Part of ‘Churchill’s secret D-Day Railway Carriage’ goes on display in Derbyshire
A railway carriage that may have been part of Winston Churchill’s top secret ‘D-Day planning’ train is on display in Derbyshire.
The 99-year-old railway carriage has been exhibited to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
It is preserved at the Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust’s West Shed Museum - often described by visitors as a ‘hidden gem’ - at the Midland Railway. Butterley.
The carriage has been dressed to reflect the final D-Day planning stages which took place on the special train near Portsmouth in June 1944 with ey wartime cabinet members onboard, fuelled by cigars and whisky.
It was built in 1920 as a luxury private vehicle for the chairman of the London North Western Railway, being self contained with lounge, bedrooms, bathroom, dining room and kitchen.
As well as being used by Churchill in wartime and peacetime, it was extensively used by royalty during a long 70 year career.
After being rescued from decay in 2003, volunteers at the museum have lovingly restored the carriage and carried out archival research into its history.
Volunteer David Hipkisss said: “Records of the specific details of Churchill’s D-Day train are limited due to its top secret nature.
“So while it can’t be proved beyond reasonable doubt that our carriage was part of this train, there is strong anecdotal evidence to suggest that it was, and we are able to use it to recreate the atmosphere of this historic occasion for our visitors.”
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