Photo © Bernard Warr. Please do not re-post without permission.
In the early 1960s the Midland Red (with a little help from Ernest Marples, Minister of Transport) were rewriting everything that was known about the speed of long distance coach services. The CM5T Motorway Coach became a star performer on the newly opened M1 motorway and regularly attained speeds in the 80s with the magical 'ton' being frequently attained.
The opening of the Midlands end of the M5 created an opportunity for a further expansion of the Motorway services and the X44 Birmingham to Worcester service was introduced. On the first day of operation, CM5 no. 4836, 836HHA, in 'as new' condition, is seen parked up at the Digbeth Coach Station parking area prior to making the inaugural run.
Built as a C5, 4836 entered service from Digbeth Depot in October 1961. The inauguration of the new Birmingham - Worcester Motorway Service created a need for more high speed coaches so, amongst others, 4836 was converted to CM5 configuration in July 1962.
Some years later 4836 was involved in a spectacular M5 motorway accident on Friday 19th March 1965. By swerving to avoid a poorly driven car the coach skidded on the greasy early morning road service, crossed the central reservation, the opposite carriageway and rolled down an embankment. Fortunately there were no serious injuries and the coach was rebuilt at Central Works.
Photo taken by Bernard Warr, Friday 20 July 1962, Digbeth Coach Station Bus Park, Birmingham
©1962-2017 Bernard Warr All Rights Reserved.
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