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1979 - 1980 

A Quiet Start.

Page last updated 15/12/2014

Description: 1979 - 1980

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Description: LOCOMOTIVES

 

INTRODUCTION:

The Summer timetable change on the 14th of May 1979 saw the introduction of a new twice daily service from Manchester to Brighton. The real target was passengers from the North West and Midlands travelling to Gatwick Airport but Brighton was a sensible termination point and a major destination in its own right. Northbound the timings were good but southbound they were either very early or very very late!

 

In April of that year there had been a preview train for the Travel Trade consisting of smart set of mark 1 coaches and including restaurant cars.....this was not replicated on the actual trains!

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47019 passes through East Croydon with the travel trade preview train to Gatwick and Brighton .

Photo taken 4th April 1979.

Photographer John Atkinson.

 Used with permission.


TIMETABLE and ROUTE:

Departures from Brighton were at 0907 and 1507 Monday to Saturday and 0906 and 1630 on Sundays.

Departures from Manchester Piccadilly were at 0744 and 2330 Monday to Saturday and 0718 and 2330 on Sundays.

 

Both trains were routed via East Croydon, Kensington Olympia (not calling ), North Pole Junction, Old Oak East Junction then Reading and the Thames Valley. The morning service from Brighton ran via  Solihull, Bordesley Junction and St Andrews Junction. The afternoon service ran via Coventry but strangely didn't call at Banbury, Leamington or Birmingham International. The loco change was at Birmingham New Street.

The overnight train from Manchester on Saturdays was routed via the West Coast Mainline with a loco change at Mitre Bridge Junction.

At this point in time neither Haywards Heath, Clapham Junction or Kensington Olympia were in the calling pattern, that was still a few years away. It should be noted that at a fraction under 2 hours Brighton to Reading was about 20 minutes quicker than 2008 with a 125mph Voyager!

 

An interesting aside back in 1979-1980 there were just two trains a day in the morning from Clapham Junction to Kensington Olympia with two returning in the afternoon. There are currently 5 trains an hour each way.

 

14th May 1979 to 11th May 1980

M-S

M-S

SUN

SUN

Headcode

1M50

1M64

1M00

1M05

Timing Load

D315/

E???

D315/

E???

D315/

E???

D315/

E???

Notes

 

 BE

 

 F

Brighton

0907

1507

0906A

1630A

Gatwick

09u43

15u46

0940

1710

East Croydon

10u05

16u06

10u07

17u31

Kensington Olympia

10C30

 

10C53

 

Reading

1105

1705

1136

1852

Oxford

1140

1735

1213

1925

Banbury

1206

 

1241

1951

Leamington Spa

1226

 

1301

2012

Coventry

 

1830

 

 

Birmingham International

 

1842

 

 

Birmingham New Street arr

1302

1858

1340

2045

Birmingham New Street dep

1312

1908

1405

2055

Wolverhampton

1327

1923

1420

2110

Stafford

 

 

1451

2127

Stoke

 

 

 

2149

Macclesfield

 

 

 

2211

Crewe

1409

1959

1521

 

Wilmslow

 

 

1541

 

Stockport

14s36

20s26

16s04

22s29

Manchester Piccadilly

1444

2034

1612

2239

A = starts Gatwick from 7/10/79 onwards, stock runs ECS

from Brighton.

B = Buffet.

C = stops at Kensington Olympia for crew change.

E = also stops at Old Oak Common 1633 for crew change.

F = also stops at Old Oak Common 1822 for crew change.

 

14th May 1979 to 11th May 1980

M-S

Sun to Fri

SO

SUN

Headcode

1O74

1O52

1O52

1O74

Timing Load

E???/

D315

E???/

D315

E315/

D315

E???/

D315

Notes

 B

 E

 D

 

Manchester Piccadilly

0744

2330

2330

0718

Stockport

07u52

2338

2338

0727

Wilmslow

 

23u46

23u46

 

Crewe

 

0009

0016

08u07

Stafford

 

0030

0040

 

Wolverhampton

0851

0046

0106

0905

Birmingham New Street arr

0910

0104

0131

0930

Birmingham New Street dep

0921

0134

0203

0940

Birmingham International

 

0144

02u13

 

Coventry

 

0156

02u21

 

Leamington Spa

 

0212

 

1008

Banbury

 

0233

 

1029

Oxford

1031

0301

 

1108

Reading

1058

0332

 

1145

Kensington Olympia

11C34

 

 

12C30

East Croydon

12s02

04s41

05s08

13s02

Gatwick

12s23

05s01

0527

1323

Brighton

1300

0533

0601A

1400A

A= terminates Gatwick from 7/10/79 onwards, runs ECS

to Brighton.

B=Buffet.

C = also stops Kensington Olympia for crew change.

D = loco changed at Mitre Bridge diesel loco comes light from

Norwood as 0O52 at 0313 Sunday morning.

E = also stops at Old Oak Common for crew change 0412.

 


LOCOMOTIVES:

Booked locomotive was a class 47/4 but it was not uncommon for a steam heat class 47/0 to appear. In the summer months a non boilered  class 47 might appear. Substitutes were few and far between, usually due to a loco failure. As a result SR class 33 or class 73 would normally be the replacement.

The Saturday night service from Manchester had a loco change at Mitre Bridge. The replacement diesel coming light as 0O52: 0313 Norwood Yard to Mitre Bridge, as a result this could mean an SR loco such as a class 33 may have been booked for this and the return on Sunday.


STOCK:

Two captive rakes of Mk1 vacuum braked dual heat stock were utilised, based at Longsight?

Thanks to Steve Carter for the following information:-

The carriage marshalling book for May 1979 - May 1980, the following formations were used:

Click on the time for a photo of the train marshalling details.

2330 Manchester Piccadilly to Brighton  which then works the  0907 Brighton to Manchester Piccadilly.

Formed  NEV(BG) - SK - TSO - FK - TSO - TSO - SK.

From my own recollections and photographic evidence the train often had a BG at either end of the rake.

The 0744 Manchester Piccadilly to Brighton then worked the 1507 Brighton to Manchester Piccadilly.

Formed TSO - TSO - FK - RKB - TSO - TSO - NEV(BG).

From my own recollections and photographic evidence the RKB was usually a RMB. Occasionally a Mk2z TSO or FK would substitute in the daytime set as would Mk1 SKs for the TSOs and vice versa.


PHOTOS:

Description: http://andygibbs.zenfolio.com/img/v4/p350539177-11.jpgDescription: http://andygibbs.zenfolio.com/img/v32/p436886910-11.jpg

Southern Region issued pocket timetable for the Brighton to Manchester services and the then SO Brighton to Bristol TM service.

Supplied by Alan Lake.

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Pocket timetable West Midlands and Thames Valley to Brighton.

 1979-1980.

Authors collection.

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A copy of the 1979-1980 Cross Country Timetable was acquired on eBay. Here is the formal introduction to the Brighton services and other enhancements to the timetable.

Authors collection.

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A copy of the timetable page introducing the new service. From the BR passenger timetable 14th May 1979 to 11th May 1980 South London, East Surrey, Sussex.

Authors collection.

 

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1979 Start up leaflet, but Merseyside based.

Authors collection.

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An unidentified class 47/4 waits to depart East Croydon with the 0907 Brighton to Manchester Piccadilly.

Photographer K. Oxlade / Authors collection.

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A nicely turned out 84010 arrives at Manchester Piccadilly with 1M50 the 0907 from Brighton.

Photo taken 29/5/79.

Photographer Barrie Watkins, Used with permission.

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Another view of 84010 as it rolls into Manchester Piccadilly with 1M50 the 0907 from Brighton. This was an out and back working formed off the daily 2330 Manchester to Brighton service and was formed of 7 Mk1 vehicles.

Photo taken 29/5/79

 Photographer Barrie Watkins / Authors collection.

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47488 waits to depart from Oxford with 1M50 the 0907 Brighton to Manchester Piccadilly. The usual 7 car Mk1 formation is missing one of its coaches on this date.

Photo taken 31/5/79

 Photographer Barrie Watkins / Authors collection.

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47459 drops down on to the fast lines at Old Oak Common and past the signalbox. This is the 0907 Brighton to Manchester service during its first month of operation. This bit of line no longer exists for passenger trains as it was used as access for the now closed Eurostar depot. How times change.

Photo by the author.

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47478 gets away from East Croydon with 1O74 the 0744 Manchester Piccadilly to Brighton.

Photographer Alan Edwards / Authors collection.

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From a secret source arrived a photo of the finger board that would have graced the platform gate at Brighton station for the 1507 departure to Manchester.

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47489 approaches Mill Road and Patcham tunnel on the final leg of its journey whilst working the 0744 Manchester to Brighton service.

Photo taken winter 1979 by the author.

 

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On a lovely bright day 33022 departs Brighton with the 1507 Brighton to Manchester service. This photograph was taken from the window of Brighton stations' switchboard which was in the Combined Engineering workshops in New England Rd, on the site of the former engine shed.

Photo taken December 1979 by the author.

 

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47534 with the 1507 Manchester to Brighton seen between Balcombe Tunnel Junction and Three Bridges station. This is one of three slides I have from this location, exact dates unknown but some research has probably got the right year!

Photographer Barry Johnson, date around 1980.

Authors collection.

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40027 seen here at Stafford with 1M00 the 0940 Gatwick to Manchester Piccadilly. This is a Sunday and the train must have been diverted north of New Street due to engineering works with the class 40 substituting for the electric loco.

Photo taken 13th April 1980.

Photographer  Mike Hodge.  Used with permission.

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47482 seen here just south of Three Bridges with the 1507 Brighton to Manchester service sometime in 1980. There is a similar photo in 1981-82, This view just shows what I thought was the access road bridge for Gatwick in the background, in fact it is the bridge taking the M23 over the railway line.

 Photographer Barry Johnson / Authors collection.

Description: HOMEDescription: 1980 - 1981