DMU identification please

Taunton

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The GC lines went to ER on nationalisation but were early victims of the “penetrating lines” split whereby some responsibilities were transferred away. For the GC, in 1950 the WR took over the lines between Marylebone and Northolt Junction and Neasden to Harrow. They retained them until 1958 when the whole of the GC main line went to the LMR.

However, the ER still retained the overall operating responsibility for the route and Neasden shed remained an ER shed (in the KX district) until 1958 when it went to the LMR. Neasden was the original location the LMR considered for DMU maintenance before settling on Marylebone.

I think the line got the best DMU deal with the 115 sets. If it had been a line that was fully WR, 3 car sub sets would have been the order of the day and an interesting thought is if the ER had remained in charge. If the 1950’s KX suburban electrification scheme had taken place, would Marylebone have got their Cravens?!
I do believe the Kings Cross Cravens cars were actually ordered by the ER for the GC lines rural area, but in a change of plan before delivery, possibly the regional boundaries change of 1958 described above, were taken from there and sent to Kings Cross instead. Being of the "low density" type, just two doors per car, they were completely unsuitable for such suburban work, and the only such on any London terminus work. Possibly being short frame cars the ability to work to Moorgate had something to do with it.
 
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Clarence Yard

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Actually the ER KX Cravens were originally intended for use on the M&GN but it’s impending closure saw an end to that idea.
 

MarlowDonkey

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I do believe the Kings Cross Cravens cars were actually ordered by the ER for the GC lines rural area, but in a change of plan before delivery, possibly the regional boundaries change of 1958 described above, were taken from there and sent to Kings Cross instead. Being of the "low density" type, just two doors per car, they were completely unsuitable for such suburban work, and the only such on any London terminus work. Possibly being short frame cars the ability to work to Moorgate had something to do with it.

Weren't they confined to off peak workings? The peak workings being handled by a diesel locomotive and compartment stock, essentially a lightly modified steam era approach. I think the stock lasted until electrification and transfer of services to the Moorgate Northern City line. That was around 1977 so presumably the loco hauled compartment stock was the last surviving example by some years.
 

Mat17

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My understanding is that the Mk1 subs operating on those lines were indeed the last survivors in regular use.
 

Bevan Price

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Weren't they confined to off peak workings? The peak workings being handled by a diesel locomotive and compartment stock, essentially a lightly modified steam era approach. I think the stock lasted until electrification and transfer of services to the Moorgate Northern City line. That was around 1977 so presumably the loco hauled compartment stock was the last surviving example by some years.
No - it was a mixture of Cravens dmus and loco hauled stock on the KX suburban services at peak hours, including Moorgate & Broad Street services. The loco-hauled stock including some Gresley quad-art sets until around the mid 1960s; the latter were truly awful for passenger comfort, with even less legroom than Class 153s if passengers were sat on both forward & backward facing seats. Some loco-hauled stock also appeared on Saturday mornings.

(I lived near Harringay West, and my walking route to work crossed the footbridge at that station, which also served as a public right of way.)
 

D6130

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Marylebone was definitely WR at some point - despite what others say. I can only offer evidence from a signalling point of view but two of the four platform starting signals at Marylebone were of the WR type, as was a signal right outside the box at Neasden South (some others there too, from memory). These were probably replacements for original wooden-post signals which had aged. Also, the signal box at Sudbury Hill contained a WR-style track layout diagram drawn at Reading.
Interestingly the Marylebone lines came under Western Region control again in the late 1980s. When I worked at Aylesbury (1989-91), our divisional manager's office was at Reading, although the class 108/115 units were still maintained at Bletchley, as was our celebrity pilot - the green liveried 08 011 "Haversham" - which had previously worked at Wolverton Carriage Works for many years. However, our celebrity main line loco - the also green liveried 47 484 "Isambard Kingdom Brunel" - was outstationed from Old Oak Common and saw a lot of use on engineers' trains in connection with the Chiltern Lines modernisation scheme. By this time the old DMUs were literally on their last legs and it was very rare to be given a four car unit with all four engines serviceable.
 

MarlowDonkey

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Interestingly the Marylebone lines came under Western Region control again in the late 1980s.
Network South East seemingly lumped Marylebone services with Paddington ones as a diesel island and ordered the same replacement stock (165s) for both. Then around the same time, the idea of a regular semi-fast London to Birmingham service via Wycombe was revived, only this time with Marylebone as the London terminal.
 

Taunton

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Actually the ER KX Cravens were originally intended for use on the M&GN but it’s impending closure saw an end to that idea.
You are indeed correct. I had mixed them up with the 12 Derby units that were originally for the GC lines but ended up substantially altered on Bidston to Wrexham.
 

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