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GWR Route: Banbury to Wolverhampton

Leamington South Junction: gwrls3952

A poster advertising the new joint through service from South Wales to the East Coast via Leamington, starting in July 1908

A poster advertising the new joint through service from South Wales to the East Coast via Leamington, starting in July 1908. The accompanying article in the Great Western Railway Magazine is transcribed:

We have from time to time referred to the policy of the Company in providing through services for the journeys across country necessitated by business requirements or the pursuit of pleasure, and to the beneficial effect which the institution of these services has had on both the Company and the public. It is interesting therefore to note that a feature of the Great Western summer services this year will be the additional through cross-country services, prominent among these being the services announced to be run between South Wales and the East Coast in conjunction with the London and North Western and Great Eastern Companies by a new route via Gloucester, Cheltenham, Stratford-on-Avon, Leamington, Peterborough and Ely, linking up the principal towns in South Wales with Norwich and the bracing east coast resorts of Yarmouth, Lowestoft, Cromer and Sheringham, passengers being conveyed in through carriages, with lavatory accommodation, between Cardiff and Yarmouth and Lowestoft.

The service comprised two through carriages in both directions every weekday (including Saturday). The Great Western and Great Eastern railways each provided one 1st/3rd class Composite Coach (for Yarmouth passengers) and one 3rd class Brake Coach (for Lowestoft passengers). The timings in 1908 were as follows:

Station Arrival Depart Station Arrival Depart
Cardiff - 10:20am   Lowestoft - 10:01am
Gloucester 11:40am 11:55am   Yarmouth - 10:05am
Leamington GW 1:23pm 1:30pm   Peterborough   1:35pm
Wansford 2:59pm -   Rugby 2:38pm 2:42pm
Peterborough 3:10pm -   Leamington GW 3:05pm 3:12pm
Yarmouth 7:18pm -   Gloucester 4:41pm 4:55pm
Lowestoft 6:55pm -   Cardiff 6:29pm -

In the following summer the South Wales to East Coast through service operated again. The Railway Magazine of July 1909 documented the following change:

‘Last year’s summer service will be re-introduced, the alterations in same being of quite minor character; but by the exercise of skill in time table construction the Great Eastern Railway has been enabled to make acceleration of as much as 73 minutes in the running of the Cardiff, Yarmouth summer through train, whilst the time to Lowestoft will be reduced by 50 minutes. This train, which comes on to the Great Eastern Railway at Peterborough, last year was due at March at 3:42pm and left there at 3:54pm coupled to the York-Norwich train. It so happens that the through express from the Great Central Railway to Yarmouth and Lowestoft is due to pass March at 3:41pm. This summer the train from the Great Central Railway will stop at March at 3:43pm; the Cardiff train will be due to arrive 3:40pm, and will be joined to the one from the Great Central Railway, the combined train leaving at 3:50pm and being due at Lowestoft at 6:06pm and Yarmouth at 5:55pm; the arrivals are 10 minutes later than last year – accounted for by the call at March. The train will run from July 16th to September 11th in the times above given. From September 13th to the end of the month the timings will be as last year.’

Robert Ferris