RCTS Logo

Query Corner

Q13.12. Special Trains for Luton Town FC in 1959.

A member is compiling information about the special train workings in connection with Luton Town's progress to the Cup Final in January to May 1959, especially the Sixth Round tie at Blackpool on Saturday 28th February 1959 and the replay at Luton on the following Wednesday.

For the match at Blackpool on Saturday 28th February a train ran from Luton Bute Street to Blackpool. According to memory the portion from Luton Bute Street was augmented by a portion from Watford Junction which was attached at Bletchley. On the outward journey the trainís destination station was changed while en route, allegedly at the request of the local police force, but this information needs confirmation together with any further details of the train and its locomotive(s).

Four trains also ran from Luton Midland Road via the Midland main line and details of the stations used at Blackpool would be appreciated.

Answers

I'm afraid I can't offer much information on the above subject but I do know that four specials ran for the Ipswich Town v Luton Town FA Cup 5th Round tie played at Portman Road on 14 February 1959. These produced Black 5s 45137 & 45139 (both being Bedford locos) and 61331 & 61393 (Kings Cross) which worked through to Ipswich but sadly I have no idea which route/s they took. It was extremely rare in those days for any non-GE based locomotives, let alone LMS types, to reach Suffolk as changes usually took place either at March or Stratford. I have checked the Six Bells Junction website but can find nothing on these trains although I have a feeling that at least two started from Bedford.
Entirely coincidentally, as part of a feature following this January's Peterborough v Norwich FA Cup tie footex operated by Greater Anglia, this very same information was included in the monthly Ipswich Transport Society's Rail Report which was submitted to the RCTS Editorial Rep only a few weeks ago! (GH:10618)

Can I (at the risk of stating the obvious) add to this answer. The two B1s probably started their trains from Luton Bute Street (GNR) and possibly from Dunstable. They would probably have travelled to Stratford via Hatfield, Finsbury Park, and Hackney Central. The 2 Black Fives probably started their trains at Luton Midland (MR) and possibly Bedford. They would probably travelled to Stratford via St. Albans, Carlton Road Junction, South Tottenham and Lea Bridge. (PF:10896)

last updated: 08/06/13