British Rail Classes 251 and 261

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British Rail Class 251 and 261
"Blue Pullman"
In service 1960 - 1973
Manufacturer Metropolitan-Cammell
Number built 5 sets
Formation 6 or 8 cars per set
Capacity 132 (6 car)
228 (8 car)
Operator British Rail, Western Region and London Midland Region
Specifications
Maximum speed 90 mph (145 km/h)
Weight 299 tons (6 car)
364 tons (8 car)
Engine(s) NBL/MAN V12 Supercharged

The Blue Pullman was a class of luxury train used from 1960 to 1973 by British Railways in the United Kingdom. As opposed to the previous Pullman Car Company locomotive-hauled carriage trains, and the Brighton Belle electrical multiple units, the Blue Pullmans were the first diesel-electric multiple units designed for high-speed Pullman train services incorporating several novel features. Named after their custom blue livery, the trains were conceived under the railway 1955 Modernisation Plan, to create new luxury first-class diesel express trains, to compete with the motor car and the emerging domestic air travel market. Although not entirely successful in their own right, the Blue Pullmans demonstrated the possibility of high-speed fixed-formation multiple-unit Inter City train services and inspired the later development of the Inter City 125. After their withdrawal, none of the units survived into preservation.