Coach combinations

I'm building a model railway, which will be a two-track mainline and single branchline, set "somewhere north", covering both Midland and Eastern Regions
and set in mid-50's to mid-60's.
Some of the through trains will be parcels/mail and also sleeper services. I'd be grateful if anyone can give me an idea as to what sort of combinations of coaches should I use, where I am limited to 8 coach train lengths (with either steam or diesel haul)?
Thanks for your advise.
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mainline and single

and Eastern Regions

sleeper services.

sort of

to 8 coach train

An 8 coach express passenger train circa 1960 would probably consist of something like 1x BSK (or BSO) at each end, 1 or 2x FK or FO, maybe a buffet or restaurant car, and remainder consisting of SK, or SO, although you might have a CK instead of a FK (O = Open stock layout, K = side corridor, F = First, S Second or Standard, and C = Composite part 1st, part 2nd)
Some services might have one or more bogie parcels vans attached, whilst some secondary services might have 4 wheel vans attached to the rear. Most important trains mostly BR Mark 1's by the early 1960's, but some LNER or LMS stock still used on secondary services and reliefs.
Steam substitutions for failed diesel locos still occurred up to 1968, so you have a wide choice of locos and coaches.
Non-corridor stock largely replaced by dmu's on suburban services by the early 1960's, although the last survivors continued until Kings Cross electrification in 1970's.
Bevan
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I've often wondered, is there a list anywhere of all the above, generally I can work it out but I still come across one or two combos that get me stuck.
--

All the best,

Chris Wilson
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2nd)
above, generally I

that get me stuck.

I don't know of an on-line version. I can think of the following, in addition to the above.
RC = Restaurant Car RB - Buffet Car RMB = Miniature Buffet Car (smaller buffet area, more seats)
F = First class non corridor S = Second (or Standard) class non corridor T = Third class non-corridor, before it was reclassified as second/standard. BT = Third class /brake van non-corridor C = First/Second composite, non-corridor FL, TL, CL = As above, but with lavatory, usually accessible from some, or all, of the compartments within that coach. BG = Full brake - originally used for parcels with guards compartment, but in later years often used only as a guards van. N.B. Some of these had internal corridors, but no through gangway to adjacent coaches. If I recall correctly, some of those with internal corridors but no gangway had descriptions like SO(NG), but this may just be a distorted memory from 40 years ago.
Using a combination of the above letters can describe most types of passenger coach, so, for example, you could have BCK - brake composite side-corridor.
Multiple unit variants are frequently prefixed by M (Power or motor car), or DT (Non-powered driving trailer)
Hope this helps.
Bevan
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It does thanks.
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Chris Wilson
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Here goes with a brief analysis of traffic services on the old Midland Railway. Note the named trains (Thames-Clyde, Waverley) could run to more than 8 coaches. They would be classically first class at the London end, Catering, second class.
The Nottingham, Derby, Sheffield trains ran to about 8 coaches. Mid 50s would still be LMS stock but late 50s most would be replaced by Mark 1s. But some LMS stock ("porthole" BSK and Restaurant cars) survived to mid 60s. The LMS (and the certain other railway) used British Standard gangways whereas Mark 1s followed the LNER and SR in adopting the Pullman gangway. This meant forward planning in coupling LMS and Mark 1 coaches so Midland trains tended to be less mixed than on the Great Central or ECML. Trains from London could enter either end of Nottingham, so sets could be turned, so there was no logic in attempting to keep first class at the London end. A typical formation could be two BSKs, two SKs and two CKs. The catering set would comprise a first class Restaurant car attached to a SO. In say 1960 the Restaurant car would probably be LMS, the SO and one of the BSKs possibly LMS, the rest would be Mark 1s.
Note that BSOs were mainly used in excursion trains, rarely in "service" trains. But it is worth noting that north of the Thames an SK had 48 seats and a SO had 64 seats. So a scenario could be that there isn't enough first class accommodation on a service, so one of CKs is replaced by an FK, resulting in the loss of 18 second class seats but 16 can be recouped by replacing one of the SKs with a SO. This would result in two BSKs, one FK, one CK, one SK, one SO plus the catering pair.
Local services retained the classic three coach set of two Brake second flanking a composite. All compartment stock, with some of the first class accommodation possibly having access to toilets. But there was often a swinger, often an LMS SK of earlier vintage than "porthole" stock.
Still need to find out about sleeper and parcels services.

--
John Bishop

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