„Its Majesty”, The Train!

Could you imagine a train you could take today that has mahogany, walnut and rose wood furniture, lamps with Bohemian crystal or Murano glass, armchairs tapestried with Cordoba leather and vases and ashtrays made of alabaster? Yes, it is a fairytale-like train but it is not just in our imagination. This train has been kept in a shed of the Romanian railway system in Mogosoaia…and we are talking about a truly royal train because it is in fact the train ordered and used along time by the royal Romanian family. Two other such trains can be found here: The Moldovita Train, made of 5 wagons built between 1885-1890 at the Simmering Wagon Factory in Austria and The Calugareni Train, a legendary train dating from the War on Independence (1877 – 1878), a train that shipped on route Bucuresti-Giurgiu elements of the bodies 14 and 15 of the Russian army, the Russian imperial guard divisions, and that king Carol alongside tsar Alexander II, Great Duke Nicholas and his retainers used to travel. The Calugareni Train is made of 3 wagons built at the Ashbury Factory in Manchester, England, between 1866-1869. The Royal Train is not the only one built especially for the royal officials in Romania. Historian Dan Perian relates about a trolley used at hunting: “There also was a royal trolley that Carol II used in his hunting trips. The wagon was built so that one could hunt as it moved”. However, it is no longer known where exactly this is or if it still exists.



And if we are still talking about its history, let us say a few things about the wagons that it is made of. The living-room-wagon built in 1928 at Ernesto Breda’s factory in Milan has 24 seats in the big saloon, at the table and 12 seats in the small saloon. The big saloon is used for official dines or as a space for formal receptions. The small saloon is used as an antechamber for the large saloon or meetings. The lights inside the wagon function on batteries through the generator and the heating is made with woods and coal, as it has a furnace. The Royal Saloon is veneered with mahogany and sandal wood, the lights were made in Murano, the chairs are tapestried in Cordoba leather and the mirror in the great saloon is made of Bohemian crystal. The paintings covering the walls of the saloon wagon are owned by the Royal House of Romania.
The Royal Bedroom wagon was built in 1928 at the Ernesto Breda factory in Milan. This wagon is used to receive the first two representatives of the Royal House of Romania. The two bedrooms are separate by a fully furnished bathroom that can only be accessed from one of them. To the end of the wagon there is a small saloon for having breakfast or private meetings. The two-seat couchette, with bulk beds, is used by the closes two people who serve the royal couple. At the other end of the wagon there is a kitchen when one can prepare breakfast. Also here, for long trips, the cook has a hinged bed where he can rest. The lights function on batteries charged by the generator, and the heating of the wagon as well as the hot water are based on the boiler at the end of the wagon, filled with wood and coal.
The wagon is veneered with mahogany; the chairs are tapestried with Cordoba leather.
The bedroom wagon for the service personnel built in 1928 at the Ernesto Breda factory in Milan has room for 16 people placed in 8 couchettes with bulk beds, with a washstand in every cabin. The lights inside the wagon function on batteries through the generator and the heating is made with woods and coal, as it has a furnace.
The bedroom wagon for the official authority was built in 1928 at Officine Meccaniche Italiane Reggio Emilia. The wagon has can house 6 people in 6 cabins with a bed and a washstand each. To the end of the wagon there is a meeting saloon and next to it, a small kitchen. The lights inside the wagon function on batteries through the generator and the heating is made with woods and coal, as it has a furnace. The wagon is veneered with walnut wood.


And we can’t end this article without saying a few words about an iconic individual of this train: George Fluieran, one of the two steam engines mechanics in Romania, a mechanic who for 40 years has been working on these engines, and whose image is associated with this train. He appeared in 20 films, he met the American director Francis Ford Copola, he dined with the royal family of Romania during a visit to Blaj and was alongside Sergiu Nicolaescu for the execution of the famous “Orient Express”.

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