LondonNet News Headlines
|End of the Line for Royal Train
- Queen questions future of 'expensive' loco
TRAIN ticket prices have rocketed since privatisation, but most travellers would still balk at forking out UKP35,000 a trip.
Nevertheless, that is the average cost to the Queen of each journey she made last year aboard her own Royal Train. At that kind of price, even Her Majesty - the richest woman in Britain - is starting to groan and it now looks like the Royal Train will be scrapped following this year's Golden Jubilee celebrations.
"It is expensive," said Sir Michael Peat, Keeper of the Royal Purse. "We want to take whatever measures are necessary."
Until 1997, the costs of the Royal Train were met by the government, but since then the Queen has been obliged to pay for its luxury out of her own coffers, which might help explain the regal inclination to scrap the two locomotives and eight coaches.
But faintly traitorous thoughts that in the future the Queen will be forced to fight for seats on crowded carriages with the rest of humanity can be dispelled, as there are plans for HM to lease the most advanced trains available whenever necessary.