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 LOCO HEADBOARDS

A brief History

Although trains were named in the early days of the railways, with rival companies fighting for passengers over similar routes on speed & comfort, the use of headboards on locomotives to denote special services was used mainly in post war steam and early diesel days. At this time the railways were starting to compete against road transport and were trying to present a more exciting image.

   Many regular express services were given names, such as THE ROYAL SCOT pictured above.

 

The Headboards were carried on brackets on the Smokebox door and were generally made of aluminium. The one above featured two round enamel plates with the Scottish thistle and the English rose and is in superb ex use condition.

Many people remember the express holiday trains such as the CORNISH RIVIERA EXPRESS & the TORBAY EXPRESS that took thousands of workers & their families away for their annual two weeks summer holiday to the Coast.

The above picture shows a GWR Castle Class loco hauling the final stage of the TORBAY EXPRESS into Churston Station. This was taken in the early 1960's and the branch to Brixham (going off to the right) is still in operation.

Many headboards have appeared for sale but there are quite a few replicas about and so if you are going to purchase one you would be best advised to seek advice before purchase.

         The most expensive Headboard so far which sold in Auction for 27,500 in March 2008 was the Golden Arrow. Generally you would expect to pay 2000 - 4000 to buy a Headboard.

 

The following list of Named Trains shows which services carried Headboards. All named trains with route details and dates carried headboards for all or part of their period of running. The others were named but did not have Headboards allocated (none of the named trains ran from 1939 - 1945). When steam traction was replaced the modernising influencers felt that naming trains was outdated and awkward especially when putting Headboards onto Diesels and Electrics and by 1970 nearly all had disappeared. By 1990 there will still a few named trains, with the name displayed, running (also listed below) and now, although some are still referred to by names e.g. GWR Cornish Riviera Express. there is little if anything on the train that would make the name apparent.

Aberdonian Kings Cross - Aberdeen/Elgin/Lossiemouth (Sleeping car train) July 1927 - May 1971
Anglo-Scottish Car Carrier London Holloway - Newcastle/Edinburgh/Perth May 1960 - September 1966
Atlantic Coast Express Waterloo - Padstow/Ilfracombe/Bude etc July 1926 - September 1964
Belfast Boat Express    
Birmingham Pullman    
Blackpool & Fylde Coast Express    
Blackpool Club Train    
Blue Pullmans (Western Region)    
Bon Accord Glasgow - Aberdeen July 1937 - May 1968
Bournemouth Belle Waterloo - Bournemouth (West until 1965 then Central) July 1931 - July 1967
Bournemouth Limited    
Brighton Belle Victoria - Brighton June 1934 - April 1972
Bristol Pullman    
Bristolian Paddington - Bristol Temple Meads September 1935 - June 1965
Brittany Express St Malo Service (Summer only) June 1954 - September 1964
Broadsman Liverpool Street - Cromer/Sheringham June 1950 - June 1962
Butlins Express Kings Cross - Skegness 1950's - early 1960's
Caledonian Euston - Glasgow Central June 1957 - September 1964
Cambrian Coast Express Paddington - Aberystwyth/Pwllheli July 1927 - March 1967
Cambrian Radio Cruise Rhyl - Rhyl 1956 -1961
Canberra Waterloo - Southampton Docks 1960's
Cambridge Buffet Expresses    
Capitals Limited Kings Cross - Edinburgh Waverley May 1949 - September 1952
Capitals United Express Paddington - Cardiff/Swansea High Street February 1956 - June 1965
Car-Carriers    
Cathedrals Express Paddington - Worcester/Hereford September 1957 - June 1965
Channel Islands Boat Train Waterloo - Weymouth Quay 1981 -1988
Cheltenham Flyer Paddington - Cheltenham Spa St James July 1928 - September 1939
Cheltenham Spa Express Paddington - Cheltenham Spa St James June 1956 - May 1973
Comet Euston - Manchester September 1932 - September 1962
Condor London Hendon - Glasgow Gushetfaulds (Overnight freight services) March 1959 - October 1967
Condor Birmingham Aston - Glasgow Gushetfaulds (Overnight freight services) January 1963 - November 1968
City Limited    
City-to-City Express    
Clansman    
Comet Euston - Manchester (London Rd then Piccadilly from Sept 1960) September 1932 - September 1962
Continentals (Eastern Region)    
Cornish Riviera Limited/Express Paddington - Penzance July 1906 - 1960's (name still used)
Cornishman Wolverhampton - Penzance (Bradford to Penzance from June 1965) June 1952 - May 1975
Coronation Kings Cross - Edinburgh Waverley July 1937 - August 1939
Coronation Scot    
Corridor    
CTAC Express Scottish Tours 1950's
Cunard Special Euston - Liverpool Riverside 1956 - 1966
Cunarder Waterloo - Southampton Docks July 1952 - 1960's
Day Continental Liverpool Street - Harwich (Parkeston Quay West) Boat Train June 1947 - May 1987
Devon Belle Waterloo - Ilfracombe (and Plymouth until September 1949) June 1947 - September 1954
Devonian Bradford - Paignton (Leeds to Paignton from May 1971) September 1927 - May 1975
East Anglian Liverpool Street - Norwich Thorpe October 1946 - Privatisation
Eastern Belle Liverpool Street - Clacton - Sea (other coastal destinations weekdays) June 1929 - September 1939
Easterling Liverpool Street - Yarmouth/Lowestoft June 1950 - September 1958
Eastern Region Executives & others    
Elizabethan Kings Cross - Edinburgh Waverley June 1953 - September 1962
Emerald Isle Express Euston - Holyhead September 1954 - May 1975
Essex Coast Express Liverpool Street - Clacton June 1958 - May 1968
Executive    
Fair Maid Kings Cross - Perth September 1957 - September 1958
Fast Belfast    
Fenman Liverpool Street - Kings Lynn via Cambridge & Ely May 1949 - May 1968
Fife Coast Express Glasgow - Dundee & Edinburgh - Crail July 1912 - August 1939
Flushing Continental Liverpool Street - Harwich Parkeston Quay September 1927 - September 1939
Flying Scotsman Kings Cross - Edinburgh Waverley/Aberdeen July 1927 - 1970's
Golden Arrow Victoria - Dover Marine - Calais - Paris May 1929 - September 1972
Golden Hind Paddington - Plymouth North Road June 1964 - late 60's
Grampian    
Granite City Glasgow - Aberdeen July 1933 - May 1968
Harrogate Pullman Kings Cross - Leeds/Bradford/Harrowgate (Sunday only) May 1928 - August 1939
Heart of Midlothian Kings Cross - Edinburgh Waverley May 1951 - May 1968
Hebridean    
Highlandman Kings cross - Fort William/Inverness/Nairn (Sleeping car train) July 1927 - September 1939
Highwayman    
Hook Continental Liverpool Street - Harwich Parkeston Quay (Boat train) September 1927 - May 1987
Hull Executive Kings Cross - Hull Paragon May 1978 - January 1981
Inter-City Paddington - Wolverhampton Low Level September 1950 - June 1965
Irish Mail Euston - Holyhead September 1927 - May 1985
Irishman Glasgow - Stranraer Harbour July 1933 - March 1967
Kentish Belle Victoria - Ramsgate July 1951 - September 1958
Lakes Express Euston - Windermere/Workington July 1927 - August 1964
Lancastrian Euston - Manchester February 1928 - September 1962
Lothian Coast Express Glasgow Queen Street - North Berwick/Gullane/Dunbar June 1912 - September 1934
Lewisman    
Limited    
Liverpool Pullman    
Llandudno Club Train    
Manchester Club Trains    
Manchester Pullman    
Mancunian    
Man of Kent Charing Cross - Margate June 1953 - June 1961
Manxman Euston - Liverpool Lime Street July 1927 - April 1966
Master Cutler St Pancras - Sheffield Midland January 1969 - May 1985
Mayflower Paddington - Plymouth North Road June 1957 - June 1965
Merchant Venturer Paddington - Bristol/Weston Super Mare May 1951 - September 1961
Merseyside Express Euston - Liverpool/Southport February 1928 - September 1962
Mid-Day Scot Euston - Glasgow Central September 1927 - June 1965
Midlander Euston - Wolverhampton High Level September 1950 - September 1959
Night Aberdonian    
Night Ferry Victoria - Dover Marine/Dunkerque/Paris October 1936 - October 1980
Night Limited    
Nightrider    
Night Scot    
Night Scotsman Kings Cross - Glasgow/Perth/Dundee/Aberdeen (Sleeping Car train) July 1927 - May 1968
Norfolk Coast Express    
Norfolkman Liverpool Street - Norwich Thorpe September 1948 - June 1962
Norseman Kings Cross - Newcastle Tyne Commission Quay (Boat train service) June 1931 - September 1939
North Briton Leeds City - Glasgow Queen Street via York September 1949 - May 1968
North Country Continental    
North Eastern    
Northern Belle Kings Cross - Various locations (Luxury touring train) June 1933 - June 1939
Northern Irishman Euston - Stranraer Harbour (Sleeping Car train)  
Northumbrian Kings Cross - Newcastle September 1949 - June 1964
Oxford Pullman    
Paddy    
Palatine St Pancras - Manchester Central July 1938 - June 1964
Peak Express    
Pembroke Coast Express Paddington - Pembroke Dock June 1953 - September 1963
Pines Express Manchester - Bournemouth (Poole from October 1965) May 1928 - March 1967
Ports-to-Ports Express    
Queen of Scots Kings Cross - Glasgow via Leeds & Harrogate May 1928 - June 1964
Red Dragon Paddington - Swansea/Carmarthen June 1950 - June 1965
Red Rose Euston - Liverpool Lime Street May 1951 - April 1966
Robin Hood St Pancras - Nottingham Midland February 1959 - September 1962
Royal Duchy Paddington - Penzance January 1957 - June 1965
Royal Highlander Euston - Inverness (Sleeping car train) September 1927 - May 1985
Royal Scot Euston - Glasgow Central July 1927 - June 2002
Royal Wessex Waterloo - Weymouth/Swanage/Bournemouth West May 1951 - July 1967
Saint Mungo Glasgow - Aberdeen July 1937 - May 1968
Scandinavian Liverpool Street - Harwich Parkeston Quay (Boat train service) May 1931 - May 1975
Scarborough Flyer Kings Cross - Scarborough Central/Whitby Town July 1927 - September 1963
Shakespeare Express    
Shamrock Euston - Liverpool Lime Street June 1954 - April 1966
Sheffield Special    
Silver Jubilee Kings Cross - Newcastle September 1935 - May 1978
South Wales Pullman Paddington - Swansea High Street June 1955 - September 1961
South Yorkshireman Marylebone - Bradford Exchange via Huddersfield/Halifax May 1948 - January 1960
Southern Belle    
Sunny South Express    
Talisman Kings Cross - Edinburgh Waverley September 1956 - May 1968
Tees-Tyne Pullman Kings Cross - Newcastle September 1948 - April 1976
Thames-Clyde Express St Pancras - Glasgow September 1927 - May 1975
Thames-Forth Express St Pancras - Edinburgh Waverley September 1927 - September 1939
Thanet Belle Victoria - Ramsgate (Pullman car train - summer only) May 1948 - September 1950
Torbay Express Paddington - Kingswear July 1923 - September 1968
Trans-Pennine Leeds - Manchester January 1961 - ?
Tynesider Kings Cross - Newcastle (Sleeping car train) June 1950 - May 1968
Ulster Express Euston - Fleetwood (Heysham from April 1928) July 1927 - April 1975
Waverley St Pancras - Edinburgh Waverley June 1957 - September 1968
West Coast Postal    
West Riding Kings Cross - Leeds Central/Bradford Exchange May 1949 - March 1967
West Riding Limited Kings Cross - Leeds Central/Bradford Exchange (Name on Coaches) September 1937 - August 1939
West Riding Pullman Kings Cross - Leeds/ Bradford/Halifax/Harrogate/Newcastle July 1927 - September 1935
White Rose Kings Cross - Leeds Central/Bradford Exchange May 1949 - June 1964
William Shakespeare Paddington - Wolverhampton/Stratford-upon-Avon May 1951 - September 1951
Windermere Club Train    
Yorkshire Pullman Kings Cross - Leeds/Bradford/Halifax/Harrogate September 1935 - May 1978
Yorkshireman    

 

NAMED PASSENGER TRAINS 1990 NAMED FREIGHT TRAINS 1990
The Armada (Plymouth - Newcastle) The Condor (Carrying containers door to door)
The Dorset Scot (Poole - Edinburgh via Newcastle) The Tartan Arrow (London - Glasgow)
The Humber-Lincs (King's Cross - Cleethorpes)  
The Devonian (Paignton - Leeds - Newcastle)  
The Merseyside Pullman (Euston - Liverpool)  
The Devon Scot (Plymouth - Aberdeen via Carlisle)  
The Cornish Scot (Penzance - Glasgow)  
The Sussex Scot (Brighton - Glasgow)  
The Wessex Scot (Poole - Glasgow)  
The Welsh Dragon (Euston - Holyhead)  
The Orcadian (Inverness - Thurso)  
Hebridean Heritage (Inverness - Kyle of Lochalsh)  
The Lord of the Isles (Edinburgh - Oban & Mallaig)  
The Lochaber (Fort William - Mallaig)  
Tyne Trader/Ayrshire Trader (Girvan - Newcastle)  
The Borderer (Newcastle - Carlisle - Glasgow)  
Galloway Enterprise/Tyne Enterprise (Stranraer - Newcastle)  

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