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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

YMRV* Maroon Coach on BR(S) S.W. Division - Part 3

Having discovered coaches on the SW division that were subsequently painted maroon and the coach sets that they were originally allocated to (in green) I found myself researching further the associated train services and this revealed two that were noteworthy. This posting is about the Cleethorpes - Exmouth train.

If anyone has a layout based on the south western main line and wants to run a rake of maroon coaches then here is an inter regional train seen between Templecombe and Sidmouth/Exmouth in the early 60s. Cleethorpes is a seaside resort situated at the mouth of the River Humber in the North East. Exmouth and Sidmouth are seaside resorts on the south coast in Devon. Why should a train service ever exist between the two, especially as the journey time was over 10 hours? I can only think that adventurous holiday makers in the Midlands and North travelled south because 'summer comes soonest in the south' according to one famous poster, and the reason they travelled by train was due to the poor road network. It is hard to imagine Devon residents going north was as popular, which is probably why the service only ran on summer Saturdays for two years from 1st July 1960 to September 8 1962.

Prior to 1960, and in fact from the late thirties, the Southern destination was Bournemouth West (via the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway) leaving Cleethorpes at 0657 and Bournemouth at 1005. Interesting correspondence about this period can be found on the The LNER Encyclopedia forum.

The route change in 1960 to Exmouth and Sidmouth made this the only regular inter-regional train working the main line between Templecombe and Sidmouth Junction. A Saturday only service it left Cleethorpes at 0700 travelled via the Somerset and Dorset to Templecombe, passed Crewkerne at 1600 and divided at Sidmouth junction with the Exmouth portion arriving there at 1740. The return journey left Exmouth at 1042 arriving in Cleethorpes at 2131. Information about this period can be found at the Narkive Newsgroup Archive.

Passenger coach types alternated between Eastern lined Maroon and Southern Green. For example, if Eastern coaches left Cleethorpes on a Saturday then those leaving Exmouth would be Southern. On arriving at each destination the stock was stored for the return journey on the following Saturday.

The makeup of the train was 8-10 coaches and for the Southern green formation was two four corridor sets (BSK-SK-CK-BSK) and a couple loose. Restaurant or buffet faclities were not provided! The Eastern maroon formation may have been (BSK BSK SK SK CK SK BSK BSK CK BSK).

A superb photo here of the Southern stock on the Somerset and Dorset in 1961 comprising 8 green coaches and 2 maroon. The first coach is a maroon Thompson semi-corridor lavatory/composite and the second a maroon Mk1 SO which I assume is Eastern stock. The green coaches are a mix of Mk1s and Bulleids.

Another photo here of Eastern stock in 1962 at Windsor Hill tunnel on the Somerset and Dorset.

Here is a couple of Ivo Peters videos showing green stock on the Somerset and Dorset.
2.55 time mark (Exmouth to Cleethorpes, green coaches).
9.14 time mark (Cleethorpes to Exmouth, green coaches).

If you have further information or corrections about this train please comment.

Next time, the other train service of note.

* YMRV = Your Model Railway Village part work.

To Part 4.

To Part 0.

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