BR Diesel and Electric Models 2


The Blue Pullman



The picture above is of a complete Western Region 8-car Blue Pullman speeding through the station on my layout "Coleston". This is always a favourite when people come to view my layout, as it is such a striking train, and really stands out against the backdrop a dirty, early 1960s steam railway.

When I made this train, there was no 21st century-quality model available, so I was forced to upgrade a 50 year old Tri-ang one instead. This was quite a task, as it meant fitting new, full-depth power-car front ends courtesy of Genesis Kits, who also supplied an entire set of bogies, replacement window inserts from Southern Pride Models, and a pair of new power units from Hollywood Foundry in Australia.

The Western Region Blue Pullman was an 8-car set, incorporating 1st class and 2nd class accommodation. Unfortunately, in the 1960s, Tri-ang only produced a power car and a 1st class parlour car. So, to produce 2nd class parlour cars, replacement etched window inserts are needed in two 1st class donor vehicles. This conversion also involves modifying some seating units to make them suitable for the 2nd class coaches (different seat spacing than the 1st class cars). Even more major alterations are necessary though, as two more parlour cars have to be modified to make them into kitchen cars. This includes modifying the roof fittings, sealing up one pair of end doors and making others, for the kitchen staff, part way along the vehicle side, modifying the interiors again, and lastly fitting the proper kitchen car window inserts. To be strictly accurate, some of the underframes should really be modified too, but this I feel is a job that can wait a while longer.

Have a good look at the various pictures on this page and compare all the different vehicles. The proposed Bachmann Midland Pullman will almost certainly be a more accurate model, but the Western Region sets were completely different, with only one vehicle, the first class parlour car, being the same. Therefore even after the introduction of the new Bachmann model, there will still be no ready-to-run Blue Pullman for an early 60s Western Region layout - the Midland sets were not transferred to the Western Region until after the West Coast electrification was completed in 1967.

Anyone interested in this conversion can find links to all of the web sites of suppliers of necessary parts on my links page.


The Western Region 2nd class power car, with three passenger windows at one end. The Midland Pullman power cars were 1st class, so they had only two passenger windows - the third (smaller) window being for a toilet.


The 1st class parlour car. This is the only vehicle common to both the Midland and the Western Region Blue Pullmans. These vehicles had six large passenger windows along each side, the end ones were for toilets etc.


The Western Region 2nd class parlour car. Note the seven passenger windows along the side (the smaller ones at each far end were for toilets etc). Being marshalled next to the power cars, these vehicles had a power bogie on one end, with a trailing bogie on the other end.


The Western Region 1st class kitchen car. These vehicles had a trailing bogie at each end. On the Midland Pullman these cars were marshalled next to the power cars, so they featured a power bogie on one end, and a trailing bogie at the other.




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