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Author Topic: Night Riviera to be reduced for eight weeks due to engineering work - Jan 2022  (Read 3029 times)
Transport Scholar
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« Reply #45 on: January 25, 2022, 07:09:57 am »

Back in the good old days, the sleeper to Penzance ARRIVED very early in the morning at Plymouth, but a portion was detached  at Plymouth and passengers in this portion could stay in bed until a sensible hour. Much more customer friendly than the present arrangements.

Might not be allowed these days by the elfansafety though. Presumably the detached portion had no locomotive attached and therefore lacked steam or electric heat. Lighting would be limited to that available from the batteries which were HOPEFULLY better maintained on sleepers than on other stock. These days electricity is presumably also required for fire alarms, emergency call for aid systems and perhaps other purposes.

The brakes on the detached portion would be liable to "leak off" and a vehicle with a hand brake would presumably have to be included.

A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
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« Reply #46 on: January 25, 2022, 08:31:51 am »

Re: detaching at Plymouth.
There used to be a shunting loco kept at Plymouth Station for this purpose (also handling the postal, and other movements), with a shunting person. However this came at a cost to cover both morning and evening movements. Removing the sleeper portion for Plymouth saved this cost at the expense of customer convenience. The loco would remain attached to the sleeper carriage in Platform 8.
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« Reply #47 on: January 25, 2022, 09:20:27 am »

Re: detaching at Plymouth.
There used to be a shunting loco kept at Plymouth Station for this purpose (also handling the postal, and other movements), with a shunting person. However this came at a cost to cover both morning and evening movements. Removing the sleeper portion for Plymouth saved this cost at the expense of customer convenience. The loco would remain attached to the sleeper carriage in Platform 8.

Wasn’t it the case that had those savings not been made, the sleeper was in danger of being axed completely?

It would take a lot of extra Plymouth passengers, at a time when business travel is very suppressed, to make a viable business case for portion attaching and detaching to commence again.  As well as the costs Pb_Devon refers to, those carriages would also need to be cleaned, watered and any light maintenance dealt with whilst they were separate from the main train during the day.

Perhaps one for GBR (Great British Railways) to ponder in the future?

To view my GWML (Great Western Main Line) Electrification cab video 'before and after' video comparison, as well as other videos of the new layout at Reading and 'before and after' comparisons of the Cotswold Line Redoubling scheme, see:
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« Reply #48 on: January 25, 2022, 11:04:28 am »

I thought it was a bit surprising that sleeper services were expanded so much so late - up to the 1980s - before dropping sharply for the obvious reason. But that was not just the after-effect of wartime limitations. Looking for a few quotes on the subject, I was surprised to find out that all sleeping cars were first class until the 1920s. And if you look at early timetables you will find a lot of overnight trains, but few of them with sleeping car accommodation.

There were news reports of second class sleepers as a new idea in Italy and France in 1922, and at the same time making them compulsory in Britain was being discussed for inclusion in the Railways Act. Then in Daily News (London) 03 August 1928:
"Third-class sleepers | To be running in September | Coaches now being built | Third-class "sleepers" will be running on the British railways on September 24th. The work of building these coaches is going ahead as rapidly as possible, and it is expected that the initial demand from third-class sleeping facilities is one that will grow rapidly."
(Note the quotation marks, capitalisation, etc!)

Clearly the companies were not keen. You might like this discussion of the impact of amalgamation from 1927 (Hansard), as an interesting comparison with today. In it, Lord Monkswell for the opposition said:

With regard to third-class sleeping carriages, it would be indecent to expect the railway companies to abandon their first line of defence, so we are duly informed that they do not consider there is any demand for sleeping bunks of a simple type. After that we are told that third-class sleeping carriages would add too much to the weight of the trains and would be too expensive. My suggestion is that third-class sleeping carriages with three tiers of bunks of a simple construction exactly like those used in the ambulance trains during the War, should be introduced. The expense of building and maintaining carriages of this kind cannot differ appreciably from the expense of building and maintaining ordinary third-class carriages. They could be made to accommodate about three-quarters of the numbers of passengers which a third-class carriage of the same dimensions will accommodate and as the bunks would have to be reserved beforehand they could be better filled. There is no real difficulty in introducing them, and as for the absence of demand I do not believe a word of it.
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« Reply #49 on: January 25, 2022, 11:07:14 am »

Yes, even into the 1970s, there were many ‘overnight’ trains….generally mail, milk & newspapers. Twas a regular user of them in my young(er) years, returning from late-nights out!
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« Reply #50 on: January 28, 2022, 06:01:36 pm »

I cant give the exact numbers but anecdotaly its the main way for Scillies residents to go up to London .

I remember being on the sleeper as a child and my parents whispering "that's Harold Wilson.... smell the pipe smoke.... looks like his copper has the cabin next to him...."

Must have been around mid-late '80s. Seemed to be Harold Wilson took the helicopter from Penzance, whilst we were on the "Vomit Vessel"
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« Reply #51 on: January 31, 2022, 07:46:02 pm »

Read this thread and read up on the works which sound difficult but needed. Then I wondered how the sleeper met the accessibility regulations. I googled that which lead me to this page which has a spreadsheet detailing the exemptions etc.

Then I found another link via Google about the sleeper carriages, Porterbrook and accessibility. That lead me to the second document on that page

which is odd because there’s no mention of Porterbrook on it. Then I realised somebody at DaFT» (Department for Transport - critical sounding abbreviation I discourage - about) doesn’t know how to redact a document properly Shocked
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« Reply #52 on: February 01, 2022, 10:17:28 am »

And hopefully will not copy this
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