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Sir Winston Churchill's Funeral Train

Although the funeral was not to take place until 30th January 1965, the train's locomotive, Salisbury-shedded 34051 Winston Churchill, was moved to Nine Elms on 25th January to be prepared for the day. As a precaution, 34064 Fighter Command was also moved to Nine Elms to be prepared as the stand-by engine. On the day in question she was sent to Staines, though fortunately there was no need to fall back on this precaution.

The train was formed with a bogie van to carry the coffin and five Pullman cars, brake car Nº208, cars Carina, Lydia and Perseus and brake car Isle of Thanet. The bogie van was PMV NºS2464S, which was specially painted in Pullman colours for the journey, and was marshalled as the second vehicle in the train. The driver for the journey was 61 year old AW Hurley who was a veteran of Royal Train Duties and had previously fired a war-time train carrying Winston Churchill, and the fireman was Jim Lester, who recounts the journey at length in his book, Southern Region Engineman.

 
Early on 30 January and the finishing touches are being applied to 34051's preparations.

photograph by Roger Merry-Price

34051
 
34051 As can be seen, it was a murky January day and not at all conducive to good photography!

The locomotive is being worked on immediately outside the engine shed.

photograph by Roger Merry-Price

 
Photographed inside Nine Elms shed, and in very poor lighting, 34064 Fighter Command is ready for her role as stand-by engine.

photograph by Roger Merry-Price

34064
 
S2462S At approximately 11:40am S2464S was photographed as the empty stock, topped and tailed by two gleaming Standard 4 tanks, passed through Clapham Junction en route for Waterloo.

photograph by Roger Merry-Price

 
Perseus, also photographed as the empty stock passed through Clapham Junction.

photograph by Roger Merry-Price

Perseus
 
Carina Carina, with S2464S and car 208 ahead, passing through Clapham Junction station.

photograph by Roger Merry-Price

 
The funeral cortege travelled by launch up the River Thames from Tower Pier to Waterloo Pier from where the coffin proceeded to Waterloo Station and the waiting train by motor hearse.

Leaving Waterloo at 1:28pm, the train travelled slowly by Southern metals to Reading where it joined the Western region line for the continuance to Handborough, arriving at 3:23pm. Following a job well done, 34051 returned light engine to Nine Elms and back to her regular daily tasks.

 
The funeral train, en route from Waterloo to Reading, passes through Clapham Junction.

photograph: Mike Morant collection

Funeral Train
 
Funeral Train The funeral train now seen passing between the golf courses at Wentworth.

photograph by Mike Morant

 
The funeral train photographed as it passed Virginia Water.

photograph by Roger Merry-Price

Funeral Train

A fuller account of this last journey of one of our greatest leaders can be found in the Railway Magazine Archives.

All photographs are copyright

This page was last updated 23 October 2010

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