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Mansfield-Marylebone express

C4 6086

In "LNER Passenger Trains & Formations, The Principal Services", (Ian Allan 2013), under Secondary Expresses, we described on pages 137-141 how the "Mansfield, Nottingham and Marylebone" service developed and eventually declined during LNER and BR days. The service was described for four reasons: because there were so many changes over the years; interesting local workings around Nottingham to support the express; addition of a slip coach en route; and variations in catering.

New information has emerged in two areas that cast new light on the key working, the early morning 7.5am express from Mansfield to Marylebone, whose return left London at 4.30pm, later 5pm.

In the account much was made of the above photograph which was captioned as C4 6086 approaching Northolt Junction with the express in August 1930 and what was believed to be a trial working with full catering, including an ex-ECJS kitchen car, as renumbered 52039. The details may be correct but identification of the train as the "Mansfield express" was taken from a previously published account and must now be revised for, by analysis with a solar calculator, the time of day indicates the photograph was taken just before 3pm (BST), which means that the train in the picture would actually have been the 10am Bradford-Marylebone. It is interesting to note that in 1930, this express had such an interesting variety of rolling stock, but the Mansfield express it was not.

This renders the description on p.139 of a short trial with catering around 1930, prior to introduction in 1933 of a buffet car, as inaccurate. However, a source currently being investigated indicates that such a service had taken place during the mid-late1920s. And that not only was full catering provided but the schedule for the Up journey was slashed by half an hour. Alas, it did not last and while details of this brief glimmer of a "proper" express between Mansfield and Marylebone are teased out, readers should note that events were even more complicated than first thought! The really bad news, though, is that we don't yet know of a genuine picture of this service in LNER days...

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LNER Passenger Trains and Formations

The book took 12 years for me and Clive to complete and, though I say so myself, Ian Allan have made a beautiful job of it (see full description and sample pages). Vol.2 about the Secondary Services should follow in a year or so's time.

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