In the days of steam ......

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solarplexus created the topic: In the days of steam ......

How many trains per day ran between Leeds & London?

I ask as the 7.15am Leeds to London KX was cancelled this morning - train failure was the reason given.

A bloke on the platform waiting for said train, uttered the phrase "The service was a hell of lot better in the days of steam".

Was it?
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BertieWooster replied the topic: In the days of steam ......

Surely depends what you mean by 'the days of steam'. 1830? 1890? 1930?

I used to read a lot of Victorian stuff and the papers were full of letters complaining about the terrible railways. The service was slow, often without basic facilities (no toilets for instance) and damned dangerous. Thousands were killed in railway accidents between 1850 and 1900. I think it improved after the companies were forced to amalgamate, but not sure whether it was ever that amazing except on the very top trains. Of course, post-Beeching a lot of stations were closed so inter-city trips often are faster between cities and then crawl once they're in urban areas. Leeds used to have a couple of stations didn't it? Now just one, where you spend most of the time waiting for a platform
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solarplexus replied the topic: In the days of steam ......

BertieWooster wrote: Surely depends what you mean by 'the days of steam'. 1830? 1890? 1930?


As you say "BW" much depends on what the bloke was actually comparing, I wish I'd had the time to ask why he thought the way he did. (Fortunately for me I had a couple of alternatives to get to where I was going).

Did he mean steam engines were more reliable than diesel or electric traction units?
Was the service better in the past because there were more services, more often?
Did he mean the services before nationalisation or the ones after BR took over in 1948?

Steam Locos of BR
"The 1955 Modernisation Plan called for the phasing out of steam traction. Major withdrawals occurred during 1962–1966, and steam traction ended in August 1968, coinciding with the Beeching Axe".
.... Some were sold to London Transport, where steam traction remained in use until 1971. Steam on industrial lines remained until the early 1980s.
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