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50 years of motorway coach operation

Lloyd

master brummie
To mark 50 years since the opening of the M1 (actually on 2nd November 1959) and the start of the famous Midland Red Motorway Express service between Birmingham and London, Wythall museum's Midland Red CM6T motorway coach joined Roger Burdett's newly restored Midland Red C5 coach and a modern National Express Scania K340 EB6/Caetano Levante on a commerative trip from Digbeth to Victoria Coach Station and back, using the original A45/M45/M1 route first taken on November 2nd 1959. I drove the Wythall coach - what a nostalgic day it has been!


https://the-transport-museum-wythall.fotopic.net/c1775015.html
 

Alf

Gone but not forgotten. R.I.P.
Thanks for that Lloyd how long was the journey?

I ask because my Son travelled from Victoria to Manchester yesterday and it took over 6 hours.:(
 

Lloyd

master brummie
We didn't rush, left Digbeth just after 09:00, arrived London about 12:30 with a stop en route. Only doing 50-60 MPH (Not the 90-100 we used to do back in the old days!)
 
B

BernardR

Guest
Lloyd I recall being passed in fog on the M1 by a Motorway coach and the van I was a passenger in was doing 70 MPH - hairy to say the least. Thankfully not as much traffic as in those days. I also recall coming back from London in one that used the bridge link to cross to the South bound services to make a stop - really scared a couple who thought they were heading the wrong way and nearly left the coach.
 

john70

master brummie
Thanks for that Lloyd and all the photo,s, pleased the Midland Red managed to do a commemorative run for the 50th. anniversary, I remember Mike doing a 40th. anniversary run in 4819.
 

the silver fox

master brummie
Lloyd,
Thank you for this excellent record.
As a youngster a few mates and I decided that we quite fancied going down the M5 (to Weston?)at 100mph in one of these coaches. We went to Digbeth and joined a queue. The ton-up machines filled up but when it came to our turn we were ushered into some old slow coach which arrived about an hour after the rest. Very disappointing to put it mildly.
Ted
 

DavidGrain

master brummie
It was good to see the CM6T on Midlands Today at Digbeth. Unfortunately Peter Plisner, BBC's travel correspondent described it as one of the vehicles which started the service whereas it was the earlier CM5Ts which started the service or an I just being pedantic. Nice to see the photos of the C5. Pity none of the motorway coaches have survived. I have one of the original Corgi coaches. It cost me 8s 6p. I remeber my dad taking me to London in the early days of the M1. We were flat out at 60MPH in dad's A40 Sommerset when a Midland Red passed us at speed and it rocked our car.
 
B

Bill Lawrence

Guest
Hi ..................

In 1978/9 BBC Midlands (from Pebble Mill) did a 30 minute programme fronted by Joanne Bakewell which looked at coach and rail travel between the west Midlands and London. The destination for the coaches then was a car-park on what is now the site of new British Library. I was the "passenger subject" of this programme and have a VHS copy.

The film started from Kidderminster and the journey by rail was with a connection at New Street and into Euston, and the coach went via Stourbridge, Dudley, West Bromwich across the city (but not into Digbeth) out onto the M6 motorway by going past the Tyburn Hotel and down to the M1.

I hadn't found this site, and the forum before yesterday so perhaps you will forgive me if this isn't of interest to anyone.

But if it is I can fill out details later this month when I get back to the UK - at present I am in Bielefeld, Germany and my files and other references are lying on Tyneside.

Bill Lawrence
 

G G Jean

Brummy Wench.
Bill thanks for that info. I know several people on here will be very interested in that. Enjoy the forum. Jean.
 

DavidGrain

master brummie
Reading Bill's note I would say that he would be talking about the time that Mrs Thatcher's government deregulated the bus industry. We would be talking probably about the short lived British Coachways who operated from a site near Moor Street Station, I think in Park Street, to a disused railway goods yard which as Bill says is now the site of the British Library. Incidently the rail service has also improved in that there are now direct trains from Kiddermister to London Marylebone operated by Chiltern Railways via Birmingham Snow Hill.

Personally, I prefered to use the London Liner service to London as I could get on their coach either in Colmore Row or I could drive to Miller Street bus garage and park my car in the old garage. This service was originally jointly operated by Central Coaches (part of Travel West Midlands) and London Transport but after a while LT dropped out. When National Express took over TWM this service finished and I reverted to travel by train.

David
 

Bill Parker

master brummie
There have been three die cast models of the B.M.M.O motorway coach. Both Corgi and Budgie did versions, the Corgi was to some odd scale that was probably chosen because it fitted into a certain size box! It was quite a nice depiction and had a detailed interior and suspension. The Budgie version was to a scale of 1/76 and was suitable for OO guage model railway layouts. I thought it was a better depiction than the Corgi and it also had the twin headlamps that I believe were a later modification to the motorway versions of the coach. The Budgie version did not have any interior. I have once of these and it now features a scratch built interior and some scale wheels. The wheels lift it from a toy to a half decent replica.
The third and far superior version, again to 1/76 scale was made a few years ago by OOC/Corgi , this is ,or was, available in various different versions, including headlamp and interior variations.
 
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