Query Corner

Q11.12 Green cafeteria car at Plymouth

A member has seen a colour photograph of a green cafeteria car along with some Mark I coaches in the sidings at Plymouth Laira in June 1961. Was this a regular occurrence and what were the coach details and workings? (AW:11701)


The Southern and Western Regions of BR jointly operated through services from Waterloo and Brighton to Plymouth North Road via Okehampton, using green-liveried stock, until the early 1060's. The cafeteria car was probably part of one of these woorkings, buy it may be unlikely that a more specific identification will be possible as it could be one of several such examples in regular use on this route at this time. (ACM:12817)

I wonder if there is an alternative explanation to that comprising answer A11.12 in the April RO. In 1961, some time in the summer but I don't know exactly when, there was such a thing as the City of Plymouth Holiday Express which ran for a week and visited a different destination each day. A cafeteria car would have been suitable for providing refreshments on such a working. I rather doubt that a cafeteria car would have been preferable to a Mk 1 RKB which was the norm for the Plymouth - Brighton/Portsmouth. (CF:19204)

Further research by me has led to the following likely answer. In Backtrack Vol 8 no 5 (1994) there is another colour photo by Dick Riley of a green cafeteria car at Laira on June 9th 1963. This was S9213E, a frmer LNER third class sleeper no 1255,then ambulance car converted to cafeteria car in 1954 and still with Gresley bogies as with the previous photograph. Other research (Oakwood Press) shows that there were three Maunsell built Cafeteria cars,7853,7939 and 7954,the first an Ironclad, but all presumably without Gresley bogies. (AW:11701)

last updated: 03/08/11