Midland Railway – 1898

The Windsor Magazine, 1898:

“The Midland Railway leads where  the others follow.”

Although it was in 1859 that the Pullman car was first used in America, it was sixteen years later before that convenienct invention made its debut upon our British railway system. Sir James Allport,  then General Manager of the Midland Railway,  made a visit to the states in 1872.  There he became acquainted with the late George Pullman, inventor of the railway car that bears his name. Up to that time little provision had been made for the comfort of the passenger on British railways.

With the Pullman car, Sir James Allport  recognised the innumerable benefits derived from such a carriage and saw how much it would be appreciated if introduced into this country, so he determined to inaugurate it upon the railway system under his control.  He collaboreated at once with the inventor and in 1875 the first “vestibule train” in England was launched on the Midland Railway Company’s works in Derby, having been constructed under the supervision of Mr. Pullman’s own engineers, who were dispatched from America to Derby for the purpose.  It was attached to the Scottish service and met with wide popularity.  In the succeeding  year this enterprising company followed up their success with several sleeping cars, a la George Pullman.  This innovation completely revolutionised railway travelling in this country,  just has it had in America.  In a very short time the remaining railway companies followed suit with specialised dining-room, buffet, drawing-room, sleeper, and various other convenience cars.