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Pictures & video: The Queen visits Slough to recreate historic train journey

James Hockaday

James Hockaday

Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Philip visited Slough train station today (Tuesday) before recreating an historic train journey made by Queen Victoria 175 years ago.

On June 13, 1842, Queen Victoria travelled from Slough to London Paddington along the Great Western Railway (GWR), becoming the first British monarch to travel by train.

To celebrate the historic moment, Queen Elizabeth II travelled from Slough to Paddington in one of GWR's new Intercity Express Trains, which are due to be launched in autumn.

She officially named the train Queen Elizabeth II after arriving in London.

In Slough, the Queen was greeted at the station by more than 100 pupils from St Mary’s CofE Primary School, IRQA Slough Islamic School, James Elliman Academy and Marish Primary School, who presented their artwork.

The Queen travelled with Gillian White, the great, great granddaughter of Sir Daniel Gooch, who drove Queen Victoria's train in 1842.

The 87-year-old said: "It's an honour to meet The Queen, it's exciting."

They were joined by Isambard Thomas, the great, great, great grandson of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who designed the GWR and assisted Sir Gooch.

The 53-year-old graphic designer from London says 'it means a lot' to be invited to travel with the Queen.

Looking back at his ancestor's work on Britain's train lines, he said: "It's connected the country, it's connected the world, it makes everything smaller.

"Trains should be a joy to travel on."

Managing director of Great Western Railway, Mark Hopwood, said: “We are delighted that The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were able to join us to mark this historic anniversary.

"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."

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