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Met-Camm 6/8-car Blue Pullman

In the Beginning (cont.)

An inaugural run took place between London and Leicester & return on the 1st July '60 when a number of guests of the LMR and the Pullman Car Co. Ltd were given an opportunity to experience the high standards of comfort and excellent running properties of these six coach trains.

A WR set was noted out on a trial run from Saltley to Mangotsfield on the 3rd February (photographed in Trains Illustrated April 1960) and the three WR sets were all completed by the early summer, with the intentions of starting services on the 4th July subject to the staff difficulties being resolved. The proposed timings at this time were:

Bristol 07:45, non-stop to Paddington arr. 09:35
Paddington 10:05 to Bath (11:40/11:43) to Bristol arr. 12:00
Bristol 12:30 to Bath (12:43/12:45) to Paddington arr. 14:25
Paddington 16:55, non-stop to Bristol arr. 18:45.

(It was noted once more with regret in the press that the non-stop trips took 110mins, five minutes more than 'The Bristolian' on which no supplement was payable. They were thought to be capable of covering the non-stop run in 87 mins, and with 8 mins recovery time would allow a schedule of 95 mins, 5 mins faster than the previous summers 100 min 'Bristolian'.)

Wolverhampton 07:00, stopping at Solihull and Leamington, arr. Paddington 09:35
Paddington 12:10 to Leamington (13:34/13:37) to Birmingham arr. 14:05

(The 84 min run from Paddington to Leamington was the fastest ever scheduled between these points).

Birmingham 14:30 to Leamingont (14:53/14:55) at Paddington arr. 16:25
Paddington 16:50, stopping at Leamington, Solihull and Birmingham, arr. Wolverhampton 19:20

(In view of the fact that it is the Birmingham businessman who have been demanding a fast morning service to London, it was surprising that the up 'businessman's train' should take 95 mins to run non-stop from Leamington to Paddington (a minute longer than the steam hauled 'Cambrian Coast Express') whereas the 12:10 from Paddington performed the journey in 84 mins).

This timetable required numerous alterations to other trains, in particular on the Bristol main line. The continuing staff problems meant their introduction was postponed until the 12th September when the winter timetable came into operation.

Set 60096 / 60646 / 60736 / 60746 / 60747 / 60737 / 60647 / 60097 appeared on public display at Paddington, and there was a WR press demonstration run from Bristol to Bath on the 6th September 1960, and one from Wolverhampton to Princes Risborough the following day. Details about the latter can be found here.

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