Published 30th April 2013
Stan Butler travelled just over 475,000 miles during 784 journeys on the royal train over a railway career spanning 49 years from 1945. He was the Royal Train Foreman based at Wolverton for 27 years and oversaw the modernisation of the Royal Train in the 1970s and 1980s.
His first Royal Train journey was in April 1966, making sure the Queen was transported safely and on time from Euston to north Buckinghamshire and the itinerary included a trip to Wolverton Works!
His final Royal Train journey was taking Prince Charles to Cornwall and in between he had every member of the Royal Family as his passengers plus around 30 trains carrying visiting Heads of State from around the world.
Mr Butler was heavily involved in the Royal Train modernisation plans of the early 1970s and again a decade later. He also made sure the older Royal carriages were preserved and some of which are now on display at the National Railway Museum at York.
Stan was awarded the HM Silver Jubilee Medal in June 1977 following the successful Silver Jubilee Royal Train tour and was further honoured in 1989 in the New Year’s Honours list. He was then awarded the Royal Victoria Medal by HM The Queen and in between these awards, was invited to the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer.
Mr Butler had a remarkable railway career and was a hugely respected railwayman and received the good wishes from the Royal Family on his retirement 20 years ago. He continued to live within a few miles of Wolverton and died after a short illness and is survived by his wife Winifred.
The May 4th Royal Train evening at the Milton Keynes Museum will be dedicated to Mr Butler’s memory. See www.wolverton175.co.uk for full details.
The rolling stock leasing company, Porterbrook, has awarded a £5 million contract to Railcare’s Wolverton Works to carry out a heavy overhaul of a fleet of 111of its 1970s Mark 3 carriages. These are leased by Abellio, the Dutch owned company on their Greater Anglia franchise and are used on intercity services between Liverpool Street and Norwich.
In addition to the overhaul Porterbrook Leasing has contracted Railcare to carry out corrosion repairs which will involve shot blasting of the vehicle exterior back to bare metal. This will be followed by a full examination of the vehicle structure and exterior and corrosion repairs as required.
The carriages will then be completely repainted in the new red and white Greater Anglia livery. The scope of works also includes a full test of the vehicle electrical systems and an overhaul of the air-conditioning and central door locking (CDL) systems. The flooring and carpets throughout the carriages and kitchen areas will be replaced or cleaned as required.
Porterbrook is investigating including extensive modification work on the carriages which would make them compliant with the Passengers of Reduced Mobility - Technical Specification for Interoperability (PRM TSI) regulations. This would allow them to remain in service beyond the deadline of January 1, 2020.
The contract is due to start in October 2013 and due to be completed in July 2016; this is based on five carriages being in Railcare’s Wolverton Works at any one time. So as soon as the 175th anniversary celebrations have taken place, a new contract starts.
This, combined with the class 365 fleet overhaul which has just started means that the Works has weathered the recession and is now operating pretty much at capacity in its anniversary year.
Alex White, operations director for Porterbrook said, “Railcare have successfully completed several similar projects on Porterbrook’s fleet in recent years and the Mark 3 contract will continue to build on that relationship”.
Jamie Borgeat, commercial director at Railcare said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this contract and to be working with Porterbrook again. This kind of work is at the heart of what we do at Railcare and we are committed to ensuring that the carriages are delivered back into passenger service on time, where they can continue to deliver a safe and reliable service for years to come”.
Written by Phil Marsh