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Met-Camm 6/8-car Blue Pullman

In the Beginning - Part 2

In May '58 the WR announced its sets would be in operation by October '59, one working the 08:45 from Paddington to Bristol (105 mins non-stop), the 11:50 Bristol to Paddington (also 105 mins non-stop), the 15:15 Paddington to Bristol (110 mins with a stop at Swindon) and the 18:20 Bristol to Paddington (110 mins stopping at Bath). The other would work the 08:30 Paddington to Wolverhampton in place of the "Inter-City" (155 mins with three stops), the 12:35 Wolverhampton to Paddington (140 mins with two stops), the 16:10 Paddington to Wolverhampton (145 mins with three stops) and 19:35 Wolverhampton to Paddington (135 minutes with one stop). This last one would run from Birmingham to Paddington non-stop in 110 mins. In the press it was commented on that these times were no quicker than the current steam ones, and that the Birmingham to Paddington schedule was only an average of 60mph.

Artist Impression of Blue Pullman

Left: An 1958 artists impression of a set. Not much changed except the headcode box was omitted, the windscreen did not have the black surround, and the Pullman logo was added.

At a September '58 press conference The LMR General Manager Mr. Blee confirmed rumours that the Midland de luxe DMU Pullman service would not begin until the autumn of the following year and revealed that in addition to a once-each-way daily trip between Manchester and St. Pancras it was hoped to run an intermediate working from London to Leicester and back. The Pullman unit would be based at Cricklewood.

Further delays saw the LMR announced that it hoped to be able to introduce the 'Midland Pullman' on the 1st January 1960.

The first set appeared from the Met-Camm works in Birmingham on the 18th October '59 for what became a very extended period of testing and trials. It's first outing was via Castle Bromwich to Aldridge and at the time the set was still due to enter LMR traffic just ten weeks later, now the 4th Jan. '60, during the major winter timetable alterations. Reports in Railway Observer at the time noted this first set as just 60090 / 60740 / 60741 / 60731 / 60091.

From the 16th November regular trial runs were done on a 62 minute schedule from Leicester to Luton behind the 08:55 ex-Manchester and back to Leicester behind the 12:25 ex-St. Pancras. Occasionally though, late running of the previous trains marred the trial schedule. The second set was completed soon after the first.

Mr AE Robson, the LMR CM&EE, was responsible for the inspection and testing of the vehicles. This gentleman had extensive experience with first generation DMUs being involved in their design, construction and testing.

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