The Royal Family has no train times to worry about. That’s because the British Royal Train transports senior members of the British royal family and accompanying Royal Household personnel across the British railway network. The current Royal Train came about in 1977 to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee.
It may look like a rather ordinary train from the outside, but on the inside, it comprises luxury furniture, dining and lounge carriages, and more.
If you’re curious to find out more about the prestigious British Royal train, you’re in the right place. Here are 7 fun facts you may not have known about it.
- The Royal Train is rocket, bullet and bomb proof
The current Royal Train, introduced in 1977 to commemorate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, is drawn by one of two Class 67 locomotives. It has undergone several modifications throughout the years, including a £320,000 renovation in the 1980s. It also received additional security features – the train is bomb, bullet and rocket-proof. These high-security measures are essential for a train carrying royalty.
- It has nine unique carriages
This includes the former Queen of England’s bedroom, sitting room and bathroom. King Charles III, the current British monarch, has a sleeping car and saloon on board. Prince Philip, the former Duke of Edinburgh had a bedroom, sitting room and bathroom. There is also a Royal Household sleeping quarters, Royal Household couchette, Royal Household dining car and Royal Family dining car.
- The first royal train is over 150 years old
Queen Victoria became the first royal to take a train in 1842. She took a liking to it and commissioned a private set of train cars for herself in 1869. It was modernised throughout time with innovative technology, such as electric lighting in the 1890s.
- It’s more expensive than flying
Surprisingly, The Royal Train is four times more costly than flying. Yes, the train is more expensive than travelling by plane. It costs around £52 per mile, compared to £12 by air. A 2017 trip from London to Cwmbran worked out at £130.84 per mile (blimey).
- Royal-worth dining is offered onboard
A royal chef often joins the train, with dishes thoroughly prepared. The meals provided are of “superlative quality,” and the former Queen was served by the same steward, Ken Moule, for almost 20 years.
- There is a bathtub on the Royal train
Queen Victoria was not the first monarch to create history in the field of railway plumbing. The Royal Train was built with what looks to be the first bathtub ever installed on a train during the reign of George V. It’s been revealed it is not the easiest toilet to use, but it has certainly stood the test of time.
- Gunshots on the train?
A royal bodyguard discharged a gun on the British Royal Train while the Queen was asleep in 2000. On a table in the Royal staff dining car, a bullet hole is still visible.