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Rail enthusiasts mark pioneering Royal journey
11:00am Thursday 14th June 2012 in News
Didcot Railway Centre volunteer Beth Gillham dressed up as Queen Victoria to encourage steam train enthusiasts to visit the centre.
Yesterday marked the 170th anniversary of the first Rail journey ever taken by a British monarch, when Queen Victoria travelled from Slough to London on a train powered by the Great Western Railway broad gauge steam locomotive Phlegethon, a member of the Fire Fly class.
An exact replica of the original Fire Fly, built by volunteers at the centre next to Didcot Parkway, will be running on Saturday, June 30, and Sunday, July 1.
Miss Gillham, from Didcot, said: “We thought it would be fun to try to recreate what life was like in Victorian times to encourage visitors to come and see our Fire Fly replica.”
Railway centre spokesman Adrian Brodie added: “We have got the broad gauge track and an exact replica of the original Fire Fly, built in 1840, so we were in a great position to create this Victorian scene.
“We are focusing on an anniversary from Victorian times at a time when people are thinking about Royal anniversaries following the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.”
Didcot Railway Centre manager Roger Orchard said: “Beth volunteers from time to time in our science and learning section.”