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11th November

WagonLit 2419 is widely known as the carriage on Marechal Fuch's wartime train where the truce was signed which stopped hostilities between the Allies and Germany on the 11th hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918. The photograph shows the Allies signatories. 2419 re entered Companie International Wagon Lits service for some years but eventually became the centrepiece of the armistice museum created at Campiegne.

Wl armistice wl 2419 car interior

Wl armistice wagon rethondes 1

Crédit photo: Association wagon de l'Armistice

When France capitulated in 1940 Hitler insisted that the French should sign the surrender document in the same way as the Germans had done in 1918. So 2419 was put back on the rails for the humiliating ceremony and then went on exhibition at various German cities before being displayed in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.

It was destroyed by fire , on Hitlers personal order, in 1945.

Photo: Architecture

Frank Paterson

Frank Paterson joined the railways straight from school as a junior clerk and ended up in charge of a third of them. He ran the network stretching over 18 counties from the Thames to the Tweed from his York headquarters. The two most significant accomplishments during Frank's time in charge were the introduction of the high speed train, the 125 and the electrification of the East Coast main line, approved in 1984.

Frank is the President of Friends of the National Railway Museum.

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