Western Pullman Ultima Digital Sound Train Set
DCC Sound Fitted.
- Wester (Ex-Midland) Pullman 6-car unit BR grey and blue 2 x Digital Sound fitted.
- Oval of track (1040mm x 1710mm).
- Fully compatible with all other leading makes of UK track.
- Dynamis Railcontroller Software evaluation version & USB.
- Dynamis Ultima DCC System.
- Limited Edition Collectors’ set with signed certificate of authenticity
- Couple multiple units together thanks to the modified front buffer-beam
- Authentic for Western Region operation with the addition of cab-end multiple-unit jumper cables
- Dual decoder and speaker system allowing independently controlled sounds in each power car
- Dynamis Ultima DCC system provides enjoyable operation of the model and sound functionsTrial the RailController software and unlock the full potential of Dynamis Ultima
Built by Metropolitan-Cammell of Birmingham between 1956 and 1959, and entered service on Monday 4th of July 1960, the introduction of the Midland Pullman heralded a new age of high speed luxury rail travel. The design, a striking body profile carring a bold and bright “Nanking Blue” livery, the ike of which had never been seen in Britain before, was a refreshing change from the austere designs of other diesel locomotives of the period. With its pair of 1000hp NBL/MAN engines and a top speed of 90mph, the blue Pullman offered passengers Luxurious high speed travel with innovative new features which we now take for granted, such as air-conditioning, a public address system and reclining seats. Designed with a 30 year lifespan in mind, this was cut short by the speed of technological advancement in rail engineering, as well as the unforeseen social and lifestyle changes of the time – where speed became a bigger selling point than silver service.
The move to the western region.
The completion of the West Coast Main Line electrification scheme in 1966 and subsequent introduction of the new high-speed electric services from Manchester Piccadilly to London Euston spelled the end of the Pullman unit operations on the BR Midland region. The final day of services on the BR (MR) was on Friday 15th April 1966, with the new electric services commencing the following Monday. Both sets were then withdrawn and stored at Swindon pending a decision on their fate, and after initially being offered to the Easton Region to supplement their Yorkshire Pullman service, it was decided that for various reasons, the sets would be best utilised on the western region operating alongside the three 8 car sets already in service.
Whilst at Swindon works in the autumn of 1966 modifications were carried out prior to their return to service, including the removal of part of the bodywork below the cab to facilitate the fitting of a screw coupling, relocation of the air horns to below the drivers side-buffer and the fitting of a unique multiple working system, which involved the installation of jumper cables to the front end of each power car to enable the two units to work together as a 12 car set. Both sets wer formaly transferred to the Western Region in March 1967 and a short period of driver training, predominantly between Paddington and Westbury, ensued.
After entering service on the Western Region both ex-LMR sets were based at Bristol Bath Road. The sets operated a 12-car formation on the morning Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington service where they were then split – with one set working a mid day return journey to Oxford, and the other a mid day return to Bristol. Once back at Paddington, the sets would then be recoupled back into a 12 car formation and work the return service back to Bristol Temple Meads in the evening.
The most Striking changes to the two ex-LMR Pullman sets occurred in December 1969 And March 1970 respectively, again at Swindon works, where a cosmetic overhaul including a refresh of the interior carpets and seat upholstery occurred, and the necessary downgrading of the first class accommodation in the DMBFL and MFLRK vehicles to second class took place (the Western Region offered first and second class seating options whereas the midland only offered first).
The most noteworthy aspect of the overhaul was the removal of the out of date Nanking Blue livery and the application of a more corporate-image based, reversed version of the striking new BR blue and grey InterCity stock livery, in keeping with what had already been applied to the new Mk2 air-conditioned Pullman vehicles operating on the West Coast Main Line. The BR “Double Arrows” insignia and the word “Pullman” was applied to the lower bodyside of the power cars.
With the dawn of 1973 and the introduction of airconditioned Mk2 coaching stock, little difference between the standards of regular-service coaching stock and the once innovative features of the Blue Pullman sets remained. This, combined with the fact that the sets were unique fleet of 5 with increasing maintenance costs, resulted in the western Pullman services ceasing on Friday 4th of May 1973. An enthusiast special was run on the following day with an itinerary which covered elements of the former Western Region routes operated by the trains throughout their service lives.
Specials in their final years
As the regular duties for the Pullman sets were confined to their Monday – Friday workings, aside from their routine maintenance program this schedule left them available for private charters and enthusiast specials at weekends, allowing them to visit far flung destinations as well as the odd rural branch line.
Notable workings include :-
- A trip Surbiton to Newcastle Emlyn, Camarthenshireon 25th April 1970.
- “Holliday Inn Express” a trip from London Paddington – Plymouth 24th & 28th December 1971.
- Various Newbury Race days.
There was even the odd occasion where a WR Pullman set was used on “Footex” football special, not least on 9th March 1968 when one of the former midland units was chartered for Bristol City FC for a FA Cup Special to Leeds.