Motorail (British Rail)

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Motorail
British Rail - Motorail Logo.svg
Logo from 1966 to 1995.
Railway Station, Carlisle - geograph.org.uk - 508586.jpg
A Motorail service to Scotland at Carlisle in 1988
Overview
Stations called at28 (Not all were served in all years of operation.)
Founded1955 British Rail
1999 First Great Western
Defunct1995 British Rail
2005 First Great Western
Parent companyBritish Rail
Route map

This diagram is a guide: not all destinations
shown were served in all years of operation.

Inverness
Perth
Fort William
Aberdeen
Stirling
Edinburgh
Carlisle
York
Newcastle
Newton le Willows
Sheffield
Birmingham
(Sutton Coldfield)
Worcester
Fishguard Harbour
ferry/water interchange for ferries to Ireland
Swansea
Cardiff
Bristol
Reading
London
Kensington (Olympia)
St Austell
Dover ferry/water interchange
for Continental ferries
Newton Abbot
Brockenhurst
Totnes
Exeter
Penzance
Plymouth

Motorail was the brand name for British Rail's long-distance services that carried passengers and their cars, ultimately part of the InterCity sector. It originated with the June 1955 introduction of The Car-Sleeper Limited between London and Perth. (Due to the enginemen's strike that summer the precise start date is uncertain.) The Motorail brand was introduced in 1966 with BR press releases and the opening of the London Kensington Olympia terminal.[1]

Routes[edit]

Motorail operated from London to many places including Penzance, Plymouth, Fishguard, Carlisle, Edinburgh, Perth, Inverness and Fort William. A short-lived service from London to Glasgow was introduced in the early 1990s.

A variety of rolling stock, both open and enclosed, was used. Many routes were operated with overnight sleeper services. The open double deck Cartic 4 was first used on a Kensington Olympia to Perth Motorail on 22 June 1966.[2] and last used in 1978.[3]

Withdrawal[edit]

Usage on many routes had declined by the early 1990s. In 1989 the London to Stirling service was discontinued.[4] The services operated at a significant loss and the service ceased in 1995 when British Rail was privatised.[5] First Great Western relaunched a service from London Paddington to Penzance as part of their Night Riviera overnight sleeper service in 1999, but withdrew it at the end of summer 2005.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ John Furnevel (2005-07-20). "West London Line | RAILSCOT Magazine". Railbrit.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-05-22.
  2. ^ Modern Railways September 1966 p. 468
  3. ^ Cartic-4 car carriers
  4. ^ "BR Motorail service pulls out of Stirling". The Herald. Glasgow. 8 February 1989. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
  5. ^ Paul Routledge (1995-01-01). "Motorail to be axed in BR sell-off - News". The Independent. Retrieved 2014-05-22.

See also[edit]