Friday, October 29, 2010

On Armstice day[Armistice Day is the anniversary of the official end of World War I, November 11, 1918. It commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front], a special 'Frontier Mail' was run by the BB&CI Railway from Bombay. Souvenirs were distributed to the passengers travelling on the train, which was then the fastest daily service in India. The restaurant car was tastefully decorated with poppies as a symbol of Armstice Day. In this pic, taken at the Ballard Pier Station in Bombay, Lady Jackson (wife of Sir Ernst Jackson, Agent, BB&CIR) is seen placing a bouquet of poppies on the engine of the special train. (Picture supplied by John Lacey.)

All the Frontier Mail's upper class cars had electric lighting and fans. The restaurant car was liberally stocked with an abundant supply of newspapers, magazines, 'News Bulletins', books, stationery, and playing cards.
The restuarant car, when not in use, would be kept open for use as a lounge car, serving light refreshments. The rolling stock at that time was of the latest pattern, complete with every modern convenience. In keeping with an almost unanimous desire from the traveling gentry, the train was specifically comprised of 'non corridor' stock throughout,  which offered a certain degree of privacy and space, something so very important on such a long journey. In fact, the snooty British sahebs mention that  'this is also for the first time these facilities have been offered to passengers in India'.

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