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Met-Camm 6/8-car Blue Pullman


In the Beginning - Part 3

Blue Pullman

Rough riding was soon identified as a major fault and the cars received modifications to the bogies. It was never completely cured though, and throughout their lives this was to be continually commented on. While this design of bogies was used on the continent with outstanding results, Met-Camm had changed the size of the wheel, and in later years this was given as a possible explanation for the trouble.

Teething problems continued, and the 4th Jan. introduction date passed. Although paths had been made for it in the January working timetable, the introduction had by now moved to April. The sets were moved to Derby for further trials and crew training. The second set (60092/3, 60732/3/4, 60742/3) was noted at Derby Diesel shed on 29th Feb. A set travelled to London to take the Minister of Transport from Cricklewood to St.Albans and back on the 21st March '60 in connection with visits to some LMR installations in the London area.

In April the first Midland set was noted outside Met-Camm's Saltley works in the company of the second WR set, containing 60096/7, 60646/7, 60736/7 and 60746/7.

There was alterations to the guard's van doors around this time, with a small extra window being fitted on the left-hand doors.

Some official pictures of a set were taken on the Cambridge-Kettering branch on the morning of the 20th April '60, a trip which also doubled as a trial run. It was the late spring of 1960 before the Chief Mechanical Engineer of the BTC accepted the sets (in the BTF film a timing sheet is shown marked "Completion of Acceptance Trials and Driver Training Programme" for 60092/3, 60732/33, 60742/3 dated April 11/12/13th), and the new date for traffic was announced as the 4th July.

On the 25th April the Midland sets began a new series of trials, leaving Cricklewood each morning ahead of the 'Thames-Clyde' and returning there about 18:10 in front of the 'Palatine'.

On the 29th May '60 a Midland set formed 60092 / 60742 / 60743 / 60732 / 60093 was at Marylebone for official photography.

In November '59 the Pullman supplements (single) for the train had been quoted as going to be 18s between London and Manchester and 10s between London and Leicester. In June '60 the LMR announced that bookings were now being taken for the "Midland Pullman" which now had a Pullman supplement between London & Manchester of £1 each way.

An 8-car WR set could be seen in the Met-Camm works alongside Saltley station from mid-January '60, and it was still there on the 14th Feb. The train made several runs during February (including the 3rd), and it was seen passing through Barnt Green and is also believed to have worked to Bristol and back (via the Midland route) at this time. On the indicator blind stations noted included Birmingham (Snow Hill), Knowle and Dorridge, Leamington Spa, Paddington and Bristol (TM). The set included 60094 / 60734 / 60644 / 60645 / 60735 / 60745.

On Friday June 24th 1960 one of the sets went on a test run between Marylebone and High Wycombe. Met Camm played host on the trip to a number of guests on the trip with home and overseas railway interests. The smoothness of the ride (!!!) of the WR 8-car set was commented on, and 85mph was made on the way down and 90mph on the return journey. Many congratulatory comments were made on the internal decor and comfort of the coaches, and about the smoothness of acceleration and deceleration, particularly from the technical passengers. A list of the guests invited can be found here.

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