Secret train that propelled Britain to victory- 1942


Image from Express article. Lance Bombardier Phillips is 4th from the left, beside the LNER train. Personal assistant to Dwight D Eisenhower.


In 1942, when leaders of the free world were preoccupied with planning the downfall of Hitler, VIP travel plans involving Britain's railways were placed firmly under wraps, so allowing Winston Churchill and Dwight D Eisenhower to travel countrywide with minimum delay. A number of special trains were put together for senior military and political figures. Two were for Churchill and the Chief of the Imperial General Staff (General, later Field Marshall, Sir Alan Brooke). Another, code-named ‘Rapier’, emanated from the London & North Eastern Railway at Doncaster, and was for the use of General Montgomery. The last of the four, with the code-name ‘Alive’ was assembled by the Great Western Railway at Swindon for General Eisenhower in his role as the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, and saw service firstly in the UK and then, after the invasion, in Europe. Sir Nigel Gresley’s famous streamli