The evolution of Cross Country

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Snow1964

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I can remember all the cross country trains to Poole and Weymouth were Class 47 operated in late 1970s and early 1980s. (I used to live at New Milton, and used them to do university open days in 1981-83 and then at least once a term back from Coventry 1984-87

A few did arrive at Coventry from north behind an 85 or 86 and change locos there. The 47s would normally run round at Reading. Stock was generally mk 2b at the time, with some earlier mk2s and mk1 buffet and full brake.

I also did some from 1977 (at the time you could buy a £10 weekly rover which got myself and some friends upto Reading and we used to go exploring one week each summer as teenagers). There were still lots of summer Saturday extras then, most were mk1 hauled (by 47s without electric heat), but some oddities did turn up.

The strangest working was a Weymouth -Cardiff (via Southampton) which arrived at Weymouth via Yeovil so was a big circle, and oddly called at New Milton and Brockenhurst heading north. It only ran about 8 Saturdays per year. One day in either 1977 or 1978 it had a 31 and fortnight later a 46, my friends and I were stunned, it was the only time we got to ride behind a peak on the South Western. I subsequently heard it was a remnant of holiday trains via the Wimborne-Fordingbridge-Salisbury route which had closed in 1960s

Some of the summer Saturday extras avoided Reading and ran via Solihull and were clearly aimed more at longer distance passengers as they were much more limited stop, with stations like Banbury, Reading and Winchester being skipped.

The Wessex Scot was the longest to South Coast, I remember it as 47+12 coaches (others were shorter typically 9-11 coaches), I think it was the first regular daily train to Poole to be air conditioned. A few mk2d - 2f rakes had appeared on some summer Saturday extras 2 or 3 years earlier in mid 1980s (presumably weekday Euston sets that were spare at weekends), but I remember mk2b rakes as norm in 1986-87
 
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30907

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The strangest working was a Weymouth -Cardiff (via Southampton) which arrived at Weymouth via Yeovil so was a big circle, and oddly called at New Milton and Brockenhurst heading north. It only ran about 8 Saturdays per year. One day in either 1977 or 1978 it had a 31 and fortnight later a 46, my friends and I were stunned, it was the only time we got to ride behind a peak on the South Western. I subsequently heard it was a remnant of holiday trains via the Wimborne-Fordingbridge-Salisbury route which had closed in 1960s
Yes, it was: the Weymouth via Yeovil was a "normal" extra - at daytripper/boat train times - so interworking the set with the Bournemouth-Cardiff was a neat idea.
 

nw1

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Famously Virgin used a Deltic for a scheduled Birmingham - Ramsgate return service in 1998 and 1999. The enthusiast to normal passenger ratio on those services must have been pretty high.
Indeed, and the Deltic (Royal Scots Grey) even made it onto other Virgin workings occasionally. I recall one wet November Saturday morning in 1998 (close to end of month I think) when I got out of bed early to get my only Deltic haulage of my lifetime, via a single from Southampton Central to Parkway on the morning Poole-Liverpool.

I can remember all the cross country trains to Poole and Weymouth were Class 47 operated in late 1970s and early 1980s. (I used to live at New Milton, and used them to do university open days in 1981-83 and then at least once a term back from Coventry 1984-87

A few did arrive at Coventry from north behind an 85 or 86 and change locos there. The 47s would normally run round at Reading. Stock was generally mk 2b at the time, with some earlier mk2s and mk1 buffet and full brake.
Yes, I remember some services changing locos at Coventry from 1984. Well I didn't actually see them there, but I saw them at Stafford with an electric loco and you could tell from the timings that the loco change was at Coventry rather than New St.
I also did some from 1977 (at the time you could buy a £10 weekly rover which got myself and some friends upto Reading and we used to go exploring one week each summer as teenagers). There were still lots of summer Saturday extras then, most were mk1 hauled (by 47s without electric heat), but some oddities did turn up.
Still lots of summer Saturday specials in 1984, though relatively conventional routes e.g. Paddington-Paignton, but still a lot of 47s and 50s hauling MkIs. The summer season lasted until the very end of September (I was at Reading on 29/9/84). Nothing quite as unusual as this Weymouth-Cardiff though!
The Wessex Scot was the longest to South Coast, I remember it as 47+12 coaches (others were shorter typically 9-11 coaches), I think it was the first regular daily train to Poole to be air conditioned.
I think you're right there, the other air-conditioned newer Mk-IIs on XCs in this era were all on Brightons or Paddingtons, and in 1986-87, even one Portsmouth. (EDIT: actually I am fairly sure that the Poole-Newcastle was air-conditioned Mk-II in at least some years)

... and talking of which, here is what I remember from the 1986 timetable.

Firstly, the Brightons, as already mentioned, were diverted this year to run up the WCML. More information on this can be found at 1s76.com.

Northbound from Reading you had trains at approximately:

0940 to Liverpool. This was the 0805 from Portsmouth again; in 1986 it was diverted to Liverpool and became a 'proper' XC train again, after spending a couple of years running as a Portsmouth-Reading-Poole. Thus, Portsmouth had a morning XC again. 47-hauled throughout, even north of New St, with older, non-air-conditioned Mk-IIs.

1035 Wessex Scot to Glasgow/Edinburgh ex-Poole, retimed to run an hour later. I recall it stopping at Stafford, which has always been unusual for Birmingham-Scotland services. Stafford has never, IIRC, had a regular service to Scotland (via Warrington) throughout the day.

1140 Reading-New St Class 116 DMU, making the usual XC stops (only). An unusual one this, and not in the timetable. I am guessing it was added at the last minute, too late for the timetable, after it was realised that an hourly service from Reading could be provided by utilising a Tyseley DMU between the peaks.

1235-ish Poole-Newcastle, again running an hour later than the slot it had occupied in recent years.

1349 to Liverpool, I think. A Paddington starter, restoring mid-day services from Paddington for the first time since 1983/4 - doubtless to compensate for the lack of Brightons. Again 47 + older MkII, throughout.

1434 to Manchester from Portsmouth. This year Portsmouth had two northbound services, perhaps for the first time ever. Newer, air-conditioned Mk-II stock. Never verified it, but from the timetable it looked like it changed locos to an electric at New Street.

I am not sure if there was a 15xx this year: @hexagon789 can you confirm? It was the slot of the Portsmouth-York of the previous years. There may have been a Poole-York in this slot but I might be dreaming this. I'm guessing there was a Poole of some kind in this hour otherwise there would have been a rather long (for this time) 4-hour gap between Poole services.

The 1640-ish continued, IIRC, to be the afternoon Poole-Liverpool.

Again I can't remember the evening services.

Southbound my memory is more sketchy, but I can remember:
- the southbound Manchester-Portsmouth left Manchester quite early, 0650 or so. Think it was 1051 at Guildford so about 1015 at Reading;
- obviously the Wessex Scot and Newcastle services had corresponding southbounds. Think these were late afternoon at Reading;
- the southbound Liverpool-Portsmouth of the last two years continued to run, leaving Liverpool perhaps 1400-ish. One might thus infer from this that the Portsmouth-Liverpool and v.v. was a self-contained working, using the same coaching stock through the week. Guessing that the loco changed though (at Liverpool, a different 47 working the train out)
- the above-mentioned DMU had a corresponding southbound working arriving Reading perhaps half an hour earlier i.e. 1110-ish.

Any extra info for this year welcome :)

As I said, 1986/87 was the last timetable I remember reasonably clearly until 1996/97, but if I remember right, the impressive 2 trains per day from Portsmouth sadly did not continue, and I think both were withdrawn in 1987, if I remember right. They would return under Virgin in the late nineties, though - again lasting a few years.

Another point that hasn't been made yet is that in 1984, 1985, and 1986 all services ran via Coventry, while in 1983 and 1982, some had run via Solihull.
 
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jfollows

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1434 to Manchester from Portsmouth. This year Portsmouth had two northbound services, perhaps for the first time ever. Newer, air-conditioned Mk-II stock. Never verified it, but from the timetable it looked like it changed locos to an electric at New Street.
1M07 E315 in the Manchester area, so electric locomotive change at some point (I have a 1986-87 Manchester area WTT)

Southbound my memory is more sketchy, but I can remember:
- the southbound Manchester-Portsmouth left Manchester quite early, 0650 or so. Think it was 1051 at Guildford so about 1015 at Reading;
- obviously the Wessex Scot and Newcastle services had corresponding southbounds. Think these were late afternoon at Reading;
- the southbound Liverpool-Portsmouth of the last two years continued to run, leaving Liverpool perhaps 1400-ish. One might thus infer from this that the Portsmouth-Liverpool and v.v. was a self-contained working, using the same coaching stock through the week. Guessing that the loco changed though (at Liverpool, a different 47 working the train out)
- the above-mentioned DMU had a corresponding southbound working arriving Reading perhaps half an hour earlier i.e. 1110-ish.

Any extra info for this year welcome :)
In 1986-87 there was 1O66 06:44 E350 Manchester-Brighton but no Manchester-Portsmouth service at all. Unless I missed it, I don't think I did because I looked twice!
 
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nw1

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1M07 E315 in the Manchester area, so electric locomotive change at some point (I have a 1986-87 Manchester area WTT)


In 1986-87 there was 1O66 06:44 E350 Manchester-Brighton but no Manchester-Portsmouth service at all. Unless I missed it, I don't think I did because I looked twice!

OK thanks for that.

Maybe the morning service was a Liverpool-Portsmouth? If so, apologies for my bad memory ;) Probably because 1M07 was a Manchester I just had the idea that the southbound was a Manchester too...

There was definitely a southbound working which formed 1M07, would guess left Birmingham around 0815-0830 : anything fit the bill?

Incidentally what's the difference between E315 and E350? 86 vs 87?
 

jfollows

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OK thanks for that.

Maybe the morning service was a Liverpool-Portsmouth? If so, apologies for my bad memory ;) Probably because 1M07 was a Manchester I just had the idea that the southbound was a Manchester too...

There was definitely a southbound working which formed 1M07, would guess left Birmingham around 0815-0830 : anything fit the bill?

Incidentally what's the difference between E315 and E350? 86 vs 87?
Yup, I have a Birmingham area timetable for the same period I realise.
1O34 06:15 Liverpool-Portsmouth left New Street at 08:03, loco change at Coventry.
I'll see if I can fill in other blanks now I've dug the CL WTT out of the pile (my growing collection now requires an index!)
 

nw1

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Yup, I have a Birmingham area timetable for the same period I realise.
1O34 06:15 Liverpool-Portsmouth left New Street at 08:03, loco change at Coventry.
I'll see if I can fill in other blanks now I've dug the CL WTT out of the pile (my growing collection now requires an index!)

OK - thanks for that :)
 

jfollows

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In 1986-87 N from Reading there was: (the working timetable starts at Heyford so I give the Banbury arrival times)
1M10 06:58 Paddington-Birmingham, 08:32 Banbury, to Llandudno SO until 27/9
1M88 06:33 Poole-Manchester, 09:36 Banbury, to Blackpool North SO until 27/9
1M03 08:05 Portsmouth-Liverpool, 10:34 Banbury
1S39 08:34 Poole-Glasgow, 11:34 Banbury Air conditioned stock
1E61 09:40 SO Poole-Bradford, 12:34 Banbury SO until 27/9
1E22 10:25 SO Portsmouth-Leeds, 12:50 Banbury SO 8/7 to 30/8 Vacuum-braked stock
1E63 10:40 Poole-Newcastle, 13:34 Banbury, starts Weymouth at 09:55SO until 27/9
1M14 12:15 Paddington-Liverpool, 14:42 Banbury, starts Poole at 11:40 SO until 27/9
1M07 13:02 Portsmouth-Manchester, 15:29 Banbury
1M23 13:57 SO Poole-Manchester, 16:48 Banbury SO until 27/9 Air conditioned stock
1M23 14:38/14:40 SX/SO Poole-Manchester, Banbury 17:35 SX and SO from 4/10
1M20 14:57 SO Poole-Derby, Banbury 18:06 SO until 27/9
1M42 17:27 FO Paddington-Birmingham, Banbury 18:55 Vacuum-braked stock
(1M61 17:42 SX Paddington-Banbury via High Wycombe arrived Banbury 19:09)
1M40 17:05/17:10 SX/SO Poole-Liverpool, Banbury 19:59, SX 26/5 to 29/5 & 30/6 to 28/8, SO throughout
1M63 19:27 Paddington-Manchester, Banbury 20:56 Air conditioned stock

There was one year in the earlier 1980s when I caught 1M61 from Bicester to Wilmslow, the remnant of the direct Paddington-Birmingham service, but by 1986 it had been cut back to Banbury I see.

Southbound to Reading for completeness, for some reason the timetable this way gives times from New Street as well so I will add and give Banbury departure times:
(1V37 07:20 Banbury-Paddington via High Wycombe)
1O01 06:26 SO Wolverhampton-Poole, New Street 06:48, Banbury 07:51 SO until 27/9 Vacuum-braked stock
1O34 06:15 Liverpool-Portsmouth, New Street 08:03, Banbury 09:17, E315 to Coventry Air conditioned stock
1O03 07:10 Liverpool-Poole, New Street 09p11, Banbury 10:16 Air conditioned stock
1V52 10p11 Birmingham-Paddington, Banbury 11:16, starts Leeds & goes to Poole SO until 27/9 & A/C stock
1O07 09:02 Manchester-Poole, New Street 11p11, Banbury 12p17 Air conditioned stock
1O08 09:12 SO York-Poole, New Street 12p11, Banbury 13q18 SO until 27/9
1O09 08:12 Newcastle-Poole, New Street 13:11, Banbury 14:21 to Weymouth SO
<gap>
1O11 09:50 Glasgow-Poole, New Street 15p11, Banbury 16:21 Air conditioned stock
1V81 14:15 Manchester-Paddington, New Street 16p11, Banbury 17:17, starts Llandudno SO until 27/9
1O46 15:10 Liverpool-Portsmouth, New Street 17:06, Banbury 18:16
1O12 16:40 Liverpool-Poole, New Street 18:41, Banbury 19:46 Air conditioned stock
1V94 17:40 Liverpool-Paddington, New Street 19:41, Banbury 20:46
1V99 19:05 Liverpool-Paddington, New Street 21:13, Banbury 22:20

p - Advertised departure time 1 minute earlier
q - Advertised departure time 2 minutes earlier
 
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hexagon789

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I am not sure if there was a 15xx this year: @hexagon789 can you confirm? It was the slot of the Portsmouth-York of the previous years. There may have been a Poole-York in this slot but I might be dreaming this. I'm guessing there was a Poole of some kind in this hour otherwise there would have been a rather long (for this time) 4-hour gap between Poole services.
I'll have a look when I can get to my timetables later :)


Incidentally what's the difference between E315 and E350? 86 vs 87?
Just timing load. A coach is taken as 35 tonnes (sleeping cars 40 tonnes). So E350 is electric-hauled, 10 coaches - ie the schedule can be kept with a maximum of 10 coaches essentially.

Despite the difference in actual performance there was no timing difference between 86s and 87s until the advent of 110mph running, the original May 1974 Electric Scot Glasgow schedules were designed to be able to be maintained by an 87 on 3 traction motors without issue (3,750hp), so would be broadly capable of being maintained by an 86.
 

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Actual allowed load also adjusted down (in some cases) for electric locomotives other than 86/1, 86/2 & 87: (from 1986 CM working timetable hence references to Manchester area routes)
1629375985201.png
So E315 schedules can only be maintained with classes 86/2, 86/1 & 87. E455 schedules can be maintained with classes 81-85 if limited to 315 tonnes, with 86/3 and 86/4 if limited to 385 tonnes. E595 and E700 schedules can be maintained with any class of electric locomotive.
 
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hexagon789

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OK thanks for that.

Maybe the morning service was a Liverpool-Portsmouth? If so, apologies for my bad memory ;) Probably because 1M07 was a Manchester I just had the idea that the southbound was a Manchester too...

There was definitely a southbound working which formed 1M07, would guess left Birmingham around 0815-0830 : anything fit the bill?

Incidentally what's the difference between E315 and E350? 86 vs 87?
So, I have two Liverpool-Portsmouths i can see but northbound from Portsmouth there's one each to Liverpool and Manchester, so an unbalanced service.

As for Birmingham - there's an 0803 to Portsmouth (the 0615 ex-Liverpool), then the next service is 0910 to Poole (0710 ex-Liverpool)
 

Ken H

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couple of points
1. I seem to remember there were issues about Mk3 coaches on 3rd rail routes. They had to have 'short swing link' bogies. Think I have that right. So when XC started running HST onto the Southern, there had to be some swapping of coaches so they had a 100% compliant bogie fleet.

2. There used to be an odd SO working from Rose Grove (Near Burnley) to the SW. Paignton I think. When did that stop. And did anyone catch it ever?
 

jfollows

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Also, in 1986, the Cross Country services using the WCML were: (all with Air Conditioned stock unless noted)
DOWN
1M34 06:25 Newhaven to Manchester, 08:00 Willesden, Watford, Milton Keynes SO, Stafford, Stoke, Macclesfield, Stockport, Manchester arrive 10:41
1M50 10:15 Brighton-Manchester, 11:29 Willesden, Milton Keynes, Birmingham Area, Stafford, Stoke, Macclesfield, Stockport, Manchester arrive 15:04
1M02 10:45 Dover-Liverpool, 12:52 Willesden, Watford, Nuneaton, Stafford, Crewe, Runcorn
1M00 12:15 Brighton-Liverpool 13:36 Willesden, Watford, Rugby, Stafford, Crewe, Runcorn
1M04 13:45 Dover-Liverpool 15:55 Willesden, Watford, Stafford, Crewe, Runcorn
1M31 17:45 Dover-Manchester 19:52 Willesden, Watford, Milton Keynes, Stafford, Stoke, Macclesfield, Stockport, Manchester arrive 22:40
1M13 18:26 Brighton-Liverpool 20:21 Willesden, Watford, Milton Keynes, Stafford, Crewe, Runcorn

UP
1O60 05:20 Wolverhampton-Brighton ..., Rugby, Milton Keynes, Watford, Willesden 07:35
1O66 06:44 Manchester-Brighton (not Air Conditioned stock) Stockport, Macclesfield, Stoke, Stafford, Rugby. Watford, Willesden 09:33
1O28 07:49 Liverpool-Dover Runcorn, Crewe, Stafford, Milton Keynes, Watford, Willesden 10:32
1O29 09:25 Manchester-Dover (not Air Conditioned stock) Stockport, Macclesfield, Stoke, Stafford, Milton Keynes, Watford, Willesden 12:15
1O74 12:15 Manchester-Brighton (not Air Conditioned stock) Stockport, Macclesfield, Stoke, Stafford, Birmingham Area, Watford, Willesden 15:48
1O90 16:15 Manchester-Newhaven (not Air Conditioned stock) Stockport, Macclesfield, Stoke, Stafford, Milton Keynes, Watford, Willesden 19:01

A really good service and much quicker than going via Reading and Birmingham, but I know the services didn't last so presumably they didn't load as well without going "round the houses". As I noted, I once managed to get a ride on the electric loco in the Willesden area, probably a year or two earlier than 1986.

EDIT The working timetable may well be incorrect in the types of stock, but what I've noted above is taken from the 1986 CM WTT that I'm reading now as well as the 1986 CA WTT from which I took notes in 1986 and still have.
 
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hexagon789

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couple of points
1. I seem to remember there were issues about Mk3 coaches on 3rd rail routes. They had to have 'short swing link' bogies. Think I have that right. So when XC started running HST onto the Southern, there had to be some swapping of coaches so they had a 100% compliant bogie fleet.
Yes, due to the potential for parts of the suspension in failure condition to come within the safety envelope of the third rail on long swing-link bogie Mk3s. So third rail territory was restricted to short swing-link Mk3s.
 

Class 317

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May 1998 timetable is when Portsmouth services were restored at 3 per day as follows using class 158's.

From Portsmouth:

10.35 to Liverpool arrive 15.37.
14.35 to Blackpool arrive 20.54
17.35 to Manchester arrive 23.05.

Southbound was:

06.06 Birmingham to Portsmouth arrive 09.41.
07.41 Blackpool to Portsmouth arrive 13.32.
11.35 Liverpool to Portsmouth arrive 16.53.

Did xc serve Blackpool before this?

Also Reading services were increased with 8 extra services to / from Birmingham. Not sure if these went further North.

Manchester Airport to Scotland services were withdrawn except on Sundays. These were replaced with Hst's diverted via Manchester as follows:

08.40 Glasgow to Penzance.
08.10 Aberdeen to Wilmslow.
06.18 Macclesfield to Glasgow.
15.28 Bristol to Edinburgh.

Also a number of ECS moves became timetabled services and many services were extended in the early morning and late evening.
 

nw1

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@jfollows @hexagon789 thanks for your info re. 1986.

Couple of points:
- Cannot see that Reading-Birmingham 1140 DMU anywhere. I am certain I saw this twice, possibly three times - but it was not in the public timetable. Presumably the WTT was drawn up at the same time as the public timetable? No idea if it ran summer-only though, because the occasions I saw it were in the summer half of the year.

- Looks like there was in fact no 15xx north from Reading, and the 15xx Poole-York was a figment of my imagination, based on the previous Portsmouth-York in this slot. However there were more early evening services going north of Birmingham by 1986 compared to previous years. Presumably the elusive 1140 DMU was added, as otherwise, there would have been two daytime gaps in the service north of Reading (11xx and 15xx) comparing unfavourably with previous years.

- Looks like the start of a standardised pattern south of Birmingham at xx11 for much of the day. Not sure what happened in the late 80s/early 90s, but this slot in the hour, approximately, was used in the late 90s (early Virgin, loco-hauled/HST era; xx06) and post-Princess (xx03).
 

jfollows

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@jfollows @hexagon789 thanks for your info re. 1986.

Couple of points:
- Cannot see that Reading-Birmingham 1140 DMU anywhere. I am certain I saw this twice, possibly three times - but it was not in the public timetable. Presumably the WTT was drawn up at the same time as the public timetable? No idea if it ran summer-only though, because the occasions I saw it were in the summer half of the year.
The DMU wasn't in the WTT, correct, I went to look for it since you mentioned it.
 

MontyP

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This might already have been answered upthread, but is my memory correct in recalling that for a while, the NE-Poole service (which was only once a day for a long time) had portions from both Leeds and Newcastle, joined/split at Sheffield? Maybe late 70s/early 80s?
 

nw1

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May 1998 timetable is when Portsmouth services were restored at 3 per day as follows using class 158's.

From Portsmouth:

10.35 to Liverpool arrive 15.37.
14.35 to Blackpool arrive 20.54
17.35 to Manchester arrive 23.05.

Southbound was:

06.06 Birmingham to Portsmouth arrive 09.41.
07.41 Blackpool to Portsmouth arrive 13.32.
11.35 Liverpool to Portsmouth arrive 16.53.

Did xc serve Blackpool before this?

Also Reading services were increased with 8 extra services to / from Birmingham. Not sure if these went further North.
Thanks for this. AFAIK this was the first time XC served Blackpool, though there were services from Euston in the 1980s.

Would be interesting to see a timetable for this era if anyone has it (1997/98, 1998/99, or 1999/2000).
From memory, the service from Reading was approximately hourly, with the Bournemouth services (see up-thread) forming the bedrock of the service. These were augmented by a couple of Brightons, one the 'Sussex Scot' which I think by this time was routed via Manchester (for a while, not sure when, this went via the fast Warrington route). There was another Manchester too, I think.

There were also a good number of Paddingtons in the late 90s, more than for much of the 80s.

The Brightons and Paddingtons weren't so clockface as the Bournemouths, if I remember right, and did not exactly fill the gaps provided by missing Bournemouths at the appropriate time in the hour, but were more random if I remember right. However I do remember a clockface xx06 southbound out of Birmingham for all daytime services.

One working I do remember is an Edinburgh-Reading, via the fast Warrington route, arriving Reading perhaps 1700 or so (maybe 1506 from New St?) which then formed a Reading-Liverpool. I do seem to recall an 'XC rush hour' at this time of day with quite a few northbound services close to each other. This was unusual as few XCs terminated at Reading before Princess, most went on to Paddington.

The DMU wasn't in the WTT, correct, I went to look for it since you mentioned it.
It's certainly very elusive!
 
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edwin_m

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Actual allowed load also adjusted down (in some cases) for electric locomotives other than 86/1, 86/2 & 87: (from 1986 CM working timetable hence references to Manchester area routes)
View attachment 101300
So E315 schedules can only be maintained with classes 86/2, 86/1 & 87. E455 schedules can be maintained with classes 81-85 if limited to 315 tonnes, with 86/3 and 86/4 if limited to 385 tonnes. E595 and E700 schedules can be maintained with any class of electric locomotive.
Does the reference to "section of line" indicate that the variation of loading by class might have been different on other parts of the network?
 

nw1

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This might already have been answered upthread, but is my memory correct in recalling that for a while, the NE-Poole service (which was only once a day for a long time) had portions from both Leeds and Newcastle, joined/split at Sheffield? Maybe late 70s/early 80s?

Yes, I'm fairly sure this did run for a time, I seem to recall seeing it in a 1982/83 timetable, shortly before I started following XC closely. I have a feeling it had gone by 1983/4, or 1984/5.

The Newcastle service (with or without the Leeds portion) was 1137 northbound from Reading for quite a while, before moving an hour later in 1986 (see above).

Also, in 1986, the Cross Country services using the WCML were: (all with Air Conditioned stock unless noted)
DOWN
1M34 06:25 Newhaven to Manchester, 08:00 Willesden, Watford, Milton Keynes SO, Stafford, Stoke, Macclesfield, Stockport, Manchester arrive 10:41
1M50 10:15 Brighton-Manchester, 11:29 Willesden, Milton Keynes, Birmingham Area, Stafford, Stoke, Macclesfield, Stockport, Manchester arrive 15:04
1M02 10:45 Dover-Liverpool, 12:52 Willesden, Watford, Nuneaton, Stafford, Crewe, Runcorn
1M00 12:15 Brighton-Liverpool 13:36 Willesden, Watford, Rugby, Stafford, Crewe, Runcorn
1M04 13:45 Dover-Liverpool 15:55 Willesden, Watford, Stafford, Crewe, Runcorn
1M31 17:45 Dover-Manchester 19:52 Willesden, Watford, Milton Keynes, Stafford, Stoke, Macclesfield, Stockport, Manchester arrive 22:40
1M13 18:26 Brighton-Liverpool 20:21 Willesden, Watford, Milton Keynes, Stafford, Crewe, Runcorn

UP
1O60 05:20 Wolverhampton-Brighton ..., Rugby, Milton Keynes, Watford, Willesden 07:35
1O66 06:44 Manchester-Brighton (not Air Conditioned stock) Stockport, Macclesfield, Stoke, Stafford, Rugby. Watford, Willesden 09:33
1O28 07:49 Liverpool-Dover Runcorn, Crewe, Stafford, Milton Keynes, Watford, Willesden 10:32
1O29 09:25 Manchester-Dover (not Air Conditioned stock) Stockport, Macclesfield, Stoke, Stafford, Milton Keynes, Watford, Willesden 12:15
1O74 12:15 Manchester-Brighton (not Air Conditioned stock) Stockport, Macclesfield, Stoke, Stafford, Birmingham Area, Watford, Willesden 15:48
1O90 16:15 Manchester-Newhaven (not Air Conditioned stock) Stockport, Macclesfield, Stoke, Stafford, Milton Keynes, Watford, Willesden 19:01

A really good service and much quicker than going via Reading and Birmingham, but I know the services didn't last so presumably they didn't load as well without going "round the houses". As I noted, I once managed to get a ride on the electric loco in the Willesden area, probably a year or two earlier than 1986.

EDIT The working timetable may well be incorrect in the types of stock, but what I've noted above is taken from the 1986 CM WTT that I'm reading now as well as the 1986 CA WTT from which I took notes in 1986 and still have.

Indeed, quite an innovative service, shame it didn't do as well as expected. The Clapham Junction stop allowed for connections from south London and parts of the Home Counties. I always thought late 80s to 1990 BR came up with some interesting new services - before the recession hit

There seems to be some imbalance with non-air-conditioned coaches here, e.g. I would expect the 0644 Manchester-Brighton to then go north at 1215.

I must have seen some of these services at East Croydon, which I visited in 1986 (certainly anything calling there between around 1130 and 1800) - I have a feeling they were all air-conditioned but cannot be certain.

On the same theme, the WCML was used as a diversionary route by XC into the Virgin era. I distinctly recall using a diverted XC HST from Southampton to Birmingham in late 1997 which was diverted between Reading and Coventry to go up the WCML, via the Old Oak Common area. Another diversion employed in vaguely the same era was the Cotswold line, which I was diverted south from Birmingham-Oxford one Sunday in June 1990 (Stourbridge-Worcester-Cotswold line). I recall this day being very summer 2021-esque (unusually dull and cool) and watching a particularly good Blackadder II (repeat) when I got home. Luckily, summer 1990 was a classic weather-wise shortly after this...
 
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SouthDevonian

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Until September 1962, Devon only had one train a day that used the present XC route via Derby, the Devonian from Paignton. It was a similar situation with Dorset which had just one coach for Sheffield that was attached to the Pines Express (Bournemouth West to Manchester London Rd via the Somerset & Dorset) as far as New St.

However things were vastly different on summer Saturdays. Two books that give a real flavour of the intensive traffic in the later 1950s & 1960 and the operating complexities in the south west are: Summer Saturdays in the West (compares the all time peak year of 1957 with dieselised 1971) and the Day of the Holiday Express (1960). A wealth of operating details is contained in Xpress Publications books: Operation Cornwall; Operation Torbay; Somerset & Dorset summer Saturdays. These describe details for every train in 1957 which was a typical year up to 1962. Unlike most other railway books, these describe the railway under extreme operating conditions.

One of the most unusual summer Saturday trains was the Cleethorpes to Exmouth & Sidmouth via Lincoln; Nottingham; New St; Cheltenham; Bath; Somerset & Dorset to Templecombe and Sidmouth Jn. It only ran for 3 years in the early 1960s.

For anyone interested in trains using unusual routes, have a look at the PSUL (Passenger Services over Unusual Lines) website. This lists all such routes, for every year, from 1963 to the present.
 

jfollows

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Does the reference to "section of line" indicate that the variation of loading by class might have been different on other parts of the network?
Yes, for example (albeit from 1975) there were E600 loadings from Preston to Carlisle which limited class 86/2 locomotives to 500 tonnes down and 550 tonnes up, 600 tonnes for every other type (and I take E600 in 1975 as equivalent to E595 in 1986).

EDIT I should probably add that E595/E600 were timing loads for sleeper trains, for example. Today they're more prosaically but probably clearer something like "80-92S07" meaning Class 92 at 80mph and something else.
 
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30907

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Yes, I'm fairly sure this did run for a time, I seem to recall seeing it in a 1982/83 timetable, shortly before I started following XC closely. I have a feeling it had gone by 1983/4, or 1984/5.

The Newcastle service (with or without the Leeds portion) was 1137 northbound from Reading for quite a while, before moving an hour later in 1986 (see above).
It even predates the "regular-interval" Birmingham NS interchange, being the continuation of the GC route service I mentioned upthread with a nod in the direction of the Pines and Birkenhead!
Northbound, it was a couple of hours later (1416 off Oxford rings a bell) as long as it split at Sheffield.

From memory, the rest of the 1967-71 timetable via Basingstoke comprised a morning and afternoon Birmingham-Poole, plus a couple of Reading-Birmingham DMUs, and that was it!
(Birmingham-Liverpool/Manchester was through from Euston, like the present Birmingham Scots.)
 

alistairlees

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This might already have been answered upthread, but is my memory correct in recalling that for a while, the NE-Poole service (which was only once a day for a long time) had portions from both Leeds and Newcastle, joined/split at Sheffield? Maybe late 70s/early 80s?
From 1984 (or 85?) this was the 08.00 Newcastle - Poole / 10.40 Poole Newcastle. I think it ran at 09.40 from Poole in the first year, and perhaps also on summer Saturdays at first. On summer Saturdays it was also extended to / from Weymouth, and ran via Doncaster rather than Leeds, at least in 1985 - 86, as there was also a Bradford interchange - Poole and vice versa.

The Newcastle - Poole was mostly mark IId stock by this time, though mark IIc could show up too. Plus a mkI buffet and BG. Load 12 in summer.

Booked for a 45/1 generally north of Birmingham right up to 1988, and 47/4 south of there.

The Bradford - Poole was generally mkIIa/b/c, if I remember correctly. Often an engine change in Leeds in both directions, as well as at Birmingham (and Reading?).
 

david_g

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It even predates the "regular-interval" Birmingham NS interchange, being the continuation of the GC route service I mentioned upthread with a nod in the direction of the Pines and Birkenhead!
Northbound, it was a couple of hours later (1416 off Oxford rings a bell) as long as it split at Sheffield.

From memory, the rest of the 1967-71 timetable via Basingstoke comprised a morning and afternoon Birmingham-Poole, plus a couple of Reading-Birmingham DMUs, and that was it!
(Birmingham-Liverpool/Manchester was through from Euston, like the present Birmingham Scots.)
I remember it as the 2.17 in the late seventies, caught it regularly going home at the end of term.
 

Ken H

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Apologies if this has been mentioned already, but there some WCML - southern region direct trains via the west London line. Changed locos at mitre bridge jct. They didn't serve a London terminus so were they really XC?
 

Snow1964

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Going back bit further, I have dug out my Ian Allen reprint of the last Southern Railway timetable (6th October 1947 until further notice)

Page 491 has Somerset and Dorset, and here is the trains (weekdays Monday-Saturday), in winter timetable

Bradford (Forster Square) 21:00 Leeds (City) 22:00 York 21:32 Sheffield 23:17 Manchester (London Rd) 22:25 Crewe 00:45 Nottingham 23:55 Derby 00:45 Burton on Trent 01:03 Birmingham New Street 02:40 Worcester Shrub Hill 03:34 Cheltenham 04:09 Gloucester 04:30 Bath (Green Park) 06:55 then virtually all stations arriving at Bournemouth (West) at 11:03

Bradford (Forster Square) 07:35 Leeds (City) 08:10 York 08:55 Sheffield 10:10 Manchester (London Rd) 10:20 Crewe 11:20 Nottingham 10:35 Derby 11:10 Burton on Trent 11:26 Leicester 10:10 Birmingham New Street 12:42 Cheltenham 13:42 Gloucester 13:56 Bath (Green Park) 14:55 Evercreech Jct 15:50 Blandford 16:35 arriving Bournemouth (West) at 17:14

Bradford (Forster Square) 09:20 Leeds (City) 10:05 York 10:10 Sheffield 11:35 Crewe 11:38 Nottingham 11:42 Derby 12:35 Burton on Trent 12:55 Birmingham New Street 13:44 Worcester Shrub Hill 14:33 Cheltenham 15:04 Gloucester 15:30 Bath (Green Park) 16:35 Shepton Mallet 17:22 then larger stations arriving at Bournemouth (West) at 19:25

(Saturday only) Bradford (Forster Square) 13:30 Leeds (City) 14:37 York 14:40 Sheffield 15:37 Manchester (London Rd) 15:00 Crewe 16:06 Nottingham 16:10 Derby 16:58 Burton on Trent 17:16 Leicester 16:05 Birmingham New Street 18:08 Worcester Shrub Hill 18:50 Cheltenham 19:37 Gloucester 20:00 Bath (Green Park) 22:00 then all stations arriving at Midsummer Norton at 22:38

As far as I can work out it appears the train must have portions joined en route as they all appear to be actual times and not connecting times.

The first one was clearly overnight, but becomes a local train south of Bath, a market that seems to have been abandoned.

3 trains daily from Bradford, Leeds, Sheffield to Bournemouth 73 years ago shows how cross country evolved.
 
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nw1

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I remember it as the 2.17 in the late seventies, caught it regularly going home at the end of term.

In 1973 it was Reading 13.39-Oxford 14.16, left Poole 11.25 (source WR 1973 timetable on timetableworld.com), one of just three through services from the south coast.

From what I can make out it may have been the same slot, more or less in 1981: Reading 13.43-Oxford 14.15 (from the ABC timetable on timetableworld.com, which does not include full XC so you have to infer things a little). This was a Poole XC which did not go to Manchester or Liverpool, so it MAY have gone to Newcastle.

From 1982 I think, and definitely 1983, it became 11.37 (IIRC) from Reading where it remained until 1986 when it became around 12.40. There was an 11.35 out of Reading in 1981 but that went to Manchester: the ABC timetable shows a list of Manchester-Reading and v.v. services.

Beyond that, I'm not sure of the exact history but it eventually transformed into the 'Dorset Scot' (Edinburgh via ECML) by the late 90s (1250 out of Southampton). I presume there was a continuous Newcastle service until the Dorset Scot began?

Incidentally, generalising from the Newcastle to all the Hampshire and Dorset XC services: there were three each way in 1973. The full service was:

Southbound:
07.20 Liverpool-Poole (a long standing service still in existence, albeit in a slightly different time slot in 1986);
07.00 Newcastle-Poole
15.20 Liverpool-Southampton (another long standing service surviving in some form right into the Virgin era, although I cannot ascertain whether it ran continuously)

Northbound:
09.28 Southampton to Liverpool
11.25 Poole to Newcastle
16.29 Poole to Liverpool

As I said way up-thread, the northbound services nicely combined with the mostly 2-hourly Paddington-New St to produce an almost-hourly (with just one or two gaps) Reading to New Street service, comparable with the service pattern in the 80s. Haven't checked whether the southbound do the same.
 
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