Celebrating the 175th anniversary of the first rail journey made by a monarch
Posted: 14 June 2017 | | No comments yet
HM The Queen marked the anniversary of the first rail journey made by a monarch, naming a new Intercity Express Train Queen Elizabeth II.
Her Majesty The Queen has marked the 175th anniversary of the first rail journey made by a monarch, recreating the original journey made by Queen Victoria, before naming a new Intercity Express Train ‘Queen Elizabeth II’ at Paddington Station.
On 13 June 1842, Queen Victoria made the journey from Slough to Paddington and became the first British monarch to travel by train. The train that day was driven by Daniel Gooch and assisted by Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
To mark this unique occasion GWR recreated the journey between the two stations using its new Hitachi-built Intercity Express Train (IET), in the presence of HM The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. The Royal party were joined on the train by Isambard Thomas and Gillian White, the direct descendants of Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Sir Daniel Gooch.
“This occasion marks a very special moment in the history of the Great Western Railway”
“We are delighted that The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were able to join us to mark this historic anniversary,” said Mark Hopwood, Managing Director of Great Western Railway. “We at GWR are extremely proud of our heritage and this occasion marks a very special moment in the history of the Great Western Railway.”
Great Western Railway’s Intercity Express Train marks the start of the biggest fleet upgrade in a generation on GWR’s network and is the first major intercity fleet to be introduced on the UK rail network for some 20 years.
The trains are being built by the 900-strong workforce at Hitachi’s North East factory in Newton Aycliffe, as part of the government’s £5.7 billion Intercity Express Programme.
“We trust that Her Majesty enjoys the space, comfort and smooth ride on our new Intercity train,” continued Karen Boswell OBE, Managing Director of Hitachi Rail Europe. “From the autumn, passengers will begin to feel the benefits of this new British-built fleet as they travel around the Great Western route.”
The Intercity Express Train is due to enter passenger service on the Great Western Railway in the autumn this year, and will enable longer trains with more seats as well as faster and more frequent journeys.