Thanks to Mister C for much of the gen
1B66 was the reporting number carried by Kings Cross Cambridge Express services. These trains ran every 2 hours between Kings Cross and Cambridge with 7-8 steam heat Mk 1s in tow including a buffet, hence the legendary Cambridge Buffet Express name. 1B66 was particularly memorable for the variety of power that worked these trains with everything from a class 26 to class 55 Deltic, 11 different classes are listed in the sample workings below. In 1B66s later years class 31 and 47s became the prime power, until the loco hauled 1B66 service finally ended on 5^{th} February 1978 with East Coast outer suburban electrification to Royston completed.
D0280 1305 Kings Cross Cambridge 161061
Reported as Falcons first day in revenue earning service, worked 2 round trips to Cambridge.
5904 0904 Kings Cross Cambridge 040665
Baby Deltics were common Finsbury Park based power at this time
6104 1515 Cambridge - Kings Cross 130859
Paxman class 21s were regular Hornsey/Finsbury Park based power at this time
20047 as 8047 worked 2B65 1710 Kings X-Royston 180360
5303 failed at Hatfield the 20 working forward
24058 as 5058 2130 Kings X - Cambridge 170965
Common Finsbury Park/Hornsey based power at this time
26012 as 5312 1156 Cambridge - Kings X 010259
Common Finsbury Park based power at this time
31225 as 5651 0930 Cambridge - Kings Cross 130473
One of 100 plus 31s that featured on 1B66, by far the most regular power
37041 1530 Cambridge - Kings Cross 150976
Very rare class 37 1B66 action, replaced a failure at Cambridge
40153 as 353 1130 Kings Cross Cambridge 170872
this turn was often a type 4 kick out off Finsbury Pk/Kings X.
46042 as D175 1120 Kings Cross - Cambridge 270473
this turn was often a type 4 kick out off Finsbury Pk/Kings X
47100 1930 Kings X - Cambridge 050278
Last ever 1B66, headboard, commerative tickets, strengthened rake on this final working
47337 1130 Cambridge - Kings Cross 150877
an unusual non boilered Midland 47 on 1B66
55003 1130 Kings Cross - Cambridge 180274
a rare Deltic appearance
It is likely that the Prototype Lion, DP2, and possibly other classes may have also featured on 1B66, Class 15 8232/3/4 are likely to have feature on 5B66 ECS turns at Kings Cross too.
More memories
Haulage wise my only trips on 1B66 were back on February 12^{th} 1971. 1548 (later 47433) worked the 1B66 1020 Kings X - Cambridge which we joined at Hitchin. A few hours at Cambridge then we returned on 5641 (later 31216/31467). 1B66 and its 2B66/2B65 are most memorable in that they stopped at Hitchin. Most other services shot through. From our vantage point on the roof of the bike shed at the South of the station on the downside gave us a good viewpoint to watch hear the sounds and smoke given off on departure from Hitchin. I suppose "box" (40s) were our favourites though on occasions some 31s were welcome because they were "cops" when March or Tinsley machines replaced the "boring" Finsbury Park 31s.
1B66, 2B65 and 2B66 loco observations September 9^{th} 1972
Loco / (tops no carried later) |
Code |
Train |
Hitchin Passing time |
1983 / (47281) |
1B66 |
0920 Kings X-Cambridge |
1001 |
5566 / (31448) |
1B66 |
0930 Cambridge - Kings X |
1007 |
5800 / (31270) |
2B65 |
1104 Kings X - Baldock (non corridor stock) |
1201 |
1983 / (47281) |
1B66 |
1130 Cambridge - Kings X |
1207 |
278 / (40078) |
1B66 |
1130 Kings X - Cambridge |
1209 |
5800 / (31270) |
2B65 |
1230 Baldock - Kings X |
1241 |
278 / (40078) |
1B66 |
1330 Cambridge - Kings X |
1407 |
1559 / (47443) |
1B66 |
1335 Kings X - Cambridge |
1212 |
5640 / (31407) |
2B66 |
1404 Kings X - Cambridge |
1502 |
1559 / (47443) |
1B66 |
1530 Cambridge - Kings X |
1607 |
5595 / (31175) |
1B66 |
1533 Kings X - Cambridge |
1611 |
5640 / (31407) |
2B66 |
1630 Cambridge - Kings X |
1721 |
The headcodes were for routes and did not indicate stopping patterns. B66 was for Cambridge, B65 was for Baldock and Royston starters/terminaters
1B66 called Welwyn GC, Stevenage, Hitchin, Letchworth, Royston, Cambridge (80 minutes journey time Kings X Cambridge)
2B65 called Hatfield, Welwyn GC, Welwyn North, Knebworth, Stevenage, Hitchin, Letchworth, Baldock (2^{nd} class only non corridor stock, - 70 minutes journey time Kings X Baldock)
2B66 - called Hatfield, Welwyn GC, Welwyn North, Knebworth, Stevenage, Hitchin, Letchworth, Baldock, Ashwell and Morden, Royston and Cambridge ( 100 minutes journey time Kings X - Cambridge)
From May 1976 the Buffet Expresses had their own individual
reporting numbers, for example 1130 KGX-CBG was 1P32. By then headcodes were
rarely displayed, especially as Finsbury Park were very quick at doing dominos
in the headcode panels.
The Stock
From 1962 only one of the two sets had a Gresley buffet car.
By Sept 1964 the two formations were as follows:
1) BSO, TSO, TSO, RB(Gresley), FK, TSO, BSO
2) BSO, TSO, TSO, RMB, FK, TSO, BSO
By 1968 the sets only had one brake vehicle:
1) TSO, TSO, BSK(or BSO), RB(Gresley), FK, TSO, TSO
2) TSO, TSO, BSK(or BSO), RMB, FK, TSO, TSO
In 1972 the Gresley car was replaced by the prototype Booth Car E1106:
1) TSO, CK, BSO, TSO, Booth Car, CK, TSO
2) TSO, TSO, BSO, RMB, FK, TSO, TSO, TSO*
In 1973 both sets were expanded to 8 coaches:
1) TSO, FK, BSO, TSO, Booth Car, TSO, TSO, TSO
2) TSO, TSO, BSO, RMB, FK, TSO, TSO, TSO, TSO*, TSO*
* 15:30 Camb-KX & 17:14 KX-Camb only
The sets basically stayed the same (although the order of the vehicles did
change slightly) until withdrawal of through services to Cambridge on electrification
in Feb 1978. Substitutions were some sometimes made for the non-availability of
the Booth Car including at least once a Gresley car. Prior to 1973 Saturday
services would often have an extra TSO added to make up to 8 coaches.
At that time 1330 KGX-CBG/1530 CBG-KGX and 1714 KGX-CBG/1957
CBG-KGX were booked class 47 SX for the load 10 workings. 0920 KGX-CBG/1130
CBG-KGX was also booked class 47 SX.
In the 70s E1106 was the usual catering car on 0930/1330/1737 up from CBG with
the occasional ex LNER substitute. The other set on 1130/1530 up was usually a
bog standard RMB. A Gresley buffet was a regular part of the 1B66 consist
with E9122E being reported as late as Feb 72.
Buffet stock and more 1B66 phots link
The two Thompsons make a number of 1B66 appearances around 1969/70 and I'm sure
I remember them in the post 1972 period too, but don't have any dates. Two
different sources quote Gresley E9115E subbing for E1106 in December 1974
5903 0910 Kings X - Cambridge 181161
The stock hauled by 5903 - 9330, 3780, 1137, 4114, 4065, 4084 and 9285 on 181161
31184 0930 Kings X - Cambridge 301177
The stock hauled by 31184 - 4634, 4684, 13199, 25421, 1802, 4211, 4424 and 4315 on 301177
1B66/2B66/2B65 sample power down the years
5301 0925 Kings X - Cambridge 280259
5315 1515 Cambridge - Kings X 280259
5310 0925 Cambridge - Kings X 040459
5304 1416 Kings X - Cambridge 110459
5307 1315 Cambridge - Kings X 010859
6104 1515 Cambridge - Kings X 130859
6102 1105 Kings X - Cambridge 141259
5908 1430 Kings X - Cambridge 310360
5317 1430 Kings X - Cambridge 180460
5651 0905 Kings X - Cambridge 101060
5906 1030 Kings X - Cambridge 180361
5904 Kings X - Cambridge 020961
8049 1120 Kings X - Baldock 120562
5680 1752 Kings X - Cambridge 160862
5643 1305 Kings X - Cambridge 140663
5854 1757 Cambridge - Kings X 111263
5068 0734 Kings X - Cambridge 241064
5903 1557 Cambridge - Kings X 260465
5038 2130 Kings X - Cambridge 170965
5909 1135 Cambridge - Kings X 201265
5615 1740 Cambridge - Kings X 080767
5907 0835 Royston - Kings X 080268
5593 1125 Kings X - Cambridge 280270
1610 0904 Kings X - Cambridge 240370
5640 Kings X - Cambridge 240870
5609 1735 Cambridge - Kings X 031070
1548 1020 Kings X - Cambridge 120271
5641 1520 Cambridge - Kings X 120271
5607 1535 Kings X - Cambridge 230471
339 0705 Kings X - Cambridge 140571
5610 1734 Kings X - Cambridge 110871
1763 1135 Kings X - Cambridge 081071
5645 1630 Cambridge - Kings X 081071
1970 1135 Kings X - Cambridge 191171
357 1135 Kings X - Cambridge 261171
168 1135 Kings X - Cambridge 301171
254 1135 Kings X - Cambridge 101271
282 1135 Kings X - Cambridge 231271
1564 1335 Kings X - Cambridge 070172
5575 0920 Kings X - Cambridge 170272
150 1135 Kings X - Cambridge 270372
5644 1135 Kings X - Cambridge 150472
5844 1335 Kings X - Cambridge 260572
9015 1735 Cambridge - Kings X 180772 (return test run)
272 1130 Kings X - Cambridge 120972
5566 0930 Cambridge - Kings X 120972
5800 1104 Kings X - Baldock 120972
5651 0930 Cambridge - Kings X 130473
1525 1120 Kings X - Cambridge 130473
9015 1130 Kings X - Cambridge 051073
46036 0930 Cambridge - Kings X 030174
55003 1130 Kings X - Cambridge 180274
1633 0920 Kings X - Cambridge 220274
47286 1530 Kings X - Cambridge 220274
37109 1130 Cambridge - Kings X 080374
37109 1330 Kings X - Cambridge 080374
37109 1530 Cambridge - Kings X 080374
31165 0930 Cambridge - Kings X 270674
31301 1130 Kings X - Cambridge 110774
31275 1330 Kings X - Cambridge 300774
46027 1130 Kings X - Cambridge 310774
47380 1714 Kings X - Cambridge 020874
47277 0920 Kings X - Cambridge 020974
31224 1130 Kings X - Cambridge 261074
46040 1130 Kings X - Cambridge 081174
46006 1130 Kings X - Cambridge 210275
40164 1130 Kings X - Cambridge 070475
46006 1130 Kings X - Cambridge 080475
55020 1130 Kings X - Cambridge 090475
40068 1130 Kings X - Cambridge 100475
47403 1330 Kings X - Cambridge 080975
40067 1330 Cambridge - Kings X 080975
31408 1957 Cambridge - Kings X 080975
31402 2030 Cambridge - Kings X 080975
31128 2110 Kings X - Cambridge 080975
31405 2125 Cambridge - Kings X 080975
55020 1130 Kings X - Cambridge 150676
31201 1330 Kings X - Cambridge 260676
31124 0930 Cambridge - Kings X 150776
37041 1530 Cambridge - Kings X 150976 (replaced a failure at Cambridge)
31207 0930 Cambridge - Kings X 060177
31189 1130 Kings X - Cambridge 060177
47141 1330 Kings X - Cambridge 060177
40077 1130 Kings X - Cambridge 190277
31402 0930 Kings X - Cambridge 040377
31234 1130 Kings X - Cambridge 040377
31207 1330 Kings X - Cambridge 040377
40080 1330 Cambridge - Kings X 050477
31103 0930 Cambridge - Kings X 070477
47412 1130 Kings X - Cambridge 070477
31189 1125 Kings X - Cambridge 220577
31407 0920 Cambridge - Kings X 220577
31217 1330 Cambridge - Kings X 230577
47037 1130 Cambridge - Kings X 091177
31184 0930 Kings X - Cambridge 301177
The stock hauled by 31184 - 4634, 4684, 13199, 25421, 1802, 4211, 4424 and 4315 on 301177
47407 1330 Kings X - Cambridge 101277
55009 1130 Kings X - Cambridge 130178
47100 1930 Kings X - Cambridge 050278 (Su) Final 1B66
.
"Mr C" comments "More generally I think the heyday for classes 40 and 46 on
1130 down/1330 up was May 1972 to May 1975 after that much more unusual. In
summer 76 I did a summer job near Cambridge station and viewed 1130 down/1330
up every day for 6 weeks with 40048 on 11/08 the only non-class 31."
East Coast outer suburban electrification to Royston was inaugurated on Mon 6th February 1978. The final 1B66 1930 Kings X - Cambridge on Sunday February 5th was strengthened and included prototype griddle 1106. A farewell headboard was carried by 47100 on this service. Commemorative tickets were also issued.!
East Coast outer suburban electrification may have spelt the end of 1B66 but perhaps the legend of 1B66 lives on in it being a featured headcode on Bachmanns class 46 model of D188!
Some of this article was first published in Traction Magazine in late 2011 but further substantial updates have now been added. More memories/gen welcome.
1B66 Phot spot
A cracking "Mister C" view of 40080 on 1B66 here
An interesting Michael Barstow view of 47043 on 1930 Kings Cross - Cambridge with 1P66 in the headcode box in Sep 75 here
A historic George Woods view of class 31 5588 the Cambridge Buffet express at Hadley wood in Oct 68 here
Thanks again to "Mister C" for much of the gen
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