Scottish Railway Preservation Society Collections pages

Duke of Sutherland's Saloon - Highland Railway No.57A

Duke of Sutherland's Saloon
Duke of Sutherland's Saloon.
Pictured at Bo'ness 2011

On loan from National Railway Museum, York. On display in Museum Hall 2.
Built 1899, Wolverton.

The Duke of Sutherland's Saloon from the Highland Railway (HR) was built in 1899 at Wolverton Works in Buckinghamshire. The design, by C.A.Park, Carriage and Wagon Superintendent of the LNWR, was similar to that used for a variety of royal coaches and featured four-wheel bogies for additional comfort. The Duke often drove his own locomotive and train between his private station at Dunrobin in Sutherland and Inverness, although south of Inverness, the saloon was coupled to main-line trains. This private train saw many distinguished visitors, including King Edward V11, King George V, King George V1, King Alfonso of Spain, Kaiser Wilhelm 11, Neville Chamberlain, and Sir Winston Churchill, while in use up to 1949.

In February that year, the Duke advertised this saloon for sale, for conversion into a bungalow! A Lincolnshire coachbuilder recognised the vehicle from its description, and bought it, along with the loco and a smaller saloon. In 1990 it was transferred to the National Railway Museum in York. It is on loan to the SRPS Museum for 5 years from 2011.

Internally, the carriage is finished to the very highest standards, with electric lights and steam heating. The wood is Spanish mahogany, white enamelled and picked out in gold leaf. The seating upholstered in green figured tapestry with loose chintz covers with curtains to match. There are Turkish and Wilton pile carpets, as well as sleeping compartments with toilets and cooking facilities, allowing the Duke to travel in privacy.

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