The original Blue Pullman trains were introduced by British Rail in 1960. The 1955 Modernisation Plan envisioned luxury diesel express trains as a way of competing against motor cars and domestic air travel. Built in Birmingham by Metro-Cammell, two variants were created; two first class six-car sets for the London Midland Region, operating from London St Pancras to Manchester Central, and three two class eight-car units which ran on the Western Region from London Paddington to various destinations. The London to Manchester train was known as the Midland Pullman and reduced the record time between the two cities from 3 hours 50 minutes to just 3 hours 15 minutes.
The last Midland Pullman ran in 1966 after the electrification of the London Euston to Manchester Piccadilly line which allowed journeys to be completed in just two and a half hours. In 2020 it was announced that Locomotive Services Limited would begin to run a Blue Pullman service from St Pancras to Manchester Piccadilly along the Midland Main Line. This exciting new service, offering amazing views of the Derbyshire Peak District, combines the historic Blue Pullman with the Iconic Class 43 HST which will feature a new Nanking Blue livery replicating that of the original Blue Pullmans.