The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 2 (June 1, 1928)
The Royal Train
The Royal Train.
It was the somewhat perplexing task of the writer the other day to draw up a draft itinerary for a New Zealand railwayman visiting the Homeland and anxious to cover during his stay the principal points of railway interest in the country. After much thought a suitable plan was hit upon, and submitted to the visitor. Entire approval was expressed with the itinerary with one exception; the programme failed to include a visit to the Wolverton carriage works of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway, to cover the inspection of the Royal train housed at that point. The Royal train appears to have great fascination for every visitor from overseas, and this train is certainly a wonderful example of the carriage-builder's art, and is well worth inspection.
Twenty coaches are set apart for the Royal train, which usually consists of ten carriages. All the exteriors are painted in carmine red and white, with gold lining, and the total length of the train is approximately 630 feet, and its weight, excluding locomotive and tender about 400 tons. The King's saloon is entered by a pair of polished teak double doors, opening on a square vestibule. Leading out of the vestibule is His Majesty's smoking-room, finished in “fiddle-back” mahogany, and with an arm-chair in each corner covered in apple-green Morocco leather. Next to the smoking room is the day compartment, with furniture trimmed in Jacobean tapestry with quaint figures on a creamy ground, and a beautiful desk for handling affairs of State en route. Adjoining is the King's bedroom, with a silver-plated bed, satinwood dressing table, and a bath-room with marble fittings alongside.
The Queen's saloon is a most attractive carriage, which invariably delights the heart of every female visitor to the works. It is decorated in blue and white, with satinwood furniture, and in the adjoining bedroom the furniture is covered with blue silk brocade. The bath-room has a rose-pink marble wash-stand and a marble bath, and the whole furnishing of the Queen's apartments is in the most exquisite taste.