By Ben Jones
HM THE Queen followed in the footsteps of Queen Victoria on June 13, making the short journey from Slough to London Paddington on one of GWR’s new Hitachi Class 800 units.
The trip marked the 175th anniversary of the first train journey by a British monarch, on June 13, 1842, when Queen Victoria travelled on a Great Western Railway broad gauge train driven by Daniel Gooch and assisted by Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
On arrival at Paddington, Britain’s longest-serving monarch unveiled the name Queen Elizabeth II on GWR bi-mode Class 800 No. 800003. Following the naming ceremony, The Queen was presented with a pair of specially designed coins by Tim O’Toole, chief executive of GWR owner FirstGroup.
The coins will become a feature of GWR’s new trains and will incorporate a unique design on each of the company’s 93 Hitachi Class 800/802 electro-diesel multiple units. Their design is inspired by the commemorative coins fitted to the cabside of GWR ‘King’ 4-6-0 No. 6000 King George V
when it attended the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad’s centenary celebrations in 1927.
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