The Queen has joined celebrations marking the 175th anniversary of the first train journey taken by a British monarch. She recreated Queen Victoria’s trip from Slough to Paddington on 13 June 1842 on the Great Western Railway.
Of her experience, Queen Victoria wrote in her journal “it was delightful and so quick”. The monarch added: “It took us exactly 30 minutes going to Paddington, & the motion was very slight, & much easier than a carriage, also no dust or great heat.” Victoria had been persuaded on board by Prince Albert, a veteran of rail travel who was fascinated by the new technology.
The Queen made the 19-minute journey on the new Intercity Express train along with the Duke of Edinburgh.
Joining the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh was Isambard Thomas and Gillian White, the direct descendants of Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Sir Daniel Gooch who had accompanied Queen Victoria on her journey. Before boarding the train, the Royals visited the original waiting room at Slough station, which was used by the Queen’s great-great-grandmother.
Mark Hopwood, managing director of Great Western Railway said he was delighted the Queen and Prince Philip recreated the journey.
“We are extremely proud of our heritage and this occasion marks a very special moment in the history of the Great Western Railway,” he said.