CZ/SK verze

The Train of the British Monarchy: Queen Victoria Was the First Monarch to Travel in It

The Train of the British Monarchy: Queen Victoria Was the First Monarch to Travel in It
photo: Peter Broster / CC BY 2.0 / Wikimedia Commons/Alstom Class 67 No 67005 Queens Messenger
29 / 12 / 2023

Trains are not just any means of transport; even the British monarchy used them and continues to do so, especially when weather conditions are not conducive to air travel. Contrary to what some might think, the British royal train is neither particularly luxurious nor modern. It has remained without any significant modifications since 1977.

For a long time, the train was the primary means of transport for the British royal family during their travels. The inaugural royal train journey took place on June 13, 1842, and lasted just 25 minutes. Queen Victoria was the first monarch to use the train. At her behest, the train was not allowed to exceed a speed of 64 kilometers per hour. Every two hours, the train had to stop to allow Queen Victoria to use the restroom. As the train passed through slums, the queen would draw the blinds to avoid being seen.

This unique mode of transport also served the late Queen Elizabeth II, who was the longest-reigning monarch of the monarchy. The special train was definitely not the most luxurious or modern, but it remains one of the rarest. It was utilized by the entire royal family for various official trips around England when the weather was unsuitable for air travel.

Department for Culture, Media and Sport / Flickr

The compartments in this special carriage, called saloons, included a bedroom, bathroom, and waiting room for Queen Elizabeth, while the late Duke of Edinburgh's saloon was similarly furnished but also had a kitchen. Additionally, there was a room used for business meetings. The train's schedule was carefully planned to avoid disrupting regular train services.

The train had a maximum of nine carriages, which were used in normal traffic when not needed by the royal family. In 1977, the carriages were modified and renovated to meet all the needs of Queen Elizabeth II. Since then, they have not undergone any further modifications. Interestingly, the annual operation of the train still costs over a million euros.

John R Chandler / Flickr

Interesting Facts About the Train of the British Royal Family:

    • The monarchy's train drivers were always selected based on their skills.
    • Each family member slept in a separate bed.
    • Since 2007, the train has been running on ecological fuel.
    • When not in use, the train is meticulously maintained by dedicated staff at the depot.
    • Queen Elizabeth II had both a shower and a bath in her saloon, while her husband only had a shower.