DB Cargo UK has transported the luxury Belmond British Pullman parlour car ‘Phoenix’ through the Channel Tunnel – the first time that such an historic carriage of its type has ever taken this journey.
The parlour car, which was a favourite of the Queen Mother and also used by General de Gaulle, was moved by DB Cargo UK from London to Dollands Moor in Kent and then through the Channel Tunnel to Calais Frethun Yard, before being transported by sister company ECR to Clermont-Ferrand in Southern France.
The coach was moved there to undergo an internal restoration and external overhaul at a specialist workshop in the area. The final section of the journey to the workshop was completed by the French operator Fret SNCF.
Richard Corser, Account Manager for Charters, Special Trains and Resource Hires at DB Cargo UK, said:
“An historic coach like Phoenix has never been taken through the Channel Tunnel before and at first it seemed that it might be virtually impossible to take a parlour car dating back to 1927 through such modern infrastructure, so we knew we had a great challenge ahead of us.”
The team at DB Cargo UK worked quickly and diligently to find a solution. They arranged for the coach to be transported on a regular intermodal service that moves bottled water between England and France, knowing that this would be a safe and dependable solution. Phoenix was transported in March along with empty containers as the service returned to France, also making it cost-effective, efficient and environmentally friendly.
“We have an ongoing haulage contract with Belmond and we were delighted to support them further with this additional service. Thanks also goes to our sister company ECR and Fret SNCF.”
“This achievement demonstrates the value of DB Cargo UK’s connections across the European rail network and showcases the full logistics solutions we can offer to our customers.”