Tuesday, 16 March 2010


I read that the library holdings of the NRM are now accessible through COPAC. This is a big step forward and certain of my own books surface (though not all Tempus books of mine that the museum should have, I am sure I have seen From Tilbury to Tyneside there?). It is evident that the COPAC linkage will only include the straightforward material. 20,000 books are mentioned, our own collection parted with more than 120,000 items. I can think of light years of cataloguing still to do (not just with the Forsythe Collection by any means) before all of what could be classed a library material within the NRM collections appears through COPAC. A thorough reading of the blog here will offer a few leads.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Royal Train Exhibition at Utrecht

An earlier post referred to what was experienced as a stimulating visit to the Dutch National Railway Museum in Utrecht last November. Thanks to the RPSI member email list, a press release from Utrecht has just arrived in my in-box. I will reproduce it. Then let it sink in. It is good that the NRM is participating but reflect on the passion, enthusiasm and resource that is being delivered to make this event in Utrecht happen. It is high up in the order of magnitude. Will these trains arrive by rail or by road?


The exhibition "King Class, Majestic Journeys" will open on 15th April to 5th September in the Netherlands Railway Museum in Utrecht.

The Dutch Railway Museum is organising a large international exhibition of royal trains from around the world under the slogan: "Top Class, Majestic Journeys”. For the first time in history, royal trains from various European countries can be admired in a single exhibition. It will offer the visitor a unique insight into the luxurious style of travel the European monarchs had once used. The exhibition "King Class, Majestic Travel" is from 15th April to 5th September in the Netherlands Railway Museum in Utrecht.

Train carriages from all the great royal houses of Europe will be seen in Utrecht. On display will be trains, cars and interiors from the UK, Ireland [state carriage 351], Belgium, Portugal, Denmark, Germany, Finland, Austria, Bulgaria and Sweden. One of the absolute gems of the exhibition is one of the oldest surviving royal carriages in the world, which was used by the British Queen, is from Adelaide and 1842. The Portuguese national railway museum in Santarém has kindly provided a complete train from 1858 which was used by Queen Pia of Portugal. Another gem is coming from Vienna, in the form of a railcar used by another monarch, Empress Elisabeth of Austria, better known as Empress Sissi.

Of course, also on exhibit are those used over the years by the royal court in the Netherlands. Thanks to financial support from the Bank Giro Lottery, the railway museum is to recreate a copy of the originally constructed in 1864 for Queen Anna Pavlovna saloon car. Visitors to this exhibition, the premier class will receive a truly magnificent way. After a brief introduction to the etiquette of kings in the royal waiting room of the museum they will run past on the red carpet at the glittering royal carriages.

In addition, they meet during their visit to historical figures who know how to report in detail about the journeys of the monarch. A recurring theme of the exhibition is the stimulative effect of royal families in the promotion and expansion of the railway. Visitors can also discover how to govern the nature of the monarch, their country, changed over time, often caused by the railroad. Of course, the royal train travellers used for personal purposes, such as driving, for example, to visit family in and around the holidays.