By John Horton
The Belmond British Pullman will be passing through Thanet railway stations today (December 18).
Originally launched as the Venice Simpson Orient Express ( VSOE) -owned by Sea containers limited – the 1920s Pullman ran from London Victoria to Folkestone Harbour in the 1980s,.
She operated at times on special charters around the UK for day trips and prestigious events such as the Grand National.
Now the Belmond British Pullman, all coaches have been lovingly restored to original condition, many from other long gone Pullman car services in the 60s/70s.
Pullman Car “Phoenix” is a rebuild of a coach named “Rainbow” which was destroyed in a fire at Lovers Walk, Brighton. The rebuild using the original chassis of Rainbow, created a new coach -risen from the ashes.
The Pullman boasts antique-style marquetry, vintage lighting and heritage upholstery. She will not feature a steam loco to haul it today but will be diesel hauled.
The engines were built turn of the century in Spain and were for postal traffic but then the Post Office withdrew its traffic being rail hauled.
Both engines are in Pullman livery, 67024 and 67021. She departed London Victoria at 11.05am heading to Canterbury.
She will pass through:
Dumpton Park 13:53
Canterbury West 14:17, where she will stop for a short while