Royal Train arrives at Havant – from the Roger Nash collection

Sorry for the condition of this image but it has been edited to the best of our abilities. We thought it worthwhile adding to the site because of the rare occasion it depicts.

Can anyone tell us more about the occasion of this visit? The date lies somewhere between 1900 and 1914.

Photo courtesy of Roger Nash.

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8 comments… add one
  • Langstonian 8 May, 2013, 2:29 pm

    Could it be the train used to convey Queen Victoria’s body to London on 2nd February 1901?

    From The Railway Magazine, March 1901, pp. 260-4

    The funeral cortege of our late Queen, in addition to travelling by sea and road, performed two journeys by train, both on Saturday, February 2nd. The first of these was over the London and South-Western Railway from Gosport to Fareham, and thence by London, Brighton and South Coast Railway to Victoria. The train in question consisted of the elaborate “Prince of Wales” Royal train, constructed by the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway, at Brighton Works, in 1898, for the accommodation of King Edward VII. In addition to this train, the Great Western Railway provided two saloons (Nos. 229 and 223), the former had the internal fittings removed, and contained the coffin within which was the body of Queen Victoria; the interior of the saloon was lined with white cloth relieved by purple bands. Great Western saloon, No. 223, was used to convey the wreaths and other floral emblems. On Friday night, February 1st, the Royal train left Portsmouth Town Station for Gosport, in charge of two London and South Western pilotmen, where it was shunted for the night, being taken early on Saturday morning to Clarence Yard, where the remains of her late Majesty were placed in the saloon, after which the members of the Royal Family took their seats. The train was under the personal charge of Mr. Sam Fay, superintendent of the London and South-Western Railway; whilst Mr. Owens, the general manager, and Mr. Drummond, the locomotive superintendent, travelled with the train. On arrival at Fareham, the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway officials took charge for the rest of the journey. Mr. Forbes, the general manager, and Mr. Greenwood, superintendent of the line, being in attendance; whilst Mr. Billinton, the locomotive superintendent, and Mr. J. Richardson, the chief of Battersea locomotive district, travelled on the engine. The train being in charge of two Royal guards, in gorgeous uniforms (J. Youatt and E. Rose). The engine attached at Fare- [p. 261>] ham was No. 54 (“Empress”), one of the “Sirdar” class of four-coupled bogie express locomotives … it was decorated with a gilt crown on a crimson cushion at the front of the chimney, and with white and purple cloth festoons along the sides of the boiler barrel, and smoke-box. The train left Portsmouth 10 minutes late, and leaving Fareham at 8.51, made up 9 minutes before Horsham was reached, and was finally brought to a stand in Victoria Station at 10.58, 2 minutes before the actual booked time. How exceeding fine this performance was, anyone who knows the difficulty of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway’s road from Portsmouth will appreciate. The “Sirdar” ran as pilot in front of the funeral train from Portsmouth to Victoria.

  • Hayling Billy 50 8 May, 2013, 7:57 pm

    Thanks Langstonian – great addition to the site. This link that you found earlier should be of interest as it gives more detail and images of the funeral >

  • Waldgrun 9 May, 2013, 4:08 pm

    It is not the last Empress of India’s funeral train! The train shown is traveling westwards through Havant on the Down line (Portsmouth direction) Details confirmed by the location of the footbridge, signal box and the wind pump. The funeral train ran from Gosport to Fareham hauled by LSWR class ‘A12’ claas 0-4-2 No.555, then from Fareham LBSCR ‘B4’ class 4-4-0 No 54 “Empress” took the train eastwards, through Cosham, Havant,Chichester,Arundel,Horsham,Dorking,& Clapham to London Victoria. So the train would have passed through Havant eastbound on the Up line.

  • Hayling Billy 50 9 May, 2013, 5:50 pm

    Thanks for your reply. Could this have been the ’empty’ stock working to Fareham?

  • Waldgrun 21 May, 2013, 9:01 pm

    Sorry for the delay in answering.

    It is unlikely to be the train working empty, as the full royal train headcode is displayed! Which would indicate that a Royal is being carrried. In the peroid between the Queens death and the Funeral train there was almost a shuttle service of Royal Trains to and from the Portsmouth Area, These carried the Prince of Wales to London to be proclaimed King and he returned the Isle of Wight on the 21st of January 1901 as King Edwrd VII by Royal train. To further cloud the issue the Kaiser was also around!

  • Richard Barton 29 May, 2013, 12:33 pm

    n addition to previous comments the train engine is a Billington B2 class and not the B4 “Sirdar”, which worked the funeral train. Judging by the state of the ballast the photo looks to be in the early 1900s and may well be the train mentioned, which carried Edward VII to the Isel of Wight to make funeral arrangements. I am waiting for comments from experts on the coaching stock.

  • peterd 29 May, 2013, 3:23 pm

    Thanks Waldgrun. Of course you are correct in saying the crown etc would only be fitted if a Royal was being carried at the time.

  • peterd 29 May, 2013, 3:26 pm

    Thanks Richard. I think we are closing in on the date and circumstances of this train.It would be good to date the image.