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Newspapers carried on commuter trains?

Discussion in 'Heritage Rolling Stock' started by SilentHunter86, Dec 1, 2016.

  1. SilentHunter86

    SilentHunter86 New Member

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    I was reading the official report into the 1965 derailment of an electric commuter train at Elm Park near where I live; the train hit an obstruction placed on the track by vandals and two people were killed, including the driver.

    One thing that slightly surprised me in the report was that the train - made up of two 302s - was carrying newspapers in the guard's van stacked about five feet high.

    Was this common practice for commuter units like the 302?
     
  2. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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    Yes it was very much so. In the sixties I commuted from Grove Park to London and both Mail and newspapers were carried as a matter of course on suburban trains. I believe the supplies of the evening papers for local stations were delivered that way.
     
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  3. threelinkdave

    threelinkdave Well-Known Member

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    At Sevenoaks , which has two island platforms, there were the remnants of short outer platforms used by the GPO. Mailbags would be unloaded both sides of SUB / EPB stock as the units were on quick turnround. With the uit out of the way the lighter mailbags were thrown across the gap between the platforms.

    There were also the dedicated paper trains. These were useful after a night out on town. Leaving Victoria between 03.00 and 03.30, one via Chatham the other Tonbridge each consisted of many vans plus a single brake third for any passengers. A stop at Staplehurst was still in the timetable, although no papers were dropped when I used it. Nearly gave the guard appeplexey when someone actually got off. In the main passengers were either drunks or backpackers getting an early ferry,

    The oddest thing I can remember being carried in a suburban unit brake was day old chicks dispatched from breeders to chicken farms
     
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  4. John Stewart

    John Stewart Well-Known Member

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    In the 1970s I was on a local from Sheffield to Manchester. At Hathersage a girl asked if she could bring on her horse which had cast a shoe and she needed to get to the Farrier at Hope. The guard looked at the horse and said in broad Yorkshire: "Aye, I'll charge 'im as a dog and if 'e does owt, tha can clear it up th'sen".:)
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2016
  5. burmister

    burmister Member

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    Yes the VEPS had large vans for this kind of traffic.

    As an example the Bognor Regis train that left London Bridge at around quarter/ten to six pm often had mail piled up to the ceiling in the vans most of which was off loaded at Crawley direct into vans via a gate on the platform. Central Division stops with slam doors were 20 secs so this train had extra allowance but often it took over 5 mins so it was not my favourite train to catch in the evening. London Bridge was a sea of Post Office vans in the evenings in those days.

    Brian
     
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  6. Cartman

    Cartman Member

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    The Manchester Evening News used to be carried on the afternoon Manchester Victoria - Bury class 504 EMUS, I remember a big pile of them being offloaded on the platform at Radcliffe one Saturday when I was getting off
     
  7. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I assumed this was going to be a story about the ankle deep copies of the Metro usually found on train floors around 10.00am each morning. :)
     
  8. anorakeric

    anorakeric New Member

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    I believe that when Calder Valley DMU services (later class 110) replaced steam in early 60's the 2 brakes on a 6-car set could not cope with the parcels/newspaper traffic previously fitted in the typical 4 LMS corridor brakes on the average steam set. So they had to run extra services for non-passenger traffic, usually steam-powered.
     
  9. William Shelford

    William Shelford New Member

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    When I was at Hull University between 1979 and 1982, DMU's were observed hauling ex SR PMV's on the Scarborough Branch.
    I do not remember if this was for newspapers or post/parcels. It is also possible that the van was added to the Hull-Leeds passenger/parcel train that ran each evening and connected into the York-Crewe-Shrewsbury-(Bristol or Cardiff) mail train.
     

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