I have always wanted an excuse to include at least one engine from the “missing” region – Southern. And so, when a Battle of Britain class loco, 603 Squadron, along with a rake of 6 Festival of Britain Pullmans was available, the search was well and truly on for a plausible justification!
I wanted to be able to run something equivalent to the Golden Arrow/Fleche d’Or service and I happened to see a post about “The Widened Lines”. This was a direct link between the systems of the LMS, LNER and SR under central London allowing trains such as the Birmingham to Brighton to run without having to change trains and use the Tube (and it also handled a whole lot of freight). It certainly might have been pressed into service, I felt, for a once a day direct Dover to Port Dinllaen service linking Dublin to Paris using MR and SR metals.
What to call it? Well the Italians had the Fleche Rouge, so how about the “Fleche Emeraude” – or “Emerald Arrow”? (A bit more poetic than Fleche Vert, I think…!!).
So then to design a suitable logo, well, its a rip off of the Golden Arrow, but BR had a thing for reuse and I expect that it would have attempted to try and bask a little in the same glory if there was to be a port-to-port Pullman service.
Now the funny thing is that if such a service ran, it would have changed engines one or two times in reality – certainly at Birmingham, for instance. And so there is no real reason for a BoB class loco to end up at PD away from its SR home. But, with a little modeller’s license, we envisage an engine being pressed into service one day when waiting for a return to Dover when the loco destined to be used for the onward leg failed.