One such popular search is by people looking for when Chiltern Railways timetable the running of their 'Silver Trains'.
The Silver Trains are actually sets of five refurbished Mark III coaches, plus a Business Zone carriage with a small buffet. Each train has a Class 67 locomotive at one end and a Driving Van Trailer ("DVT") at the other. This means that, generally when heading South (but not always), traction power is provided by the locomotive at the back, with the train being pushed to London.
There are three sets of Silver trains currently in use, plus an extra train formed of six un-refurbished Mark III coaches. The old blue and grey train usually runs just two services a day - Banbury to London Marylebone every weekday morning and London Marylebone to Banbury every weekday evening (at 1850).
The weekday service is usually run with just three Silver sets. There were rumours that a fourth Silver Train was to be available by now (in theory a 'spare'), however I have seen no evidence of this, other than a couple of random carriages sat at Wembley depot. This old rolling stock (not the Class 67 engines) is a mixture of old and new technology, so the trains are quite high maintenance. A spare is often needed and often that one spare set would not be enough.
From the most recent timetable change on 9th December 2012, Chiltern now run Silver Trains seven days a week. I have detailed below the train services that are currently scheduled to be operated as Silver Trains. This timetable currently runs until 18th May 2013.
Monday - Friday
- 1H17 07:44 Princes Risborough - Marylebone (No Business Zone supplement payable, no buffet open)
- 1H19 06:09 Kidderminster - Marylebone
- 1H22 06:38 Stourbridge Junction- Marylebone
- 1H21 07:44 Banbury - Marylebone (Old Blue & Grey set)
- 1H44 10:55 Birmingham Moor Street - Marylebone
- 1H53 12:55 Birmingham Moor Street - Marylebone
- 1H65 15:55 Birmingham Moor Street - Marylebone
- 1R16 08:45 Marylebone - Birmingham Moor Street
- 1R22 10:15 Marylebone - Birmingham Moor Street
- 1R34 13:15 Marylebone - Birmingham Moor Street
- 1R48 16:47 Marylebone - Birmingham Moor Street
- 1K50 17:15 Marylebone- Kidderminster
- 1K54 18:15 Marylebone- Kidderminster
- 1U56 18:50 Marylebone- Banbury (Old Blue & Grey set)
- 1H06 07:12 Kidderminster- Marylebone
- 1H13 09:10 Kidderminster- Marylebone
- 1H24 13:55 Birmingham Moor Street - Marylebone
- 1R25 11:06 Marylebone - Birmingham Moor Street
- 1G49 17:06 Marylebone - Birmingham Moor Street
- 1G53 18:06 Marylebone - Birmingham Moor Street
- 1H31 10:13 Birmingham Moor Street - Marylebone
- 1R54 18:33 Marylebone - Birmingham Moor Street
This means that until reliability issues are overcome, the times above are the planned schedule - don't necessarily go out of your way to catch a Silver Train, because it might not be one!
**Updated 10th January 2013 with regard to 'spare' train and reliability issues **