Thursday, 15 September 2011

Southampton Terminus

I've spent the guts of the day trying to figure out a minor detail. Where the train from London stopped!

Frank Browne took 'The Titanic Special', which left Waterloo London at 9.45am on April 10th 1912. It arrived at 'Southampton Town & Dock'. This station is now a casino, located behind The South Western Hotel. This hotel was where many first class passengers stayed overnight, and it even has a railway entrance at the back. It would be about 15 minute walk to the White Star Line Pier from there.

Here's a great aerial map of the area

Tracks certainly continued up to and beyond White Star Line Pier, (see this map from 1910) but I didn't know if Frank got off there or at the back of the hotel.

In E. E. O'Donnell's book Father Browne's Titanic Album there is a line from Frank Browne's account:
'My first glimpse of the ship had been from the train as it slowly steamed through the streets and docks of Southamption'.

This would suggest the train continued to the pier, if he could see glimpses of the ship.

Another on-line source would say the same thing (here)
'Many of the first class passengers on the Titanic would have spent a night here [at The South Western Hotel] before embarkation. From their bedrooms many would have looked out with excited anticipation at the ship in the dock. Check-in for the Titanic took place at the hotel itself and, on the morning of the sailing, another train took the passengers from the hotel into the docks and right up to the ship.'

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