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Query Corner

Q13.07. Western Region Coach Lettering on “Jumbo-Trains”.

In the late 1980s the Western Region of BR introduced on Summer Saturdays, between Paddington and Paignton and vice versa, train services which eventually became known as “Jumbo -Trains". It had been decided that the number of locomotive hauled extras, that supplemented the regular HST, services had to be reduced. The remaining traffic could be handled by two long loco hauled sets leaving Paddington and Paignton between 09.00 and 10.00, and they probably also operated during the week in August in High Summer.

These trains were observed at Exeter St David’s. Both trains were scheduled to be composed of 14 Mark 2d air brake vehicles. A basic 11 vehicle formation, which was lettered, was provided plus 3 extra which were usually not. The coach letters were in the A to M range with I and L omitted, and sometimes they carried the suffix 2. Has the omission of these letters and the use of numeric suffixes always been standard practice? Presumably the unlettered coaches carried no reservations.

last updated: 24/02/13