Glory days of British Rail’s full English breakfast | Letters
Guardian readers share their memories of on-train catering
Ian Jack should try the 17.16 from Cardiff to Holyhead, which has a first-class dining carriage (How the railway sandwich led to the privatisation of Britain, 20 May). Food is freshly cooked in a galley. Three courses with choices, wine and coffee at very reasonable rates. Until a couple of years ago there were fresh white linen tablecloths and serviettes, but it is a little more prosaic these days. The food was comparable to a local Michelin-starred restaurant in south Wales which I sampled recently. This service is on a dedicated six-coach train subsidised by the Welsh assembly. They also seem to have a highly polished silver locomotive on the front at times. Of course, it is leased from Arriva Trains, part of the German nationalised rail company Deutsche Bahn. Where Wales leads, will others follow?
• Ian Jack’s article revives memories of my own. Preceding “the sandwich”, GWR catered on board trains before the end of the war. In 1945, in the RAF, I was stationed near Worcester, whence, on a 48-hour pass, I would take the 8am to Paddington on a Saturday. The dining car provided a “full English” – ie cereal or porridge, bacon, eggs, tomatoes, toast and unlimited coffee – all for 2/6d. Returning from Paddington at 7pm the following day, even before the train started, the dining car attendant was seeking bookings for a three-course dinner for 5/-.
Source: Guardian Transport