Above: Rare Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) survivor – the Bulleid 4DD double deck carriage being stored on a farm at Sellindge, in Kent.
Trying to accommodate more passengers on trains travelling in and out of London is a problem that seems to be an on-going problem. Year on year more passengers use the trains and so the need for more carriage space becomes more acute as times passes. In 2014 Network Rail started talking once more about running double deck trains out of Waterloo Station.
Because all carriage have to pass under a fixed height limit, there is no possibility of making the carriage any taller. An ingenious solution was found in the 1950s by providing for passengers to sit at different heights inside specially adapted carriages, with short stairways to allow them to reach the higher seats.
A few survivors of the double deck carriages are lying around in fields, rusting away with no hope of ever being used again. The picture at the top is one of just two surviving carriages from the two experimental Bullied 4DD double deck trains that were introduced in 1949. They continued running until 1971. Unfortunately 40 years of open storage has taken its toll on the carriage which is in very poor condition.
Above: A double-deck carriage at Charing Cross Station in 1949.
There were a few double deck carriages in the 1950s but eventually the project was scrapped. I can remember boarding a double deck carriage one day at London Bridge Station, while I was still at my secondary school. Why it was there and where it was going (or where I was going) I cannot remember.
If you have travelled at the peak of the rush-hour on a normal train or an underground train you will be aware that any attempt to try to solve the problem of overcrowding is welcome. Whether double deck trains are the answer remains to be seen.