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