Titanic Boat Train


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Alicia Coors

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I can't seem to find a couple of details about the train. Every source is in agreement that it departed Waterloo, but I can't figure out what line it ran on. In A Night to Remember, passengers are shown in coaches with GWR embroidered on the antimacassars,* which I should think would require a Paddington departure, and would miss Southampton altogether.

Its route leads me to believe it must have been the LSWR, but please chime in if I've missed something.

*This moment is early on, while Ken Marschall and Don Lynch are commenting on how accurate the movie's details are. If my conjecture is correct, that would be pretty ironic.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Yes, it should be LSWR (London and Southwestern Railway). In fact this company had evolved from small beginnings in 1838 with that particular route (as the London to Southampton Railway). The LSWR operated mainly in the counties of Surrey, Hampshire, Dorset and Devon. Today the operating company is South West Trains and Waterloo remains the London terminus.
 

Andrew Fanner

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The LSWR owned Southampton Docks and invested a large amount of money in improving the berthing in order to attract the lucrative transatlantic trade from Liverpool. The master mariners on this board can advise more effectively than I concerning the "double tide" of Southampton, which means a far larger window of high water for deep draught vessels.
 

Harland Duzen

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In Geoffrey Marcus' book, The Maiden Voyage, the boat train departed Waterloo from Platform 12 at 09:45. He referred to the train as the "White Star Line Boat Train" but did not identify the railroad line that operated it.

Forgive me, but looking at pictures of Francis Browne photos which shows the boat train and platform 12 to be on the right hand side (looking at the station from NNW).

Then when you look at pictures of the station layout from 1900, platform 12 is shown to be on the left hand side (also looking NNW).

This means either it's an error, or the station was altered and I wrong (as is likely).
 

Harland Duzen

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I didn't know that could happen! It's diffidently a possiblity as the photo flipped would put the Boat Train on the Right hand side instead of the left as the photo below in it's normal states shows.
3e003e858303b172b1ab37d3c73062bf-1.jpg

however, all of Francis Browne photos (taken on a 1911 Kodak Camera) appear to be the right way round and not flipped (as the photos from Berth 45 prove).

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 16.55.24.png
 
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Aaron_2016

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Would the boat train carry the White Star emblem and have all the pomp and ceremony and brass bands, or was it very low key for White Star?



boattrain1.PNG



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Rob Lawes

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Martin, it could just happen to one photo when the negative was developed. Just because it happened to one doesn't mean it happened to all.

The negatives could be developed individually. Looking at the picture a tell tale would be letters or numbers reversed but I can't see any visible.
 
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May 3, 2005
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In ANTR , the couple occupying the compartment with the Lightollers do not seem to be going to Titanic ?
The man remarks, "Oh, how I envy you !"
 

Harland Duzen

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Martin, it could just happen to one photo when the negative was developed. Just because it happened to one doesn't mean it happened to all.

True, but a second photo was taken seconds later suggesting otherwise. But who knows?
I'm keep looking at London Waterloo in my research.

tumblr_nswamaZAME1ucdfn0o1_500.jpg
3e003e858303b172b1ab37d3c73062bf.jpg
 

Rob Lawes

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Yeah. Discount my theory. It would be unusual for two pictures to be reversed and in the new picture, the gentleman on the left holding the brolly has his overcoat buttoned correctly. If this frame were reversed it would appear as if it was buttoned right to left which would be backward.

Oh well. Back to the drawing board.
 
Mar 18, 2008
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I don't have the book from Geoffrey Marcus so can not say much about it. Don't have my notes at hand right now, it was the 1st boat train (Titanic Special) for the 2nd and 3rd class passengers which left from platform 12. I can not remember about the 2nd boat train (Titanic Special) for 1st class passengers (I could be wrong but I think it was not platform 12).
 
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Aaron_2016

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Searched the British newspapers, but they only mention the name of the station that Titanic and Olympic passengers used.


19th April 1912
Chelmsford Chronicle - '....left early Wednesday morning week for Waterloo, joining the Titanic at Southampton.'

22nd April 1912
Dublin Daily Express - 'Passengers of the Olympic arrived at Waterloo station this morning.'
Western Daly - 'A hundred passengers of the Olympic arrived at Waterloo station yesterday morning.'
Yorkshire Post - 'Passengers of the Olympic arrived at Waterloo station yesterday morning.'


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Harland Duzen

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So the 2nd and 3rd Class Train departed London Waterloo from Platform 12 at 09:45

And the 1st Class Train (as photographed by Browne) departed London Waterloo from Platform __ at __:__.

Time to turn detective here!

3e003e858303b172b1ab37d3c73062bf-1.jpg


Here's a postcard from google that might help.

waterloo42-620x413.jpg


And here's a map from wikipedia dated 1888: London Waterloo station - Wikipedia
DISTRICT(1888)_p141_-_Waterloo_Station_(plan).jpg
 
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Aaron_2016

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Do we know how many carriages were used for mail as the Titanic was principally a Royal Mail steamer? Perhaps the platform was a special one used for loading large mail sacks and also for unloading the mail from eastbound ships as the train would return to Waterloo with mail from America.

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Mar 18, 2008
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So the 2nd and 3rd Class Train departed London Waterloo from Platform 12 at 09:45

And the 1st Class Train (as photographed by Browne) departed London Waterloo from Platform __ at __:__.

Time to turn detective here!

Not sure where you have this from, 09:45 was the time the 2nd boat train with the 1st class passengers left. Possibly platform 11 (but don't take my word for it now).

The first boat train with the 2nd and 3rd class passengers left about 7:30 from platform 12. (I have seen claims for other times ranging from 8:15 to 9:45 but that was not the case).
 

Harland Duzen

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Do we know how many carriages were used for mail as the Titanic was a Royal Mail steamer? Perhaps the platform used was a special one for loading large numbers of mail sacks?

If we look at the postcard and the photo above, I guess it was taken here (X marks the spot which might put the 1st Class Boat Train at Platform 9?
waterloo42-620x413 2.jpg


OR... Platform 11 (which is more likely as another user in the Boat Train forum mentioned Platforms 10, 11 or 12, commonly being used for Boat Trains.)

waterloo42-620x413 3.jpg
 

Harland Duzen

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Jan 14, 2017
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Not sure where you have this from, 09:45 was the time the 2nd boat train with the 1st class passengers left. Possibly platform 11 (but don't take my word for it now).

The first boat train with the 2nd and 3rd class passengers left about 7:30 from platform 12. (I have seen claims for other times ranging from 8:15 to 9:45 but that was not the case).

Samuel Halpern's post from January 31st 2004.

In Geoffrey Marcus' book, The Maiden Voyage, the boat train departed Waterloo from Platform 12 at 09:45. He referred to the train as the "White Star Line Boat Train" but did not identify the railroad line that operated it.

As for my post above, I currently believe it to be Platform 11.
 

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