With special attention given to the matters concerning The Queen of Scots luxury touring Train.

To understand the history of the carriages, it is helpful to know a little about Britain's old railways. There were and are two principal railway routes between London and Scotland, one running through the north-west of England and the other running up the east side of England. They are called the West Coast Route and the East Coast Route respectively.

LNWR Scotch Express
The London and North Western Railway Scotch Express at full power.

Prior to the Great War, the West Coast Route was owned by two railway companies. From Euston Station, London, to the Scottish border the line was owned by the London & North Western Railway, and from the border northwards it was owned by the Caledonian Railway. Also, as its name suggests, the London and North Western Railway served the north-west of England.

The East Coast Route was owned by three companies. From London, Kings Cross to Doncaster the line was owned by the Great Northern Railway, thence by the North Eastern Railway to the Scottish Border and finally by the North British Railway northwards through Scotland.

Kings Cross Station
Kings Cross Station in London, Terminus of the Great Northern Railway, c.1900.

In the early days the design of railway coaches was based on stage-coach practice, and evolved slowly from there. For the first half-century of railways, coaches were not designed with corridors to allow passengers to walk along the carriage and from one carriage to the next; that would take up valuable seating space. Passengers were expected to stay in their place for the entire journey. This had two major side effects; firstly, if you wanted a meal on the train you had to take it with you, and secondly, toilet facilities were not normally available even on the longest routes!

L and M carriage
Early Railway Carriage.