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The London-Southampton boat train

Discussion in 'Boat Train' started by Adam Jacob Beals, Jun 9, 2005.

  1. I'm writing a fictional story set on the Titanic (not for publication) and trying to be as accurate as possible. Does anyone know what Southampton station the train pulled into?
  2. John Clifford

    John Clifford Member

    Hi Adam.

    The current train, from London Waterloo Station, arrives at Southampton Central Station. From there it is not far from the Southampton Docks.

    In the past, there was rail service to the area next to the Southwestern Hotel. You should use that station stop.

    Right now, the Southwestern Hotel building is still standing; however, it is now offices and private flats. Too bad the DeVere or Fairmont Chains could not convert it back to a hotel. The railroad no longer stops by the Southwestern.
  3. John Clifford

    John Clifford Member

    One other note: Adam, check out "Titanic: An Illustrated History". In that book, it lists the travels of the Becker Family, as they headed down to Southampton.
    Ruth Becker was, in her later years, a good friend of Don Lynch, and provided him with a lot of good information.

    When "Titanic: An Illustrated History" was published, it was dedicated "To WINNIE & RUTH", for 2nd0Class passengers Edwina (Troutt) McKenzie and Ruth (Becker) Blanchard.
  4. Adam - The answer to your query is ''it depends''.
    If they travelled on a normal scheduled service train they would have alighted at Southampton Terminus Station and taken a horse taxi into the docks with their luggage.
    If they travelled on a special Boat Train from London Waterloo they would have gone straight through the Terminus Station across the road and into the docks and the train would have stopped at 43/44 berth and they would have alighted into the Dockside Sheds and Porters would have been engaged to take their luggage across to the ship perhaps 150 - 200 yards away.
    Best of luck with your story.

    Cheers Brian J. Ticehurst - Southampton, UK
  5. Is there any record of who arrived in Southampton on the Boat Train on the day the Titanic sailed? Was there just one service from Waterloo or were there several?


  6. Boz,
    I have never seen any record of just how many Boat trains came down from Waterloo that day.
    There were usually several.
    If you came by train from other parts of the country you had to change trains as follows:
    from Bristol - change at Southampton West
    from Brighton - change at St Denys, Station, Southampton
    from Salisbury district change at Eastleigh
    Southampton Terminus Station connected to all the above stations with frequent punctual services.
    Cheers Brian
  7. Say,

    I walked across train tracks on Canute Road when I crossed to the warehouse area that now contains Ocean Dock. Are these the tracks that the direct Waterloo - So'ton boat train used?
  8. Jonathan - In a word ''Yes''.
    In 1912 period the road crossing was controlled by a man with a red flag.
    Cheers Brian
  9. If this is not for publication, why do such details matter

    Tongue in cheek.
  10. Noel F. Jones

    Noel F. Jones Active Member

    "I have never seen any record of just how many Boat trains came down from Waterloo that day. There were usually several."

    In the days of the 'Queens' first class (ocean travel) habitually came down last. The hoi polloi had to get up earlier on sailing day. Presumably this obtained in 1912 also.

  11. Cara Ginter

    Cara Ginter Member

    Helena, I believe such details would be needed for the satisfaction of the writer - Adam, knowing that things are correct.
  12. Hello I am not sure exactly where I should post this but I was wondering is: What decks did all the passengers(first, second, and third(steerage)) embark on when they boarded the Titanic at Southampton, England on April 10, 1912; Cherbourg, France on April 10, 1912; and Queenstown, Ireland on April 11, 1912? If you can answer these questions, please e-mail me at manleytetterton1@yahoo.com. Thanks
  13. erik

    erik Member

    Not sure if anyone is still active on this site, but I am in the middle of writing a series of novels, the first of which is to be set on the Titanic. Trying to compile as complete a file as I can on the Titanic (I even took a trip to Ireland last year - aside from it being my first ever holiday outside Australia, I used it as a research trip too - visiting Cobh - former Queenstown south of Cork - and the Titanic museum in Belfast - in fact anywhere in Ireland associated with Titanic in some way - including a few Belfast pubs which were popular haunts for the men who built her) and so far I have a pretty large cache of files of research into Titanic. Got a s**tload of books on the subject as well - so its a serious thing for me - but nowhere can I find how long the train would have taken from London Waterloo to Southampton Terminus. Its a minor detail which I have covered over by having the character take the train to Southampton the night before and stay in accomodation at the Platform Tavern and boarding the next day instead. But its a detail I'm curious about regardless. The times are an important thing in this particular story as I try to fit this character's actions in amidst the events of the voyage, keeping accurate to what time certain things happened.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated, please email me on etreptow88@gmail.com if anyone has the desired info. I do know the train these days takes about 1 hr 20 minutes from London but I'm accounting for the fact it were steam trains back then

  14. Rob Lawes

    Rob Lawes Member

    The railway station at Southampton Terminus and the line to London was operated by the London and South Western Railway Company. The only thing I have been able to find on line regarding train times is a catalogue of train time tables held at the Brunel University Library in Uxbridge. (link below)


    You could try and find the contact details for the library and find out if they have online versions of those timetables or if there is any way they could scan you a 1911 copy (which at least should show the regular, time table trains from London Waterloo to Southampton).

    Hope that's of some use to you.
  15. Harland Duzen

    Harland Duzen Member

    This was covered in another thread ( Titanic Boat Train ) but my notes* from that thread say:

    "The Boat Train for 2nd and 3rd Class Passengers leaves London Waterloo bound for Southampton at 07:30 from Platform 12."

    "The Boat Train for 1st Class Passengers leaves London Waterloo bound for Southampton at 09:45 from Platform 9."

    Hope this helps.

    *Note: I could be VERY VERY wrong.
  16. Mike Spooner

    Mike Spooner Member

    Hi Adam, I was in Southampton only a few weeks ago sail on an old steam ship SS Shieldhall using the same type of engines as Titanic used on a smaller scale. I have seen the old railway station next to the South Western Hotel were many rich first class passengers would stay before boarding liners.The hotel is now private flats and offices.The station building is still there but stop use in 1966. The station build, is typical Victoria casting and one can see built for grandeur in appearance. The railway lines have gone but one can see across the main road to the docks the railway line is still there. Nears point to berth 43-44 through gate No 4. The Berths are security areas now in full operation as new cars transport terminal. The bollards used by Titanic and other White Star ships are painted orange. Southampton City Council have put a stop of the old station been pulled down. More history information with some photos can be found under Wikipedia. I have photos too.
  17. Harland Duzen

    Harland Duzen Member

    I should add that the Boat Train would have pulled directly next to Titanic within the White Star Dock Shed. Screen Shot 2018-06-11 at 16.46.37.png
  18. Mike Spooner

    Mike Spooner Member

    Yes the old railway lines along side the key side are still there today but used anymore.
  19. Athlen

    Athlen Member

    On a Sea of Glass states that the First Class boat train left Waterloo at 8:00 and arrived in Southampton at 11:30. The expected trip time was between 1:30 and 1:45, but there was a delay. In Titanic Voices, according to a recent Facebook post by Bruno Piola, was interference with the tracks.

    The Second Class boat train is not mentioned in On a Sea of Glass, but the Facebook post mentioned above, posted by Mike Poirier, includes an account by 2nd class survivor Stuart Collett stating that someone interfered with the brake valve, causing a delay to that train as well.

    To me, it seems that while the track obstruction might have seemed like a normal sort of train delay, someone pulling the emergency brake might well have been seen to be an omen by people inclined to view things as omens. Add to that the near-collision with the New York and the coal-dust-covered stoker in Queenstown, and the superstitious would be thankful April 13th was a Saturday and not a Friday.
  20. Kas01

    Kas01 Member

    I wonder if there are any extant LSWR employee timetables that were in effect on April 10. It would show just how much the delays were cascaded down.