REALITY CHECK: Western Region Blue Pullmans

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.

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