No two carriage is the same and each has a story of it's own...
Every carriage on board the British Pullman is brimming with history and each one has been lovingly restored to it’s former glory…
Audrey’s life began in 1932 as a first class kitchen on the Southern Belle’s service. (also known as the Brighton Belle) In 1940, she was damaged by an air raid at London Victoria station then repaired, restored and re-joined to the Brighton Belle once again. Audrey was regularly used by various members of the royal family such as The Queen Mother, The Duke of Edinburgh and Queen Elizabeth II
Audrey is most recognisable by her art deco strip lights and beautiful landscape scenery panels.
Cygnus is one of the younger carriages; not completed until 1951 due to complications caused by World War II. It started life as a first class dining car as part of the Golden Arrow service. Despite its young age, this carriage has seen its fair share of movie stars and directors; featuring in the 1972 blockbuster ‘Agatha’ starring Vanessa Redgrave and Dustin Hoffman. In recent years, Cygnus has been renovated and re-designed by film director Wes Anderson. He has reinvented the carriage; keeping classic elements such as the Australian walnut panels but has added his unmistakable touch with pastel pink ceilings and emerald green upholstery.
Gwen was built in 1932 and was also used as part of The Brighton Belle! In 1948, Gwen was famed for conveying H.M Queen Elizabeth (later the queen mother) to Brighton. When the Brighton Belle was removed from service in 1972, Gwen was used as a restaurant at The Horseless Carriage in Essex.
The carriage is known for its beautiful blue upholstery and walnut walls.
Built in 1925, Ibis is the oldest carriage on the British Pullman. This carriage operated for many years in Europe as part of the Simplon-Orient-Express, the Pullman Express and the Deauville Express. After its service in Europe, it was transported back to England to serve as part of the Golden Arrow and then as part of a special Cunard boat train, transporting passengers to and from Southampton.
Ibis is recognised by its beautiful marquetry containing images of Greek girls dancing.
Ione was originally used as a first class kitchen car and it has served on a number of services such as the Great Western Railway and the Bournemouth Belle. It also operated on the Talisman service, running from London to Edinburgh every day.
With a similar interior to the Ibis carriage, Ione is most recognisable by the stunning burr wood panels and Victorian frieze
Lucille was constructed in 1928 and its all-steel exterior was originally intended for service on the Queen of Scots but it ended up joining a number of different services including the Ocean Liner Express, Torquay Pullman and Yorkshire Pullman. Lucille also served on the Bournemouth Belle from 1963-67 before being purchased by train enthusiast Mr Esmond Lewis-Evans and placed on display at the South Eastern Steam Centre. Mr Lewis-Evans actually lived in the Lucille carriage for almost 16 years!
Known for it's Grecian designs on holly wood
Since she was built in 1927, Minerva has served a number of train routes including the Devon Belle Pullman. She was put into storage during World War II and then refurbished in 1951 to join the Golden Arrow service as a parlour car. Then in 1953, the carriage was used to carry visitors from Dover to London for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation.
Minerva is easily recognised by it’s Edwardian-style marquetry
Perseus was designed in the 30's but wasn't actually completed until 1951 due to the war. It became a part of the Golden Arrow service and would stay on until it's last journey in 1972. Most famously, Perseus was used as part of Sir Winston Churchill's funeral train in 1965. It was preserved in the North Yorkshire Moors Railway in the 70's and also starred in the film Agatha!
Perseus is known for it's gorgeous ash panels and old prints
Originally named Rainbow, Phoenix was built in 1927 and used as a first class parlour car. This was until 1936... When Phoenix was in Micheldever, it caught on fire and everything other than the underframe was destroyed. Once it had been rebuilt, it was aptly named Phoenix. It was a popular carriage with the royals and is said to have been the favourite of the Queen Mother. It was also used to transport foreign dignitaries and in 1973, became a stationary restaurant in France
Recognised by it's oval mirrors and marquetry flowers on American cherry wood
Vera was originally used as a first class kitchen car as part of the Brighton Belle in 1932. It was very similarly built to Audrey so the two are always paired together as a two-car unit. Vera was directly hit in an air raid at Victoria station in 1940 and after being repaired in 1947, it rejoined the Brighton Belle and continued to run with Audrey. In 1953, it was used to review the Fleet and also for Prince Charles' and Princess Anne's first trip on an electric train. After the Brighton Belle's service was discontinued, Vera was used as a garden house in Suffolk.
Recognised by the marquetry antelope and palm trees
Built in 1928; Zena was first used as a parlour car before serving on the Great Western Railway on ocean liner services. After this, it would serve as part of the Bournemouth Belle until the war. Once the war was over, Zena would become part of many different services including the Yorkshire Pullman, the Tees-Tyne Pullman, South Wales Pullman and the Queen of Scots.
Recognised for it's beautiful art deco marquetry
You can request to be in any of these carriages. (please note Cygnus is an exclusive carriage so will cost extra) Just get in touch with our team upon booking and we will request it for you!