ACE Trains Southern Railway and British Railways Night Ferry Continental Sleeper Coaches
Seventy years after our good friends Elettren of Milan first produced a Type F sleeper in vintage style continental tinplate, ACE Trains have announced their intention to produce a 40cm version to British loading gauge specification that will complement perfectly the company’s extensive range of British period (Southern Railway and British Railways era) locomotives and coaches. In addition, the Night Ferry sleepers will be at home with Elettren’s slightly larger 44cm continental tinplate coaches exactly as they were run in real life across France, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland.
The London to Paris Night Ferry (Paris-Londres Ferry Boat de Nuit) boat train was an unique luxury train service that began in 1936 and only ended as recently as October 1980. The ability to incorporate sleeping cars that were used on both sides of the channel day in, day out, was extremely innovative. In BR days the Night Ferry service was extended to new destinations including Brussels and Basle and, from time to time, Night Ferry sleeping coaches would be included in the Scandinavian formation of the Nord Express.
Detailed design work is now underway, lined drawings and other details of the sleeping cars will be provided by ACE in due course. And if you can’t wait then one of these very special sleeping cars (No: 3792 from 1936) can be seen in real life at the National Railway Museum. And if you’re looking for appropriate motive power to haul your ACE Night Ferry, then ACE Trains SR and BR era Bullied ‘West Country’ and ‘Battle of Britain’ Spam Cans, SR Schools and forthcoming SR Lord Nelson locomotives provide the ideal solution. For continental operators you will not have to go much further than MTH’s Chapelon Pacific and the EST/SNCF Class 241A locomotives to power the Night Ferry coaching stock across Europe. Even the Class 141P Mikado will not look out of place!
The prestige and glamour associated with 1930s European boat train services with their bestowed names epitomised luxury travel; it’s something rather different so why not recreate the magic of the London to Paris Night Ferry service with this very special edition? Undoubtedly, the British loading gauge continental coaches will be a very special edition – it’s likely to be much sought after that will appeal to both British and continental enthusiasts alike. We recommend that you place your interest now to guarantee a set once they’re available. They’ll move very fast so pre-order now!