Railwayananet Collectors Guides

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Updated June 2017

Locomotive & Train Railwayana - Headboards

Although trains were named in the early days of the railways, with rival companies fighting for passengers over similar routes on speed & comfort, the use of headboards on locomotives to denote special services was used mainly in post war steam and early diesel days. At this time the railways were starting to compete against road transport and were trying to present an exciting image.

   Many regular express services were given names, such as THE ROYAL SCOT pictured above.

The Headboards were carried on brackets on the Smokebox door and were generally made of aluminium. The one above featured two round enamel plates with the Scottish thistle and the English rose and is in superb ex use condition.

Many people remember the express holiday trains such as the CORNISH RIVIERA EXPRESS & the TORBAY EXPRESS that took thousands of workers & their families away for their annual two weeks summer holiday to the Coast.

The above picture shows a GWR Castle Class loco hauling the final stage of the TORBAY EXPRESS into Churston Station. This was taken in the early 1960's and the branch to Brixham (going off to the right) is still in operation.

Many headboards have appeared for sale but there are quite a few replicas about and so if you are going to purchase one you would be best advised to seek advice before purchase.


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