Vehicle From 15/2/1917
Officially 'The Euston to Thurso Naval Special' this was known as the Misery Express.
From 1917 this Royal Navy train ran daily between London Euston and Thurso during both world wars. It was named after Admiral Sir John Jellicoe and carried service personnel to and from Naval bases around the country, including Scapa Flow. WW100 Scotland reports that in WW1 it ran 15 February 1917 - 30 April 1919.
It was estimated to have transported some half a million Service personnel during the two wars. (Helmsdale says half a million in each war). It was the longest scheduled rail service ever to run in the UK.
Crewe Station was one of the few scheduled stops on the 717-mile 21h 30m journey. This was a major refreshment stop, where over 300 women volunteers worked around the clock to provide refreshments in a canteen on Platform 6. Helmsdale was another refreshment stop.
From Royal Naval Association: "Although seen as a crucial piece of Naval infrastructure, the train also carried thousands of soldiers and airmen over the years.Travelling on it was usually a nightmare – invariably overcrowded, most passengers were unlikely to get a seat, and only the shortest of them could hope to get any sleep (if they could find an empty wire luggage-rack). In the Great War it left London at 6pm, arriving at Thurso at 3.30pm the following day. The southbound service took an hour longer ..."