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Pictures: a history of the Midland Pullman


The Midland Pullman is a recreation of the Pullman trains that ran on some parts of the British Railways network, writes Ian Thomas.

These trains were built in the early 1960s as a luxury business train conveying business people to and from London. They operated on the Western and London Midland regions, namely between London Paddington to Bristol and Swansea, plus a midday fill-in turn to Oxford and over the Midland mainline between London St Pancras and Manchester Central (now the exhibition centre) via Leicester and the Peak Forest route through Chinley, hence the title Midland Pullman.

MIDLAND PULLMAN.Cam Dursley en route to Penzance | Pictures: a history of the Midland Pullman
Midland Pullman at Cam and Dursley, en route to Penzance.

This, however, was a short-lived service for business travel to/from London while Manchester Piccadilly was being modernised and electrification work was underway. This was completed by 1966, the Pullman was withdrawn and transferred to the Western Region to supplement their services. In reality, these trains were the forerunner of the Inter-City 125 (HST) trains built during the 1970s, 80s and today’s Midland Pullman is just one of those, being withdrawn itself, bought up, completely refurbished to a very high standard and used for the charter train market.

MIDLAND PULLMAN passing Coaley Junction en route to Penzance | Pictures: a history of the Midland Pullman
Midland Pullman passing Coaley Junction.

A day out on this train would set you back £200 and up to £400 with full dining. The final Pullman services using these units ran in May 1973 after they became rough riding and were superseded by the new BR built Mark 2 D.E.F air-conditioned  coaches.

The pictures shown are of this weekends charter that ran from Berwick Upon Tweed all the way down to Penzance, passing through Gloucestershire on Friday April 12th and returning on Sunday  April 14th, plus a Saturday outing from Penzance to Torbay and back. Quite a weekend indeed.

MIDLAND PULLMAN passes Gossington en route to Berwick upon Tweed | Pictures: a history of the Midland Pullman
Midland Pullman at Gossington.

Pictures by Ian Thomas

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