Sheffield Royal Trains

Haulage Highlights - top page

BR Class 47 47555 'The Commonwealth Spirit' enters platform 1 at Sheffield on 1st November 1979 at the head of the Royal Train conveting the Prince of Wales.  Paul Braybrook.


Members of the Royal Family have made a number of visits to the Sheffield area over the years. Some of these visits have utilised the Royal Train for both arrivals and departures. What is trying to be achieved here is a list of the visits using the Royal Train along with details of locomotives and carriages used, the visiting members of the Royal Family and a few brief notes about the visit.

Hopefully, in due course, details of every visit involving the Royal Train will be included as far back as Victorian times. If you have researched the topic yourself or have any notes or photographs of the trains involved please get in touch. Dates and brief details of the visits are quite readily available but information about trains and transport arrangements are rarely given in any detail.

If you can add any further details or have photographs that can be used please contact Peter Hall.

21st May 1897 Visit of Her Majesty the Queen

The Royal Train arrived at Sheffield Midland station at 17:00 having commenced it journey from Windsor (GWR) station. It was comprised of LNWR stock included the Royal Saloon in which Her Majesty the Queen travelled.

The Royal Train departed at c19:00 from a special platform adjacent to Messrs. Cammells's Cyclops Steel works. The Times Report on the visit says "Victoria and her closest escorts boarded the Train on a special platform at the rear of the works (in the yard of the Sheffield & Rotherham R R station). Then Travelled to Manchester over the S.M & L Railway passing through the Tunnel up from the Midland Line to the S M L R line." From the description this platform was presumably located on what was latterly referred to as the Wicker Goods branch. It is presumed that the train travelled along the branch and through the connecting tunnel to the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway. Did any other passenger train ever pass through this tunnel? The train was then routed via Woodhead to Preston.

27th October 1954 - Visit of Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh

This was the first day of a two day visit to the West Riding of Yorkshire. p.12 of the January 1955 RO states "The L.M.S. Royal Train hauled by class A4 60026 (34A) Miles Beevor departed from Kings Cross at 11.10 p.m. on 26th October, 1954, and travelled as far as Leadenham (Lincolnshire) where it remained all night. Early next morning the train departed for Barnsley (Exchange) still hauled by 60026. At Retford two B1's 61248 (36A) Geoffrey Gibbs and 61250 (36A) A. Harold Bibby took over the train and hauled it to Barnsley where it passed into L.M.R. hands." News reel exists of its arrival at Barnsley.  Later in the day the Royal Party visited various locations in Sheffield including River Don Steel Workss, Town Hall, Hillsborough football ground ans University.  The next reference with regard to the Royal Train was that the party re-joined it a Bradford Manningham station the next day. It would thus appear that the Royal Train was not seen within the Sheffield boundary on this visit.

23rd October 1957 - Visit of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh

The Royal Train was used to convey the Duke from St.Pancras to Sheffield (Midland). Following his visit to celebrate the centenary of Sheffield Football Club and visit Hadfields, he re-joined the train which then continued on to Thurso.

2nd November 1961 - Visit of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

The Royal Train was used to convey the Duke from Kings Cross to Rotherham in connection with his visit to Sheffield University.

Carriages used as recordws as being 5154, 806, 45006, 798, 5155, no information about the locomotives used has been traced.

30th May 1967 - Visit of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh arrived in the Sheffield area from Skipton by helicopter, having reached there on the Royal Train which had travelled overnight from St.Pancras.  Following engagements in Sheffield which included the opening of Granville College, the Royal Train was used to convey the Duke from Sheffield Victoria to Kingston-Upon-Hull. The Royal Train had arrived in Sheffield ecs from Skipton and returned ecs from Kingston-Upon-Hull to Sheffield before going ecs to Wolverton. This suggests that London Midland Region locomotives, probably a pair of class 25's, were used from St.Pamcras to Skipton and on the ecs to Sheffield. These later working the ecs from Sheffield to Wolverton. An undated picture, believed taken at this time, shows a blinged up D5630 coupled to another member of the class with headcode 1X00. Quite probable these locomotives were used between Sheffield Victoria and Kingston-Upon-Hull,

7th February 1969 - Visit of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

It is known the train used for the Duke's visit to Yorkshire from the 5th to 7th February was formed as shown below. Its involvement with the Sheffield visit to open the Engineering Industry Training Board is not known.

5155, 798, 45006, 5154

29th July 1975 - Visit of Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh

The train arrived at Sheffield from Barnsley c16:00 formed:-

47042 or 47174 ? M31209M, M325, M2013, M45005M, M2901, M499, M798M, M79M, M5155M

Departed c23:05 for Firbeck in reverse formation with 47xxx leading.

12th July 1977 - Visit of Her Majesty the Queen as part of the Silver Jubilee tour.

The train arrived from ? and is understood to have been formed as follows, confirmation would be appreciated:-

47455 M2906, M2904, M2903, M2902, M2901, M2900, M2013, M45000M, M325, M2905

The train departed for ?

1st November 1979 - Visit of the Prince of Wales

The train arrived from ? formed:-

47555 The Commonweath Spirit  M14165, M2900, M45006M, M31209M

19th July 1980 - Visit of Princess Anne

The train arrived at Dore from Arkwright Colliery where it had spent the previous night. It first passed through Dore non-stop behind 47522 before reversing at Totley Tunnel East and then arrived at Dore from the west behind 47555 The Commonwealth Sprirt. It then departed ecs to Nunnery Carriage Sidings after Princess Anne had disembarked.

10th June 1981 - Visit of the Prince of Wales?

BR Class 47 47574 passes through Dore on 10th June 1981 heading the Rpyal Train.   Peter Hall

It is known that Prince of Wales visited Sheffield  on a day in June 1981, confirmation of the date and itinerary have not been traced. However, on the 10th June 1981 the Royal Train was observed passing through Dore and it is concluded that this was in connection with that visit.

47574 M141xx, M2900?, M45006M?, M31209M?

15th March 1984 - Visit of the Prince and Princess of Wales

The Royal Party arrived by air but departed to ? in the Royal Train formed:-

47545 17163, 2901, 2908, 2912, 2910

12th December 1986 - Visit of Her Majesty the Queen

Her Majesty the Queen visited Sheffield to open the roofed Spion Kop at Hillsborough Football ground and the extension to the Assay Office. The following sighting of the Royal Train was made at Doncaster but no further details are known. The formation suggests His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh did not accompany the Queen on this visit.

47585 COUNTY OF CAMBRIDGE  2906, 2922, 2923, 2903, 2902, 2901, 2915, 2907, 2911, 2914, 2905

18th February 1988 - Visit of the Prince of Wales

The Royal Train was formed:-

2905, 2914. 2911, 2923, 2922, 2906

27th October 1992 - Visit of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh

The train arrived from the south shortly after 09:30 formed:-

47823 S.S. Great Britain  2906, 2904, 2919, 2914, 2905 47834 Fire Fly

After the Duke of Edinburgh had alighted it departed south.

13th November 1998 -Visit of the Prince of Wales

47798 Prince William  2921, 2922, 2923, 2916, 2917, 2915, 2920

5th March 1999 - Visit of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh

The train was formed:-

47799 Prince Henry  2921, 2904, 2923, 2917, 2915, 2920

18th November 2010 - Visit of Her Majesty the Queen and the His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh

The Train was formed:-

2921, 2903, 2904, 2923, 2917, 2915, 2920

2nd April 2015 - Visit of Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh

The royal party arrived at Sheffield by train."

Page maintained by Peter Hall.