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Saturday, 19 October 2013

YMRV* Maroon Coach on BR(S) S.W. Division - Part 4

The other 1960s train of note is the Brighton/Portsmouth to Plymouth. In fact two trains because the first that drew my attention was the Saturday only service 9.03 Portsmouth to Plymouth because, as previously stated, there is reportedly a photograph somewhere showing the 4th August 1962 9.03 Portsmouth-Plymouth service with set 875 [BSK(34251)-SK(24311)-CK(15033)-BSK(34252)] having one of the centre coaches in maroon.

For the rest of the week the Portsmouth set was added to the Brighton to Plymouth service. This train had two claims to fame. Firstly it was the longest, regularly worked route across Southern Region and secondly it was the last steam hauled service to/from Brighton because steam locomotion was needed to operate the steam heated rolling stock used on this service.

The last timetabled through service from Brighton to Plymouth was March 1967.

The train comprised 10 coaches plus the Portsmouth set at the rear.

The Brighton sets:

Set 515* [BSK(35014)-SO(3836)-RB(**)-SO(3935)***-CK(15914)-BSK(35015)]
Set 516 [BSK(35016)-SO(3837)-RB(**)-SO(3936)***-CK(15902)-BSK(35017)]

* withdrawn prior to 14th June 1965
** various numbers
*** summer only

There are four good colour photographs of the Brighton to Plymouth train on route between Brighton and Worthing in 'Southern Counties Main Line Steam' by Michael Welch and these show a six coach formation (without the Portsmouth set) in 1966. Clearly, at this date of the Brighton sets only 516 is in use, if at all because sets were disbanded in 1966. The first SO in the train is maroon and one of the photos shows another maroon, possibly CK, towards the rear. The other coaches are Southern Green.

I cannot determine from black and white photos I have seen of earlier years whether the SOs are green or lined maroon and none of the coaches reveal their numbers.

Whilst the YMRV maroon MK1 is a maroon SK (second corridor) it almost passes as an SO (Second Open). The difference being roof vents and interior.

Aside from coaches it is worth noting that the engine carried the Brighton to Salisbury 3 disk head code (bottom left, middle top and middle bottom). This was changed at Salisbury for the Waterloo to West of England code (middle top and middle bottom). However, I have seen one photo of the train on Honiton Bank with the Brighton head code still in place.

* YMRV = Your Model Railway Village part work.

To Part 5.

To Part 0.

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