Technology may have advanced and the journey a complete six minutes faster, but yesterday, Her Majesty recreated the first royal train journey that took place 175 years ago by Queen Victoria.
The “delightful and so quick” trip taken by Queen Victoria on 13 June 1842 was driven by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Sir Daniel Gooch, keeping in tradition, their descendants accompanied The Queen and Prince Philip on the trip from Slough to Paddington.
Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh were the first members of the Royal Family to try out the prototype intercity hybrid train that speeds up the journey by six minutes.
The couple seemed to throughly enjoy their journey with Prince Philip looking around in awe. Her Majesty also impressed those around her with her knowledge of the railways.
En route to Paddington, the great-great-great-grandson of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Isambard Thomas was seated next to The Queen and told The Telegrapgh:“It was fascinating how much interest she has in trains and in train journeys.”
He adding on jokingly: “Obviously it’s a different thing if you’re the monarch; you’re not sat in second class, queuing for the buffet.”
Queen Victoria’s diary entry from 1842 gives us an insight on what her experience of the new technology was like, she wrote: “It took us exactly 30 minutes going to Paddington, & the motion was very slight, & much easier than the carriage, also no dust or great heat – in fact, it was delightful and so quick.”
Queen Victoria had originally been apprehensive about the journey but Prince Albert convinced her otherwise. Although she would not let the train travel over 40mph.
Yesterday’s train reached up to speeds of 100mph, averaging at 60mph. The journey did take an extra 14 minutes, as the train was detoured as not to disrupt the normal timetable.
Upon reaching London Paddington, Her Majesty unveiled the train’s engine named in her honour. The rear engine of the train is named for the first monarch to ride the rails; Queen Victoria.