Remembered by many as the high point of the 1950s modernisation of British Railways, the Blue Pullman trains set new standards of comfort and design, yet had a short and unhappy life, with much of it spent by necessity on the Western Region. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES explains all.
The seeds of the Blue Pullman project were sown in 1954 when the British Transport Commission obtained a controlling interest in the Pullman Car Company. At that time a great deal of interest was being expressed in the use of fixed-formation diesel trains for express services. Although a luxury diesel wasn’t included in the Modernisation Plan itself, proposals were sufficiently advanced for a scheme to be put forward later the same year.