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Saturday 20 June 2009

1960s Atlantic Coast Express (ACE) Summer Train Formation

The ACE departed Waterloo at 11am until the final run of this named train on September 5th 1964. Whilst the destination of the engine was Exeter coaches ended their journey at either Ilfracombe, Plymouth, Torrington, Padstow, Bude, Sidmouth, Exmouth, Exeter or Seaton (the Seaton coach was discontinued after 1957) . The east Devon and Exeter coaches were taken off at Salisbury to continue the journey behind a Salisbury engine. In summer, coaches were split between the 11 am and an extra 11.05am service, e.g. for Plymouth, Padstow and Bude.

The composition of the ACE was complex and varied depending on the time of year and passenger demand for the service. My interest is the early 1960s and the train as it would have been seen running through Somerset to and from the west.

A representative makeup of the down 11.am ACE .
14th July 1962 as shown in 'Portrait of the Atlantic Coast Express' by Stephen Austen:

Acceptable coaches are Bullied 63' or BR MK1 or a mixture of both for later years .

1. Merchant Navy class engine
2. Brake (BSK) - Ilfracombe
3. Composite Corridor (CK) - Ilfracombe
4. Brake (BSK) - Ilfracombe
5. Brake Composite Corridor (BCK) - Torrington
6. Restaurant 2nd (RS)
7. Kitchen Buffet (KB)
8. Brake Composite Corridor (BCK) - Padstow
9. Brake Composite Corridor (BCK) - Bude
10. Brake Composite Corridor (BCK) - Plymouth
11. Brake Composite Corridor (BCK) - Exmouth (Detached at Salisbury)
12. Brake Composite Corridor (BCK) - Sidmouth (Detached at Salisbury)
13. Brake Composite Corridor (BCK) - Exeter (Detached at Salisbury)

Up ACE departing Exeter Central 12.30pm.

1. Merchant Navy class engine
2. Brake Composite Corridor (BCK) - Padstow
3. Brake Composite Corridor (BCK) - Bude
4. Brake Composite Corridor (BCK) - Plymouth
5. Restaurant 2nd (RS)
6. Kitchen Buffet (KB)
7. Brake (BSK) - Ilfracombe
8. Composite Corridor (CK) - Ilfracombe
9. Brake (BSK) - Ilfracombe
10. Brake Composite Corridor (BCK) - Torrington
11. Brake Composite Corridor (BCK) - Exmouth
12. Brake Composite Corridor (BCK) - Sidmouth

00 gauge (4mm scale) Model Sources:

Merchant Navy Class Engine - Hornby
MK1 Brake (BSK) - Bachmann, Lima
MK1 Composite Corridor - Bachmann, Lima
Restaurant - Bachmann, Lima
Buffet MK1 - Hornby, Bachmann
MK1 Brake Composite Corridor (BCK) - Bachmann, Lima
Bullied 63' composite corridor and 2nd Brake Corridor/Open - Bachmann

No one produces a RTR (ready to run) Bullied BCK* but the Bachmann 2nd Brake Corridor/Open is a close match and could be converted by applying the yellow 1st Class banding above the two windows nearest the guard/luggage area - post 1963 era, or a yellow 1 (one) on the coach door - before 1963, which is also relavant post 1963.

*Postscript: Partial Self Assembly Mk 1 BCK  is available from Replica Railways.


Jonathan Moor said...

An excellent blog on the ACE. I have made up two coaches of the train - those for Padstow and Bude, these running as a diverted working - my layout 4mm set in 1947 with a cross country route and branch of the Great Western somewhere on the edge of Dartmoor.

One observation, as you say the express had various permutations in its make up. This being so, did the Torrington coach always head up to Barnstaple Junction and then down to Torrington via Bideford? One would assume that being sent off with the coaches for Bude and Padstow from Okehampton to Halwill Junction and then up to Torrington would have been an option after the line between the two places was completed in the 1920s but given its somewhat tortuous route, perhaps not.

David Smith said...

You might find the answer here. https://shamrocktrains.com/posts/atlantic-coast-express/

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