train is due to start.

Accommodation is limited and previous warning, by letter, telegram or telephone, should reach the station as long as possible in advance, especially during Bank Holiday periods.

Solo motorcycles are carried in the guard's van of any train. Full details may be obtained from the stations or from the British Railway's Western Region Time Table.

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And from the horse's mouth (Western Region timetable, Winter service 1952/53) - don't forget to check your petrol system before boarding, how far would a motorbike go on a quart of petrol I wonder?

post-6859-0-23144300-1307956335_thumb.jpg

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So just how many cars can you get today with less than 8hp?

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Could you imagine pulling up for a trip through the Chunnel with minimal fuel on board, mind a 20 minute arrival window isn't bad by today's standards.

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Could you imagine pulling up for a trip through the Chunnel with minimal fuel on board, mind a 20 minute arrival window isn't bad by today's standards.

We have had to push cars off occasionally, when they've arrived running on the fumes from their tanks..The '20 minutes before departure' would be cutting it a bit fine on the Channel Tunnel (though I manage it often enough); give yourself at least half-an-hour.

The 'HP' used in this context was still used until fairly recently- indeed may still be used- in France to assess tolls for some bridges. However, the application seems to have been fairly subjective, as I've never been asked what the 'puissance' of my car was.

The train for the Severn Tunnel service was usually composed of a 'B-set' (or similar), along with a rake of 4-wheel 'Carfits; the whole being hauled by one of STJ's 41xx (?) 'big Prairies'

Funnily enough, I was talking about this service with my mother yesterday- although she'd never used it, her father had.

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which wasn't the easiest of places to drive through:

http://www.youtube.com/user/DeansForestFlix#p/u/48/CDtjscPwrKY

Don't forget that, until the bridge opened, there was also a ferry from Beachly to Aust:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aust_Ferry

People travelling from England to the more westerly parts of Wales would often use Gloucester-Ross-Brecon, to avoid the queues in Chepstow and the transits of Newport, Cardiff and Port Talbot.

It all seems a long time ago now, but I remember going to see the Severn Bridge when it first opened in 1966- my grandfather's family lived in the area.

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We have had to push cars off occasionally, when they've arrived running on the fumes from their tanks..The '20 minutes before departure' would be cutting it a bit fine on the Channel Tunnel (though I manage it often enough); give yourself at least half-an-hour.

The 'HP' used in this context was still used until fairly recently- indeed may still be used- in France to assess tolls for some bridges. However, the application seems to have been fairly subjective, as I've never been asked what the 'puissance' of my car was.

The train for the Severn Tunnel service was usually composed of a 'B-set' (or similar), along with a rake of 4-wheel 'Carfits; the whole being hauled by one of STJ's 41xx (?) 'big Prairies'

Funnily enough, I was talking about this service with my mother yesterday- although she'd never used it, her father had.

 

The French company Citroen of course also used it to describe one of their models - the 2CV (deux chevaux = 2 horse(s power)). Photos of the Severn Tunnel service from the early 1960s show it running with a bogie carrying vehicle and old corridor stock and for some years after it formally finished a couple of bogie vehicles remained on hand for emergency use with one still kept at Pilning.

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Don't forget that, until the bridge opened, there was also a ferry from Beachly to Aust:-

 

I recall making a trip from Cardiff - Hayle one summer, in my uncles 'combination' sat between my aunty's legs !

 

We negotiated the (very) slipway at Beachley before daybreak and awaited the first sailing of the day, in the days of the Severn King, Severn Queen etc. and for a small lad like me (at the time) it was "half a crown - sixpence time" as the ferry was low in the water, which is fast flowing and brown !

 

It all seems a long time ago now, but I remember going to see the Severn Bridge when it first opened in 1966.

 

As a pupil at Peter Lea Junior School, we were promised a trip to 'the bridge' just prior to its' opening, but the trip was cancelled due to threats made by the 'Free Wales Army' - at least one member of which, Julian Cayo Evans, got a Cardiff pub named after him ! We got a trip around the Army Apprentices College at Beachley instead . . . . . . a recruiting drive ?

 

Brian R

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I think you'll find that the passenger accommodation was a corridor brake composite. One such vehicle was booked to be sent from Severn Tunnel Junction to Newport and back for cleaning. In the winter 1955-56 timetable the clean coach was attached to the 5.30 am Newport- Gloucester on Thursday mornings and detached at STJ. The search for how the less clean coach got to Newport continues!

 

Chris

 

Edit - found it. Attached to the 6.15 pm Chepstow - Newport on Tuesdays. Did it really take a whole day to clean one coach?!

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I can remember a trip back from Hayle to Pontypridd as a 6 yr old back in '62. We pulled up at the end of the ferry queue to find only one ferry running. and father, having counted the queue in front, worked out that we would have to wait for at least two hours to cross, so off we went around Gloucester. Coming back down the other side, we tagged on to the end of the traffic that was coming off the ferry, and promptly found ourselves behind the car that was behind us in the original queue. As a six year old perhaps I should have realised that pointing this out to my father may have been a mistake, however, having learnt at least two interesting new words in the ensuing tirade it was probably worth it. Mother was not amused.

 

RichardL

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