Saturday, 29 December 2012

February 1956 - the past is a foreign country...

The ABC Railway Guide February 1956
The ABC Railway Guide February 1956
One of the unexpected delights of Christmas was the discovery of a February 1956 edition of The ABC Railway Guide in a box of timetables donated by a friend and passed on by my sister-in-law...

Naturally, I was intrigued by the Birmingham-London service offered fifty-seven years ago. As can be seen from the page reproduced below, even then the Snow Hill service was described as 'Another Route'...

Of course, the key difference one notices is the lack of trains...From Euston, there were ten trains north whilst Paddington offered eleven. No early morning trains, no clock-face departures, and no late night returns (though both routes offered a post midnight service). Timings were significantly slower - 2 hours being the best on the Euston-New Street run and 2 hours 7 mins on the Paddington-Snow Hill equivalent.

Fares are illuminating. The First Class return fare was 52/4 whilst the Third Class was 34/10 According to the Historic Inflation Calculator the equivalent fare now should be £54.03 for First Class and £35.97 for Third

Finally, it would have been fun to 'blog' about the 1956 sleeping car service from Snow Hill which departed at 1am Tuesday to Sunday and reached Paddington at 5.10am. I wonder how long one was allowed to 'sleep-in' before being turfed out?
ABC Railway Guide Feb 1956 London-Birmingham
ABC Railway Guide Feb 1956 London-Birmingham

Finally, just to note that the +ABC Railway Guide is still in evidence as a web site

1 comment:

  1. Check out for a summary LMS timetable from 1947. Euston-New St was typically 2h35 (going as quick as 2h15), and 12 trains/day northbound. By 1956, BR had introduced newer steam locos, which presumably is the reason for the quicker times you commented on.