A four Art Deco

There’s some comment about ‘history repeating itself’ and there are certainly parallels to be drawn between 1930s Britain and the current ‘austerity’ programme. Glamour and glitz in the 1930s was to travel by train, in rolling stock with Art Deco interiors to match their streamlined exteriors; trains like the Coronation, or The Silver Jubilee which ran between London and Newcastle, in 1935.

The first of the A4s ‘Silver Link’, painted in Silvery / grey livery, hauling matching streamlined silver/ grey painted stock, reached 112mph on the inaugural Silver Jubilee run, made on the 29th September 1935; regular services commenced the following day. No. 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley, the engine in the photograph, also attained 112mph – post-war, and a small laurel leaf plaque affixed to the casing attests to this. Like the Silver Jubilee, the Coronation was similarly streamlined, finished in 2-tone blue, rather than silver, it ran between Kings Cross and Edinburgh. Departing Kings Cross at 4pm and arriving in Edinburgh at 10pm. During the summer timetable a beaver tailed observation car was added to the formation, which was usually made up of two four coach articulated units.

Passengers on these trains paid a premium above the standard fare and the London to Newcastle journey, on the Silver Jubilee, with an intermediate stop in Darlington took just 4 hours to cover the 268.3miles, about 67mph average. The Coronation took just six hours for the journey from Edinburgh to London, this was in 1937. Sadly the Second World War saw this service discontinued and post war the stock entered general service – ‘austerity’ post war style didn’t run to Art Deco rolling stock, hauled by Art Deco styled locomotives, hurtling along the ECML at 100+ mph.

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