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Titanic Boat Train

Discussion in 'Boat Train' started by Alicia Coors, Jan 31, 2004.

  1. Bad source. Most of the books (as Maiden Voyage) have a lot of mistakes and repeating the same old myths (or creating new ones). From what I have seen so far many got the boat trains mixed up, some even did not not
    noticed that there were two of them.
    Harland Duzen likes this.
  2. Rob Lawes

    Rob Lawes Member

    If I could guess I would say it was the first position that Aaron suggested.

  3. Rob Lawes

    Rob Lawes Member

    It can't be platform 11 as the feature on the roof would appear right in the middle of the picture, directly over the platform not off to the right of it as it does.
  4. Harland Duzen

    Harland Duzen Member

    It's funny how we all
    Aaron_2016 didn't mention a plaform but I assume you mean Platform 9.

    Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 16.55.24.png
    Photo taken from Google Maps in modern day postion.
  5. Aaron_2016

    Aaron_2016 Member

    Credit goes to Martin Tyne. Currently searching papers between April 8th - 10th. It appears the coal strike was over but the distribution of coal was not immediate and reports said 'the country's normal coal supply will not be obtainable for another week'. Some rail and ferry services were still reduced with some services suspended. There are reports of raids and people stealing coal - April 8th Sheffield news - 'Two coal laden lorries were held up by a large gang of excited minors, who in a few minutes cleared them of their loads, men assisted by women and children, hurrying in all directions with bags of coal.' There are reports of people driving to London by car because they could not go by train. On April 9th a notice in a Sheffield newspaper said - 'To avoid disappointment, all travellers are requested to make enquiries at the railway stations in regard to what trains are running.' Not sure if Waterloo station was in full service with all platforms in use by April 10th.

    This might be interesting.

    Western Daly - April 8th

    'The Hamburg American company arranged a special train from Southampton......but before the L. and S.W.R. would grant this concession the steam ship company had to provide the coal necessary for the trip.'

    Would the White Star Line have to provide coal for the boat train to the Titanic?

    Last edited: May 21, 2017
    Harland Duzen likes this.
  6. Harland Duzen

    Harland Duzen Member

    Following some renewed interest on the Boat Train on a similar thread (found here: The London-Southampton boat train) I began looking back though all known evidence of the Boat Train and looking though a lot of photos of Waterloo Station.

    I trying to type this up to show to everyone here, but I have just 2 question. Where did the suggestion that the 2nd / 3rd Class Boat Train left Waterloo at 7:30 AM come from? I only seen it stated in Titanic: Triumph and Tragedy and as it contains no footnotes or sources, I don't know where Eaton and Haas got this number (unless survivors are known to have stated as such).

    Also looking back though this thread and it's also been stated the 2nd / 3rd Class Train left from Platform 12. Again, what was the source for this?
  7. Harland Duzen

    Harland Duzen Member

    Recently as stated in my previous post above I been doing more research on the Boat Trains and after looking though (probably too many) photos of Waterloo Station. I'm about 90% sure that the 1st Class Boat Train departed from Platform 11. Here's my evidence:

    Available Plans of Waterloo Station show that next to Platform 101 was a lane that when the Station was expanded between 1903 and 1911 was left there as a "Cab Road" for vehicles / mail and Platforms 12 and more were built around it.2,3

    This postcard 4 (date unknown) shows the "Cab Road" in detail with hansom cabs parked alongside Platforms 10, 11 and 12 titled "Main Line & Boat Train Platforms". This and a survivor's testimony5 suggest they must have departed from one of these platforms.

    Now in Francis Browne's main photo of the Boat Train (Below) we see 3 small carriages opposite the Boat Train that seem to stop roughly at the Train Station canopy instead of continuing down into the station.

    This isn't possible unless the carriages are actually in a siding next to Platform 11 that is used to store excess carriages not in use or mail vans. As this is next to the cab road (which also stops in line with the station canopy), This explains why the carriages don't seem to go into the distance (,the platforms should curve to the right so we should continue to see carriages instead of stopping at the man on the extreme left).

    Here is a diagram that possibly explains what we seeing (This is from a 1950's map but the platforms don't seem to have changed):
    Waterloo Station Map 1950 1.jpg

    And other photos of Platform 11 and the sidings seem to look very similar (Below). This Photo taken from Getty Images 6 (for reference ONLY) shows a Boat Train to Southampton on August 7th 1934 at Platform 11 with 3 similar looking coaches in the siding to the left. Francis Browne would have possibly taken the photo from the same position as the boy on the Bottom Left.
    7th August 1934 South African Athletic board boat train.png

    Another Photo of Platform 11 taken from "Signal Box A" (seen on the 1950's map) shows Platform 11 (centre)
    Screen Shot 2018-06-15 at 17.17.16 copy.png

    Now I admit there are some issues about Platform 11 being the location of the First class Boat Train as a support beam (seen below the station decorative arches) doesn't appear in Francis Browne's photo compared to others shown although the station seems to have gone though a lot of changes and modifications thoughout the 20th century which might explain it. However as no other plans of the station show no sidings opposite platforms apart from Platform 11, Until I or anyone else can find further evidence such as Train Times or reports, it seems that Platform 11 is currently where the 1st Class Boat Train Departed.

    I hope this made sense and is clear to understand. I should stress that I'm basing this off multiple photos of Waterloo Station and logical assumptions. I can be wrong.

    Sources / Footnotes:

    1 According to Wikipedia, "By 1899, Waterloo had 16 platforms but only 10 numbers allocated in different sections of the station or on different levels; some numbers were duplicated..." I think following the renumbering that Platform 10 became Platform 11.

    2 Waterloo Station Plan in 1894 prior to expansion: File:Im1894OurRail1-Waterloo2.jpg

    3 Waterloo Station Plan from 1922 after expansion: File:Im1922v133-337a.jpg (Note "Cab Yard"

    4 Postcard taken from: Postcards of the Past - Vintage Postcards of Waterloo Station, London

    5 "On A Sea Of Glass" quotes 1st Class Passenger Elmer Zebley Taylor from his own book “J
    igsaw Picture Puzzle Of People Whom I Have Known And Sundry Experiences From 1864 To 1949” that: The Boat Train from Waterloo was schedule to leave about 8:00 A.M. We took a growler [a slang term for a four-wheel hansom cab] — Securing a porter, we moved along the platform…

    6 Photo can be found at: Pictures and Photos | Getty Images


    In case it turns out the carriages in the siding actually do continue down the station platform (due to a illusion or the photograph making it appear they stop short. The Boat Train could have also departed from Platform 10 which didn't have an support beam and match up better with Francis Browne's photo.
  8. Kas01

    Kas01 Member

    So those two stub tracks between Platform 11 and 12 were something like a mail sorting facility?
  9. Harland Duzen

    Harland Duzen Member

    I think so.
    I think it was used for a mixture of things(?):
    • (At the time) it was used as a Taxi lane for people travelling to or from Waterloo.
    • (At and the time / later on) it was somewhere to take mail or other cargo to load onto trains to be transported elsewhere. It was sometimes common to attach small wagons onto the end of Passenger trains. for example, look up "mixed goods" trains.
    I hope that makes sense.
  10. Kas01

    Kas01 Member

    Well, aside from the taxi stand, it seems kind of odd that they would have the mail sorted directly in the station.

    Below is an interlocking diagram for New York Penn Station circa 1944 (John B. Thayer, Jr. would have been overseeing its construction because he managed the Pennsy's lines east of Pittsburgh. Construction was mostly complete by the end of 1910 because that's when the original station opened). You can see on the extreme southwest side of the station six stub tracks marked "Yard E", and immediately above that is the mail platform. It's totally isolated from the station proper. AFAIK when RPO (your equivalent was TPO) service was de riguer in the States, facilities for offloading mail on terminating trains were separate from the station itself.
  11. Harland Duzen

    Harland Duzen Member

    I don't think they did that, but depending where they were going, on short trips they were either already sorted and just loaded on board or on longer trips sorted on route (like on Titanic).

    I could be wrong about the "Cab Road" use for mail (at the time in 1912) as photos that showed mail vans or trays seemed to date from the 1930's onwards after the station was taken over by Southern.

    I have seen other photos of the "Cab Road" also used for queuing as people went on day excursions or trips to Ascot.

    (Date Of Photo Unknown)
  12. Kas01

    Kas01 Member

    At a guess I'd say that the photo was taken in either the immediate postwar era or the Fifties. There's an unmodified Bulleid Pacific at the far right, framed between the third and fourth train shed pillars.
    Harland Duzen likes this.
  13. Julian Atkins

    Julian Atkins Member

    Hi Harland,

    The clue is in the short platform roads having no run round facilities. I agree with your research conclusions. I used Waterloo a lot for a period of 15 years, but I never took much notice of these sort of details, and the cab road you refer to had long gone by the 1980s. Paddington had similar cab roads which I just about remember.

    You might find the Nat Pres forum useful for any information. I won't tread on your toes by posting a thread about all this on there, and will leave it to you! Kas01 might like to do the same with regard to motive power

    National Preservation

    Harland Duzen likes this.
  14. Harland Duzen

    Harland Duzen Member

    Thank you for the link. So you agree it is Platform 11 or Platform 10? I don't understand what you mean by "run round facilities" (unless you mean the points that allow the train to swap ends for the return journey?)
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018
  15. Aaron_2016

    Aaron_2016 Member

    On a related note: The boat train was mentioned in the popular TV drama 'Upstairs Downstairs' when Lady Marjorie and her maid travel from London to Southampton on April 10th 1912.

    Skip to 43:20

  16. Kas01

    Kas01 Member

    Got to love copyright issues.
  17. Aaron_2016

    Aaron_2016 Member

    Here is another link in case that one doesn't work.

    Skip to 43:20

  18. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Member

    Hello Harland,
    I'd just like to chip in with some information of my own, which hopefully will put the platform Debate to bed for once and for all.
    in the platform image from April the 10th, behind the 3 parked luggage vans on the left, is the outline of a building underneath the new overall roof.
    now, around this time, Waterloo was undergoing a large amount of redevelopment, Basically starting on the east side and gradually working West over a period of years.
    in this next image, which is taken just a month later in May 1912, and looking in the opposite direction,

    that same building is visible in the right-hand background of the photo. it was part of the old station, and in the process of demolition. So, if the platform number in the photo is anything to go by, platforms 3 and 4 are to the right, and then beyond the next two waiting trains would be platform 5, which, from the position of the building on platform, would make this the Boat Train's departure road. this would also correspond correctly to the position of the roof support columns and finial in the April 10th picture. The full length of platform no.6 would presumably have been out of use at this time, due to the rebuilding work, which may account for it being used to stable short van trains.
    Harland Duzen likes this.
  19. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Member

    Something related to this subject, and surprisingly little known, is of the survival of one of the carriages possibly used in the earlier 2nd/3rd class boat train. No.1520 was one of a pair of 3rd class brakes built by the LSWR in 1910, specifically for ocean liner traffic, having an unusually large luggage space and only 4 passenger compartments.
    Unfortunately there seems to be no existing proof of the make-up of either of the two boat trains on the 10th of April , but 1510 would have been a prime contender. It is currently fully restored to its original condition, and in regular service on the Bluebell Railway. Here is a picture: