The Industrial Revolution was in full swing when “The Queen,” the early steam locomotive that transported Queen Victoria between Windsor and London, was constructed. In fact, Victoria was the first British monarch to travel by rail, making her maiden voyage on June 13, 1842.
During her long reign, from 1837 to 1901, Victoria traveled by train dozens of times. This was quite adventurous for the queen, considering train travel was relatively new and dangerous at the time. Many deaths and injuries were reported from the tracks in 1842 alone.
Today a full-size replica of a Great Western Railway class steam locomotive No. 3041, is permanently parked at Windsor & Eton Central Railway Station. Named “The Queen,” black engine is adorned with the regal flourishes and features seen on the original machine, including the Royal Coat of Arms and the loco’s name inscribed along the side.
The recreation of Queen Victoria’s Royal Train was displayed in the late 1980s and early ’90s in an exhibition called Royalty and Railways (renamed Royalty and Empire) at the Windsor Royal Shopping complex in the newly restored railway station. It was too expensive to remove the locomotive after the exhibit closed, however, so there it remains today.
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