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LNER steel quintuple sets

This stock originated in 1935 and its use was described by Clive and I in LPF-1, pages 146-151. In brief, the thinking was straightforward, to produce modern gangwayed 5-sets for use in intermediate services with side doors to the compartments and full access to the lavatories, made up (BTK-TK, CK, TK-BTK). All were steel panelled. The first batch was intended for the GN Section to work on the East Lincs line and between King's Cross and Leeds Central. A second batch followed in 1939-40 for the GC Section, and a final one in 1942 for both sections. Details differed, notably for the composite in the middle, and because this coach was often substituted by another type, Thompson or BR Mk.1. The focus here, however, is the actual carriages.

New addition:

The second series 1939-42

After a gap of four years, some more batches were produced, for the GC and GN Sections. The outline was as before but there were some changes, in detail for the BTK-TK twin, and in length for the composite where the standard length of 61'6" used.

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This is D.304 BTK-TK introduced in 1939 photographed beautifully on a sunny day. It's quite hard to tell that these aren't teak-panelled carriages. However, note how the chequer-board effect utilised with real teak to harmonise the variations between individual panels was not reproduced. It was possible to make them all pretty much the same and stunningly elegant. The only carry-through was at the end panels which carried the lettering and numbering had previously been fitted with darker panels to help legibility, but less markedly. These subtleties belong in the topic about LNER carriage liveries but are worth pointing out here because of the sheer care and beauty of it all.

The bodies weren't exactly the same as the first series of 1935, a small difference concerning the ventilation over the guard's door. Where there had previously been a glazed opening toplight, a sliding ventilator was now fitted with a bonnet over it - the well-known LNER standard arrangement. The two van doors alongside had already been equipped the same way. Photo: author's collection.

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The composite differed a little more for the short length of 52'6" was abandoned in favour of the standard length of 61'6". This may have been stipulated by the GC Section which took all of the first batch in 1939 and was continued with further construction for the GN Section. The general appearance of the simulated teak finish is as described above. Photo: author's collection.

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This is D.304 for the twin. During the late 1930s Diagrams for articulated carriages began to show complete arrangements where previously separate Diagrams had been produced for individual carriages. The steel angle trussing is shown, too. However, introduction of a sliding ventilator and bonnet on the guard's door is not shown. It could have been a late change or a mistake by the draughtsman and it's not the first time that I have drawn attention to this kind of thing. An interesting detail is that nearly all the compartments were "smoking", very few catered for non-smokers at the time. Diagram author's collection.

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And this is D.305 for the composite, to the standard length of 61'6". Diagram author's collection.

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The running numbers were:

1939

D.304 {

BTK - LNER - 53500/2/4/6/8/10/2/4/6/8

BR - 16785/7/9/91/3/5/7/9/801/3

    

     "     {

  TK - LNER - 53501/3/5/7/9/11/3/5/7/9

BR - 16786/8/90/2/4/6/8/800/2/4

    

D.305

  CK - LNER - 58107-11

BR - 18420-4

1940

D.304 {

BTK - LNER - 53520/2/4/6/8/30/2/4/6/8

BR - 16805/7/9/11/3/5/7/9

    

    "      {

  TK - LNER - 53521/3/5/7/9/31/3/5/7/9

BR - 16806/8/10/2/4/6/8/20

    

D.305

  CK - LNER - 58112-6

BR - 18425/6/-/7/8

1942

D.304 {

BTK - LNER - 45403/5/7/13 - 53540/2/4/6/8/50/2/4/6/8/60/2

BR - 16777/9/81/3 - 16821/3/5/7/9/31/3/5/7/9/42/3

    

    "      {

  TK - LNER - 53521/3/5/7/9/31/3/5/7/9

BR - 16806/8/10/2/4/6/8/20

    

D.305

  CK - LNER - 41007/8 - 58119-24

BR - 18418/9 - 18429-34

LNER suffix "4" = GN Section, suffix "5" = GC Section.

In service

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A fine view of post-WW2 modernisation in 1947 near Manchester on the Hattersley curve as newly-built B1 No 1157 (GOR) pulls away with an eight-coach express. At the head is a second-series steel quintuple set, fully roof name-boarded, with the trailing twin inside out. The standard length of the composite contrasts with the shortness of the the 52' twins. Three other carriages follow. Photo: author's collection.

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At an unknown location in 1957 behind B2 No 61644 Earlham Hall, the carmine & cream livery shows body details of a BTK-TK twin quite well, especially the ventilator over the guard's door. Photo: author's collection.

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Another picture from BR days, this one at the carriage sidings at the south end of York station. It's not dated but is probably c1950 with the two carriages on the left in late LNER condition. From left to right:

CK - Gresley 61'6" SP to D.305. Not quite in focus and the number is illegible. Lettering is BR style but it's hard to tell if the simulated teak is still being carried or it had been over-painted in brown. Strangely, the doors to the 1st class compartments are slightly paler, which I cannot explain.

TK - ex-GCR Parker-style 50' from c1904. No E51693. Lettering is LNER-style, including the prefix "E" and it has almost certainly been painted brown.

BG - Gresley 61'6" SP, in BR crimson livery.

The CK has clearly been parted from its SQS, possibly on being replaced by a more recently built Thompson CK, and may have found itself spare and useful as a strengthener. The ex-GCR carriage may have ended up being used the same way and both been taken off at York. In the background are ex-GWR carriages reminiscent of pre-War services. Photo: SLS No 1965 (note the CK caption error on this print).

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The first series 1935

Design aspects expanded and two service views added.

It's best to start with the brake-ended twin for the first batch:

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The twin was covered by separate diagrams for the two carriages. This is D.194 for the TK.

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And this is D.195 for the BTK.

The steel panelling gave a sleek finish but was artfully painted in simulated teak complete with pseudo beading which was lined, as befitted gangwayed carriages. A key aspect was a modest length of a fraction under 52 feet (the composite was 52'6") and only seven compartments in the TK. The object seems to have been to avoid a full gangwayed length of 61'6" and reduce the capacity of an intermediate secondary 5-set. When a few years later gangwayed 5-sets were provided for the NE Area, this approach was not repeated and standard-length gangwayed stock was built instead. Indeed, when more steel quintuple sets were built in 1939-40 for the Southern Area (notes to follow) the short composite was dropped in favour of a standard length one and as many service pictures show, the short composite was replaced by a longer one.

Provision of lavatories in these shorter carriages without end vestibules was tricky, especially in the TK where the one at the outer end was distinctly cramped. A slightly better result was achieved at the articulated end by offsetting the gangway between the two carriages, which was quite a rare feature and it only made a small difference. There was more space in the BTK, and even more in the composite. In other words, this intermediate secondary stock allowed access to the lavatories for all the passengers, but not too comfortably!

A narrower width at the guard's and ducket end was the usual arrangement. With more room available, the lavatory was significantly more generous than in the TK alongside. Not quite standard were GNR-style glazed opening toplights on hinges above the doors to the passenger compartments. The guard's door was the same. The double van doors, however, had the LNER standard arrangement with sliding ventilators behind bonnets. You have to look closely at the drawings on the Diagram to see this; it's more obvious on train photographs. Diagram: author's collection.

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The original composite to D.190 had a generous four compartments for the 1st class, and two for the lower class. The first class toilet was more spacious than in the two 3rd class carriages and was duplicated at the 3rd class end. No sliding ventilators were provided above the corridor windows

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The running numbers were:

D.190

LNER

42759-66

  BR

16540-55

D.194

LNER

45402/12/22/32/42/52/62/72/82/92/502/12/22/32/42/52

  BR

16557/9/91/3/5/7/9/571/3/5/7/9/81/3/85/5

D.195

LNER

45401/11/21/31/41/51/61/71/81/91/501/11/21/31/41/51

  BR

16556/8/60/2/4/6/8/70/2/4/6/8/80/2/4/6

In service

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C1 "large" Ivatt Atlantic No 4426 (KX) has an Ordinary Passenger made up with a steel quintuple set. The loco may look scruffy but the carriages shine. The ventilator bonnets can be seen over the double van doors. Photo: author's collection.

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A1 No 4481 St. Simon (DON) makes light of the ascent to Potters Bar with a northbound service carrying express lights, possibly to Leeds. The "Pacific" would come off at Doncaster. Behind the SQS, three conventional Gresleys have been added to make the train up to 8 carriages. Photomatic give a date of "6/30" but that cannot be right. Photo: Photomatic 6157.

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A4 No 4490 Empire of India is near New Southgate in the late 1930s with almost certainly the 10.57am Leeds Central-King's Cross. This working returned an A4 to KX and was a classic intermediate service to London rostered for a first-series SQS and scheduled to stop at all the towns and several villages en route and collect GN Section vans from Leeds, Cleethorpes and Boston. It was classed as an express by not stopping at every station along the way(!) and twice when on the four-track, it was relegated to the slow line. The journey took just under five hours, which was twice as long as the "West Riding" for example.

The sun makes the steel panelling look very modern and the pseudo teak panelling and lined livery can just be made out. The number of the leading BTK looks like 45451. Five bogie vans can be seen on the rear, three of them with Howlden duckets. The roster for 1939 showed that only one was LNER-built, the rest were ex-GNR. Photo: Colling Turner, Photomatic.

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Recently built, but already covered in grime, B1 No 1203 (KX) was captured in April 1949 near New Southgate with a Down service from King's Cross. A first-series SQS is leading with the trailing twin inside out. More carriages follow, unfortunately obscured by the exhaust.

As in the picture above, express lights are being carried and the nearest match I can get is the 4.10pm KX-Peterbrough. Photo: S.V. Blencowe collection.

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B1 No 61364 at an unknown location in the early 1950s is carrying Ordinary Passenger lights and a slightly untidy SQS in which the trailing twin is inside out. The composite in the middle with the 1st class seats has been modernised by a BR Mk.1 coach. Photo: author's collection.

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