Bachmann 31-256DC Class 251 Midland Blue Pullman 6-car Set in Nanking blue with Yellow Ends
To watch the video of this amazing new train in action click on the link: youtube Bachmann 31-255DC and 31-256DC
Each six car unit will comprise 2 x Power cars (Both Motorised), 2 x Kitchen Cars (Type 4) and 2 x Parlour Cars (Type 6) and was sold as a 6 car unit.
This luxurious diesel multiple unit was named after its custom blue livery and was designed for high-speed Pullman train services incorporating several innovative features.
31-256DC Midland Pullman 6 Car Unit features drive system in power car; new style dedicated coupling concept; etched fan grilles; cab lights; directional lighting; and central coach ceiling & table lamp lighting.
Prepared for sound and DCC fitted from Factory in both Power Cars.
The Blue Pullmans were luxury trains used from 1960 to 1973 by British Rail. They were the first Pullman diesel-electric multiple units, incorporating several novel features.
Named after their original Nanking blue livery, the trains were conceived under the 1955 Modernisation Plan to create luxury diesel express trains aimed at competing with the motor car and the emerging domestic air travel market. Although not entirely successful – they were seen as underpowered, and ultimately not economically viable – they demonstrated the possibility of fixed-formation multiple-unit inter-city train services, that a decade later was developed as the InterCity 125, which resembled them in having an integral power car at each end of the train.
There were two versions, built by Metro-Cammell in Birmingham: two first-class six-car sets for the London Midland Region (LMR), and three two-class eight-car sets for the Western Region (WR). They were initially operated by the luxury train operator the Pullman Car Company, which the British Transport Commission (BTC) had recently acquired. Shortly after their introduction, in 1962, Pullman was nationalised, and operation was incorporated into the British Railways network. Originally given the last Pullman vehicle numbers, towards the end of their operational life the trains gained the British Rail TOPS classification of Class 251 (motor cars) and Class 261 (kitchen and parlour cars), although they never carried these numbers.
The WR sets operated from London Paddington to Birmingham and Wolverhampton, and to Bristol, Cardiff and Swansea. The LMR sets operated the Midland Pullman between London St Pancras and Manchester Central via the Midland Main Line, a journey it accomplished in a record 3 hours 15 minutes with a maximum speed of 90 mph. The Midland Pullman was withdrawn in 1966 following electrification of the Euston to Manchester line, which brought greatly reduced journey times with which the Midland route could not compete. The LMR sets were then transferred to the WR, where some of the first-class seating was downgraded to form two-class sets.
The sets were an advanced and luxurious design, befitting a Pullman train, although they did suffer some criticism particularly over a persistent ride quality problem. Over time it became costly to maintain such a small fleet of trains. By 1972, with the development of first-class accommodation in Mark 2 coaching stock, the surcharge for Blue Pullmans seemed uneconomical and unreliable to passengers and BR managers, and in 1973 the trains were withdrawn. None of them were preserved.
The sets featured in three films, one of the same name as a documentary of the design and development, and an observation of the first service. From 2006, the Blue Pullman name was revived as a charter railtour, operated by various companies.