Instead of my usual route home after visiting my parents I returned via York and had a short time in York before the train connection. The National Railway Museum is close by so I enjoyed looking at some of the exhibits including the first engines and trains and replica of The Rocket (extra)
Queen Victoria travelled extensively on the newly invented trains with her train having her coat of arms in the front. An interesting carriage is her favourite 'Palace on Wheels' which was built in 1869 and was very opulent with quilted silk panelling on the walls, elaborately carved chairs and gilded light fittings (extra) The saloon was originally two separate carriages, with a flexible covered walkway in between but was later made into a single carriage after Victoria refused to step between the two halves when the train was moving. She would not allow any of her trains to travel more than 40mph in daylight and 30mph at night. It is said that she had a special signal installed on the roof of one of her carriages so she could instruct the driver to slow down if she felt he was going too fast.
I couldn’t help contrasting her coach with the two very austere uncomfortable coaches that I had travelled on earlier in the afternoon but then the later Virgin East Coast train was quite pleasant and probably travelled at three times the speed of Victoria’s train.