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LNER Tourist Train Sets

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B17 No 2851 Derby County has a Buffet Tourist excursion in 1936 on the ascent to Woodhead. The back of the print states "Neepsend" but the location was Wardsend, midway between Neepsend and Wadsley Bridge, on the gradient of 1:120.

It's mid-morning and the train is believed to have started from Leicester (behind a Leicester "Footballer"), the stock having been borrowed from the GN Section. Tablet No 115 was being carried. If only this had been a colour picture! Photo: A.G. Ellis, author's collection.

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The carriages

Excursion traffic was big business for the railways and a huge subject to try to describe. A brief look at some aspects may help.

Before the Grouping only the GCR and NER had built carriages dedicated to this traffic (see separate topic about the GCR "Barnums"). Elsewhere a great variety of stock was used. A major development on the LNER came in 1933 when the company introduced the renowned Tourist stock in Buffet Tourist Trains (BTT for short). Not only was the livery a striking green & cream, each train was composed of two identical halves, each with its own buffet car:

BTO

3rd open brake

  TO-TO

3rd open (twin)

RB

buffet car

  TO-TO

3rd open (twin)

They were built thus:

1933 GN Section (5)
1934 NE Area (2)
1935 NE Area (2) and NB Section (2)
1939 NB Section (1) (shorter TO twins and no buffet cars)

The first sets of 1933 built for the GN Section had a BTO with 52 seats and a modest van space. From 1934 for the sets built for the NE Area and and NB Section, the BTO was revised with fewer setas (48) and a slightly larger van space in which more beer could be carried.

As far as I can tell, the GE never used them but the GC Section did, by borrowing from the GN Section.

The sets were disbanded after WWII - I can't help thinking in order to release the buffet cars! Here are some service pictures, to be followed by Diagrams and pictures of the stock in LNER and BR days, and finally, operational details which were more varied than is generally realised.

In service

The first 5 pictures show BTTs from the first series built 1933 for the GN Section.

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The first set built in 1933 for the GN Section, led by BTO No 43500, was captured near Potters Bar with A1 No 4477 Gay Crusader in charge. Photo: H.C. Doyle.

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The third set built for the GN Section, led by BTO No 43505, is captured in a Down excursion behind W1 No 10000 on the 4-track near Hatfield. Photo: Colling Turner.

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Heading south out of York behind K3 No 4000 is a GN BTT. The BTO to D.169 is easy to see with its shorter van space and extra square window. Photo: Cecil Ord Collection.

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The GC Section would borrow a BTT from the GN, as seen here at Nottingham Victoria behind K3 No 1164.

To the right can be seen a "Barnum" BTO and two locos, B17 No 2824 Lumley Castle and an unidentified "Director". Photo: T.G.Hepburn.

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Another GN Section BTT borrowed by the GC stands at Skegness behind B8 No 5280, about to return to Bulwell Common. The date was 3rd April 1934. Photo: Locomotive Club of Great Britain.

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D49 No 307 Kincardineshire is at an unknown location with a second-generation BTT, albeit only a half-set with a non-Tourist carriage added near the far end. Alas, details cannot be made out because the print was made using textured paper and not glazed. The loco was allocated to Dundee so this may have been one of the sets built for the NB Section in 1935 or 1939. Photo: E.R. Wethersett.

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To be continued....

GCR carriages - Barnums: are here.

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