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Met-Camm 6/8-car Blue Pullman


Before they were introduced controversy surrounded the inadequate utilisation of each of the two new units, as one complete 6-car set, including 2,000hp of traction equipment, would have to be held continually as a spare. There was doubt over whether there would be adequate custom for the afternoon St. Pancras to Leicester return fill-in trip, meaning that the economics of operating two luxury 6-car sets would depend largely on about seven hours weekday use of just one of them between Manchester and London. This opinion was expressed in the enthusiast press in editorials and letters.

The WR would have the same problem but to a lesser extent, with two operational sets and one spare. The formation of the sets allowed the sets to be divisible in half so that of the complete set not in revenue earning service at any given moment, one half could be despatched to works for necessary maintenance and overhaul, leaving the other half idle to serve as spare. This was an approach taken by overseas railways.

Each Midland set would only be used 5 days in every 14, and the WR ones 10 in each 21. If there had been no spare sets, the LMR & WR vehicles would still be out of use from 2 days in every 7, considered to be ample time for servicing.

There was also criticism of the timings of the proposed services in the railway press of the "Midland Pullman". Departure from Manchester was originally to be at 09:00 with arrival in London at 12:15, too late for breakfast and too early for lunch meaning that the two kitchens on the set would be under-used. Regret was expressed that the Manchester morning service was not run one hour earlier. This would have enabled business men to visit their offices in London before keeping luncheon appointments. An 08:00 start was not seen as too early and would likely have been appreciated by the business community. There was also concern for the future for this service and the proposed Paddington-Birmingham-Wolverhampton service because of the electrification between Euston, Birmingham and Manchester.

Not long after the sets were introduced new Pullman coaches were introduced in the ER, and this caused a bit of debate over why MkI based vehicles were used. The Blue Pullman sets were always quoted as experimental yet the ER did not wait to see the results of the experiments before ordering new stock.

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