The day will see the Toplight embarking on it’s first outing since it’s major restoration, plus a rare opportunity to travel on the Royal Saloon.
The Royal Saloon
The Royal Saloon – GWR Special Saloon 248.
We’re offering you the very rare chance to travel on board the railway’s royal saloon, the country’s oldest GWR luxury carriage – formerly used by Victorian theatre and opera star Adelina Patti.
The GWR Special Saloon 248 (renamed in 1907 as the 9044), was constructed with all the opulence of the Victorian era, the carriage was built to provide luxurious travel for the rich and famous, with sumptuous levels of comfort to guests. The high-quality furnishings included moveable armchairs, and etched glass panels across three sides gave light and a panoramic view. The carriage has a fascinating history all of its own – and you can learn more about it in the book ‘Something Special: The intriguing story of the country’s oldest GWR luxury carriage’ by John Burden (available in our gift shop).
Hailed by composer Verdi as perhaps the finest singer who had ever lived, Adelina Patti was a celebrated Victorian Opera singer with an international reputation. Adored by the public, high society and royalty, she was also known for her kindness and generosity.
Adelina recognised the railway’s potential as the forefront of Victorian technology, not only to facilitate her worldwide career, but to bring the rich and famous to her seculded castle in Wales. She secured private use of the GWR Special Saloon 248 to bring her distinguished guests to the castle – guests who included the brightest stars of the Victorian era, even royalty – The Prince of Wales, later to become King Edward, was known to be a fan of Adelina’s and railway records show that he travelled in the GWR Special Saloon 248.
Belles and Whistles
Why not celebrate our Victorian heritage and come in costume or dress up on the day?
There is no extra charge for this event - travel on our vintage carriages for the same price as our usual fares!