The Cathedrals Express steam train recently marked its 15th Anniversary with a commemorative journey from Salisbury to Canterbury, so it was particularly fitting that Southampton resident, Nick, chose this trip to stage a romantic proposal to his girlfriend.
The proposal, however, was very nearly compromised when the couple narrowly missed the train at Salisbury and had to race the train in their car to catch up with it further down the line.
Nick, who met his future wife, Michelle in January this year said; “I knew that the Pullman Style Carriages and fine dining experience on The Cathedrals Express would make the perfect setting to propose.” He added; “I was utterly determined to get everything right and contacted the staff of Steam Dreams beforehand to help me with the finer details. I double and triple checked I had the ring and train tickets and had even timed the journey to make sure we arrived at the station in good time.”
Unfortunately, just as the couple arrived, The Cathedrals Express whistled and started to chug out of the station, leaving Nick and Michelle stranded on the platform. However, all was not lost when the Station Master suggested to the couple that they could drive to Basingstoke, as the train was due to take on water and allow an express train pass it.
Michelle, who didn’t appreciate at this stage quite how important the trip was going to be, said “It was really stressful as I was sure we weren’t going to make it, but we thankfully arrived just in time. Nick ran on to the platform to hold up the train and I followed as fast as I could in my high heels! It was such a relief when we eventually took our seats.”
Shelley Rice, Passenger Services Manager for Steam Dreams said, “Nick contacted us before the trip, so we arranged for them to be seated in our best Pullman carriage. It was a huge relief that they caught up with us, although we knew it was touch and go as to whether they would make it to Basingstoke in time.”
Nick waited for the appropriate moment on the return journey, during their five course dinner, before getting down on one knee and when Michelle said “yes”, there was a spontaneous round of applause from fellow passengers, followed by celebratory champagne for the happy couple. The train later stopped at Newington where staff arranged for them to stand on the footplate of the locomotive, Mayflower, to pose for photographs.
Nick said “After the rather fraught start to the day, it turned out to be truly memorable and I can’t thank the Steam Dreams staff enough for helping to make it so special for me and Michelle.”
The couple plan to marry in September 2016 and everybody at Steam Dreams wishes them the best of luck for the future!