THE SPECIAL TRAIN
Following M.Paulhan's flight in the special train, for which facilities
were provided by the London and North Western Railway, proved to be one
of the most interesting methods of watching the progress of the great race.
The train carried representatives from nearly all departments of the railway,
in addition to M.Paulhan's assistants and spare stores, including a quantity
of Shell motor spirit, which was used by both aviators in their flights.
Mme Paulhan was also a passenger.
Before 4 o'clock everything was ready for the start after the aviator.
When he ascended the train steamed off at once. Just before starting a
message was received to the effect that Mr.Grahame-White, who had got away
at the early hour of 2.55 a.m., had passed Nuneaton. The position was exciting.
The slightest flaw in the working of M.Paulhan's engine or any trivial
obstacle would probably place the prize in the hands of his rival. It was
a cold morning, and the passengers in the train spoke of the discomfort
of the aviator cleaving his way through the raw air at 40 miles an hour.
While watchful eyes were kept on the tiny figure of the aeroplane far ahead
and seldom allowed to get out of sight, problems of aviation were discussed.
Everybody was confident that M.Paulhan would win, and Mme Paulhan appeared
to be thoroughly accustomed to seeing her husband facing the danger of
cross-country flying. The aviator kept at a great altitude, apparently
about 800 ft. to 1,000 ft., and maintained an even, regular flight.