It's hardly surprising because nowaday's whenever I go on a little shopping spree to France (mainly Cherbourg) it usually takes between 5 to 6 hours for the Channel Boats to arrival. Until Philippe came forward and give more then what we ever anticapted beforehand which I am truly grateful for, it makes sense for Titanic's arrival which is only an estimated guess, but I think her time off docking at Cherbourg in the evening might have stretched between 5.30 & 5.45pm. It does make you wonder?
To be honest, Eaton & Haas do not provide any notes for sources of the information in their book - I suppose I've just accepted the info on blind faith (a dangerous philosophy!).
It was worked out on another thread that sundown that day at Cherbourg was a few minutes either side of 6.50pm, and there is a photo of the Titanic there in daylight - it's extremely difficult to pinpoint the time she arrived exactly though.
(That is without doubt the lamest sentence I have ever written in my life!)
Perhaps the intrepid M. Delaunoy could get in touch with the Maritime museum in Cherbourg to see if they have any records which could help. It may be unlikely, seeing as Cherbourg didn't exactly have a quiet WW2, but it may be worth a try.
There is no specific note in Mr Destrais' book concerning the "Titanic at Cherbourg" timeline but ... I have the phone number of Mr Destais' Association "Les Amis de la Gare Maritime et des Transatlantiques de Cherbourg". I'll give him a call soon.
I've already contacted the French Railways Association. I asked them some informations concerning "Transatlantic Trains" departing Paris-Gare Saint Lazarre to Cherbourg-Maritime Station.
Here is the transcript of an article published in the Newspaper "Cherbourg Eclair" - dated "11 avril 1912" :
"Le Géant des Mers
Le transatlantique anglais "Titanic", le leviathan moderne, celui qui détient le record du tonnage parmi les paquebots qui font communiquer l'Ancien et le Nouveau Continent, a fait sa première escale sur notre rade mercredi soir. Il était parti de Southampton quelques heures auparavant et avait marché à une vitesse constante de 19 noeuds.
A 18 heures 10 exactement, le "Titanic", brillant de mille feux, reprenait la haute mer à destination de New-York."
The french lesson is free!
A depature at 6:10 pm (Cherbourg time)seems to be confirmed!
Still waiting answers from the French Railroads Archives, Cherbourg Maritime Archives and from a French Railraod Society's Newspaper.
I finally received valuable information from the French Railways (many thanks to the French Railways Historical Center)concerning Train-traffic from Paris to Cherbourg.
I'll try to spare some time and write an Article concerning Paris-Cherbourg Boat Train Traffic.
Here is the timeline of a standard Paris-Cherbourg direct journey. My recollection shows that departure and arrival times correspond with what we could find in other archives (newspapers, books, Titanic literature) :
Train number 317 : Direct Train from Paris to Cherbourg Train with Dining Car (from Paris to Caen) 1st, 2d and 3d Class.
Paris St Lazare (arrival) 08:52 Paris St Lazare (departure) 09:52