Petworth is last stop for retired railway carriage

A Pullman Carriage called Princess Ena has found a forever home in Petworth.

The carriage was purchased bythe Old Railway Station B&B, in Station Road, it will be a buffet car alongside four other Pullman carriages which are already ensuite bedrooms.

Jennie Hudson, manager of the B&B, said: “We decided that The Old Railway Station in Petworth would be the ideal home for her - so went about planning how we would transport her.

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“Coussens Crane company were very helpful with the planning, and although there was a lot of preparation - they made it look easy! Although transporting a 64 foot 115 year old Pullman Carriage from Selsey to Petworth was no easy feat with all the twisty roads and traffic.”

Princess Ena

Princess Ena is a 1906 Pullman Carriage - one of three that came from America, and the only one that is still surviving. It worked on the Southern Railway and was decommissioned in 1934.

Jennie said: “The story is that it was a father that bought it for his daughter, and she chose the carriage herself. Princess Ena has stood as part of a house until this year, when the house was demolished in order to build a new property.

“We were offered the carriage by the owner in order to save her.

“It was not an easy decision as it was all happening during the pandemic - when the fate of hospitality was quite unknown.”

The present single storey wooden structure, which is situated slightly west of the old station, was opened in the 1880s.

By 1955 passenger services at Petworth came to an end and the building fell into disrepair. But it was rescued in the mid 1980s and renovated.

Guest accommodation has been provided since 1995 with two rooms in the Station House. In 1998, two Pullman railway carriages, Mimosa (1914) and Alicante (1912), were brought to the site and renovated to provide four guest rooms and a third Pullman car, Flora (1923), was brought to the site some three years later.

A fourth Pullman carriage, Montana (1923 and sister car to Flora), was brought to the site and renovated, bringing the number of guest rooms to a total of 10, eight of them in the Pullman cars.

Jennie said: “We took over in 2018. It has not been an easy time as we have been closed for most of the last year due to the pandemic, but we are hopeful that the future is bright, especially with our new addition.”