The first run of this titled sleeping car service took place on July 11 1927. It was formed with dining car facilities and through portions to Aberdeen, Inverness and Fort William. The train became very popular and a relief service titled the Highlandman was introduced during the summers to run in conjunction with the Aberdonian. The service departing from King’s Cross continued throughout the war although it did not display its headboard or coachboards.
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Atlantic Coast Express
Introduced by the Southern Railway in 1926, was one of the most complicated services in terms of route and portion permutations. Running between London Waterloo and the West Country, the train comprised of various sections that were detached or made up at various points of the journey (hence the different coach destinations in the pack). During the summer months, so popular was the train that on occasions up to four relief trains were required to run in advance of the main departure. Withdrawn for the duration of the war, it was reinstated in October 1947
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The Bristolian was introduced by the Great Western Railway in their centenary year 1935. It was a non-stop express on the London - Bristol main line with seven purpose built coaches that allowed it to achieve an average speed of 70 mph between Paddington and Bristol Temple Meads. The title was suspended for the duration of the Second World War and was only reinstated as a titled train in 1951.
The Comet was introduced as a titled train by the London Midland and Scottish Railway in September 1932. Running between London Euston and Manchester London Road, the name was derived from the contraction of ’Cottonopolis’ and ’Metropolis’ and not the shooting star. It was one of the fastest trains on the LMS and was so popular that a relief train was often run on Friday evenings. The title was withdrawn on 9 September 1939 for the duration of the Second World War only to be re-introduced in September 1949.
Cheltenham Spa Express
Introduced by the Great Western Railway in July 1923 this train quickly acquired a reputation for speed and by July 1929 had became the fastest regular railway run in the world, earning it the nickname ‘The Cheltenham Flyer’. Being keen to publicise this the GWR had a special headboard made that the train carried from 1931. The title was withdrawn in September 1939, only to be re-introduced by British Railways as the Cheltenham Spa Express in June 1956.
The Coronation Scot
The Coronation Scot was inaugurated by the London Midland and Scottish Railway in 1937 for the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. Three train sets were formed from existing carriages and given a blue livery similar in colour to that previously used by the Caledonian Railway; and the first five of the Coronation Class pacifics were also turned out in blue with silver ‘cheat line’.
Perhaps the most well known express passenger train dates back to 1862 when it was known as the ‘Special Scotch Express’. The title was introduced by the London North Eastern Railway in 1927 and ran from Kings Cross to Edinburgh Waverley. Running non-stop it initially took eight and half hours to cover the 393 miles although the time was accelerated from 1932. The service was hauled by A1 and A3 Pacifics and by A4 Pacifics from 1937. The title continued to be used in the timetable for the duration of the Second World War although records demonstrate that it was not formally identified
Cornish Riviera Limited
The history of this train can be traced back to the early part of twentieth century when the Great Western Railway the time to be run between London Paddington and Penzance. It was perhaps one of the most iconic titled trains being used by thousands of holidaymakers during the 1930s and after the war when the title was resumed. By the 1930s, on some runs there were as many as nine different portions reaching many different destinations in the south-west. The title was suspended for the duration of the Second World War but was quickly re-introduced in May 1946 as the Cornish Riviera Express.
One of the several boat trains run by the London and North Eastern Railway to connect with sailings at Harwich Parkeston Quay. Introduced by the LNER in September 1927 the train that ran from London Liverpool Street included a short formation of first class and restaurant Pullman Cars. Withdrawn at the start of the Second World War, the title was changed to the Day Continental when the train was re-introduced in June 1947.
Coronation Scot 1939
In 1939, The Coronation Scott was given an all-new set of locomotives and coaches, painted in the same style but in maroon. One set was shipped to the United States of America for the New York’s World Fair and was stranded there as the Second World War commenced.
The Irish Mail
Despite being unofficially named since 1848, the name was only officially conferred on the services in September 1927. Running between London Euston and Holyhead, the train operated travelling post offices with mailbag pick-up and drop-off apparatus. The train continued to run throughout the war although the official title was withdrawn. The title was formally re-introduced by British Railways in May 1948.
One of the several boat trains run by the London and North Eastern Railway from London Liverpool Street to connect with sailings to and from Harwich Parkeston Quay. The train had its origins in the Great Eastern Railway’s Hook of Holland boat train from 1921. The train carried the title The Hook Continental from 1927 until 1939. However, when merged with the Antwerp service in July 1932, the carried the title ‘Hook and Antwerp Continental’ until July 1937. Throughout its running the train never carried any headboard. Withdrawn at the start of the Second World War, The Hook Continental title was re-introduced in November 1945.
Lakes Express Set
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The Lakes Express
Introduced by the London Midland and Scottish Railway in 1927, the service was originally a summer only timetabled train. The express left London Euston and was made up of various portions that were detached at various points in the north west. The main part of the train consisted of two portions, one for Keswick with the larger section for Kendal and Windermere. The service with less portions was re-introduced by British Railways after the War in 1950.
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