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.
The best known headboard recently sold in auction
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.
Click here for a list of all named trains
Click here for a list of named trains in 1990
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.
The top priced headboard went through auction
recently & is a quite stunning item
For a list of the Top 5 Prices
in Auction for Headboards click here.