Victoria to Dover Boat Train 1992

jfollows

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As an aside : do you have working, or public, timetables for the South Western division for many/most of the years 1973/4 to 1980/1 inclusive? Or around 1993/4 or 1994/5, years which I have half-forgotten the pattern? Would be interesting to see how the services changed during this period though obviously it would need a new thread!
Currently (all working timetables): (1967), 1974 suburban, 1979 main, 1988 main.
On order: (as in, I'll get them in a week or so) 1981 & 1992 main
I lived in/around Portsmouth 1984-1994 with about 3 years absent in Boulder, CO during the period. Some of this near Fareham so I used the service via Eastleigh a lot, then later in Clanfield from where I drove either to Petersfield or Winchester, the latter because it had more interesting trains and was a nice drive over Old Winchester Hill anyway in my Capri 2.8i...... or my Mustang GT after I came back from Colorado.
If you start a new thread I'll contribute to it as much as I'm able, for sure.
 
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AlbertBeale

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The SW main line had a tradition of this, overnight/early morning services from Waterloo to Portsmouth (for the Navy) and Aldershot (for the Army), up to several of each on Sunday nights/Monday mornings at the end of weekend leave, were a longstanding feature. Presumably their times were made known to the military, normal ticketing applied, they were on the Waterloo departure board, but not in the public timetable.

Waterloo has often been a favourite place for Londoners wanting to leaflet members of the military - plenty of "customers" at times.
 

nickw1

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Currently (all working timetables): (1967), 1974 suburban, 1979 main, 1988 main.
On order: (as in, I'll get them in a week or so) 1981 & 1992 main
I lived in/around Portsmouth 1984-1994 with about 3 years absent in Boulder, CO during the period. Some of this near Fareham so I used the service via Eastleigh a lot, then later in Clanfield from where I drove either to Petersfield or Winchester, the latter because it had more interesting trains and was a nice drive over Old Winchester Hill anyway in my Capri 2.8i...... or my Mustang GT after I came back from Colorado.
If you start a new thread I'll contribute to it as much as I'm able, for sure.

OK great, have started said new thread.

The SW main line had a tradition of this, overnight/early morning services from Waterloo to Portsmouth (for the Navy) and Aldershot (for the Army), up to several of each on Sunday nights/Monday mornings at the end of weekend leave, were a longstanding feature. Presumably their times were made known to the military, normal ticketing applied, they were on the Waterloo departure board, but not in the public timetable.

Interesting, never knew these existed but at these times, I would never have noticed them anyway.

I do remember there was a Portsmouth-Leeds FO timetabled service formed of a 33 (maybe only to Birmingham) + MkIs, returning Sunday night. This was apparently for navy officers wishing to spend the weekend away.

I did occasionally see formations of CIG/VEPs go up and down the Portsmouth Direct at unscheduled times, though wasn't close enough to see if they had passengers or not so may have been ECS movements. Think there was an 'up' one around 1800-1900 through Haslemere in the early-mid 80s, which seems an unlikely time for an ECS (going against the peak flow) though can't remember whether I saw it just the once, or two or three times.
 
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Gloster

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Right up into the 1980s on Monday mornings the 02.45 Waterloo-Bournemouth included three BSK (1980 carriage working) which were detached at Eastleigh and ran to Portsmouth Harbour as the first (publicly advertised) stopper. They were presumably intended for RN personnel returning off leave, but I think they also carried the Fareham papers. On other days there was just a single van that ran through, having been attached to a BSK at Eastleigh.
 

MotCO

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Off on a slight tangent…I wish I could find it online again, been looking all over for it…I remember the account of an old BR guard based at Grove Park in the 80s, and one of the more unusual turns at the time, was to work a series of Evening Commuter Trains out of London, then followed by the “Hoverspeed” express from Dover Priory to London Victoria. He quite often used to swap for that duty if he was doing Late Turn, as the other guards didn’t like doing it.

In April 1993, Metrobus of Orpington started operating a coach service between Dover and Victoria on behalf of Hoverspeed, which lasted until 1998 (or at least that was when the coaches were repainted into fleet livery). Did this replace the Hoverspeed express?

The service was flexible depending upon booked foot passenger numbers; there were four special liveried coaches, but other coaches in fleet livery assisted at times.
 

Route115?

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As a matter of interest, were there many relief trains at busy times and if so how were they east to resource - stock and traincrew?
 

30907

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As a matter of interest, were there many relief trains at busy times and if so how were they east to resource - stock and traincrew?
Yes, certainly well into the 70s. Being holiday traffic they would have mostly been at weekends, so enough spare CEP/VEP stock was available. Others may know about crewing, but I suspect overtime and rest day working would account for much of it (especially in the late 70s when guards were scarce).
 

Dr Hoo

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The Kent Coast Electrification projects had been specifically designed to include the boat trains, both from an enhanced infrastructure perspective and having enough EMUs to run the boat trains outside the fixed timetable.

So having started with 'enough' capacity and resources it was relatively easy just to 'run down' gradually as the classic walk-on market reduced with the switch to car ferries and air travel.

There were still at least 6 x 4-CEP units (plus MLVs) for short-sea boat trains (usually 2 x 12-car sets) into the mid-1980s, finally disbanded as part of resourcing the Hastings electrification.

Off-peak there were, of course, spare sets from commuter workings and there were various scheduled stopping trains into Dover Marine/Western Docks as well.

An aspect not much touched on is that there was a distinct 'knack' to driving a non-stop boat train in amongst the regular services. The aim was to avoid any heavy braking so that it 'felt' fast even though the average speed might suggest otherwise. Obviously there were places like Headcorn, Ashford, Folkstone West or Rainham where you knew that you would probably overtake and that was where you wanted to run up a bit closer behind the stopper that was being 'feathered inside'. In the days of opening windows and jointed track the passenger often thought that a train was running faster than it actually was.
 

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