(Photo from Hattons)
Graham Farish’s BR Blue Mk1 suburban is now in the shops. It’s the sort of model that suggests a Minories-style inner-city terminus using the recently retooled class 31s and the forthcoming DJM Baby Deltic as motive power.
The prototype Mk1 suburban coaches were short-lived and should probably never have been built. Designed as like-for-like replacements for life-expired pre-nationalisation non-corridor stock, the short-distance services on which they were used rapidly went over to DMUs soon after they were built, and without toilets they were unsuitable for longer-distance services. Most of them had their bodies stripped off so the underframes could be used as Carflats.
There was one exception. Peak-time services on the City Widened line between Kings Cross and Moorgate had to negotiate the notorious Hotel Curve in a tunnel beneath part of the station. Clearances were two tight for 64′ coaches, which meant none of the high-density suburban DMU designs would fit, and the low-density 57′ DMUs didn’t have the capacity. So a small fleet of 57′ Mk1 suburbans lasted until the Great Northern electrification in 1977 when the Hotel Curve closed. They were the only Mk1 suburbans to survive long enough to receive BR blue livery.
A cramped partially-underground inner-city terminus based around that theme would make a tempting model. But someone other than me can build it.