SEmG

Pullman cars

Lydia

photograph by Michael Taylor

The much travelled Lydia is a 1928 built Kitchen car who spent her early life in service with CIWL in Italy. She then served on the pre-war Golden Arrow and was part of Dwight D Eisenhower's train on D Day. She subsequently served on Sir Winston Churchill's funeral train in January 1965 before touring Canada and the USA with Flying Scotsman from 1969, where she is pictured here in the Canadian National Exhibition grounds in August 1972. She then settled at the US National Rail Museum in Green Bay, Wisconsin, until being repatriated to the UK in November 2000. Lydia is now (February 2001) being restored for use on the Swanage Railway's Wessex Belle dining train.
 
The railway companies of the south of England through to the Southern Region of British Railways were major users of Pullman cars either in complete Pullman trains or in portions of other services. Indeed on the Southern this did not stop at locomotive hauled cars for the SR operated the legendary Brighton Belle Pullman electrical multiple units (5 Bel) and also Pullman cars within EMU formations (6 Pul and 6 Cit). Perhaps the Southern's strong association with Pullman luxury operation was to emphasise the premium end of an otherwise largely commuter and short haul operation with the Pullman services being mostly associated with continental ferry travel, ocean liner travel and up market holiday resorts. However it has to be noted that the Brighton line Pullman services were more to do with well-healed commuters to and from that resort than holiday traffic! In 1958 seven Pullman cars were sold to the Southern Region, repainted green and used as buffets, mainly in Southampton boat trains, until withdrawn in 1963.
 
1104

photograph by Colin Duff

IBIS is also a 1928 built Kitchen car who spent her early life in service with CIWL in Italy. Upon her return to Britain she served, amongst other uses, on the Bournemouth Belle. She is part of the original VSOE fleet and is pictured here at Stewarts Lane on 10th April 1988.
 
1101

photograph by Colin Duff

The 1951 built former Golden Arrow Kitchen Car Orion now serves as a tea room at Pecorama, Beer, Devon, in which rather delicious cream teas can be bought. She is pictured here on 23rd July 2000.
 
Zena

photograph by Michael Taylor

1928 built Parlour car Zena started her life on the GWR running in the short lived Torquay Pullman before soon coming to the SR where she ran mostly in Southampton Boat Trains. Zena was one of the Pullman cars to adopt Southern green for wartime service and was noted as still being in this livery during 1947. She is pictured here in Haworth yard on K&WVR in June 1971. Zena was also part of the original VSOE fleet.
 
Marazion

photograph by Michael Taylor

Placed even out of reach of the Southern's "Withered Arm" the Pullman camping coaches at Marazion, Cornwall, became a well known place to see Pullman cars after their general withdrawal in the 1960s. Between 1960 and 1963 56 Pullman cars were converted to camping coaches. The Southern Region was the largest user with 25. The Western Region took 6, originally equally split between Marazion and Fowey, but after withdrawal of the camping coach service all six were kept at Marazion for staff holidays. All 6 had a Southern Railway eastern section heritage, with at least four of them originally having run in SECR crimson lake livery. Alicante was a 1912 kitchen car, Aurora a 1923 brake car, Calais a 1921 twelve wheel parlour car, Flora a 1923 brake parlour car, Juno also a 1923 brake parlour car and Mimosa a 1914 twelve wheel kitchen car.
 
Elmira Former Pullman Car 'Elmira', dated 10th September 2002 at Ravenglass...

photograph by Glen Woods

 
...and 'Maid of Kent', also at Ravenglass.

photograph by Glen Woods

Maid of Kent
Both these two Pullmans were originally built as ambulance cars by the LNWR and were converted into 1st Class Pullman Cars in 1921, by Claytons. They were subsequently rebuilt as Composite cars at Preston Park in the 1930s.
They were both further rebuilt and declassified to third class cars at Preston Park in 1948, Elmira becoming car 135 and Maid of Kent, car 137. They were then converted to Camping coaches in 1960, Elmira becoming 022261 and Maid of Kent 022262, both being allocated to Ravenglass.
 
Bogie Close-up of one of the bogies on 'Maid of Kent'.

photograph by Glen Woods

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Photos from inside the derelict Pullman Works at Brighton

This page was last updated 27 April 2003

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