On the day HM The Queen celebrates her 96th birthday, the Severn Valley Railway announced that it is partnering with leading British model company Hornby to produce a limited edition collectorâ€™s model of a locomotive with a very special royal connection.
The limited edition of 1,500 models will feature SR West Country Class 34027 â€˜Taw Valleyâ€™, the locomotive that will soon appear in a unique purple and silver livery in honour of The Queenâ€™s Platinum Jubilee, renamed as â€˜Elizabeth IIâ€™.
The leading heritage railway sparked worldwide excitement in February this year when it revealed its plans for the head-turning repaint. The name â€˜Elizabeth IIâ€™ was selected by public vote, and has received royal approval via the Cabinet Office. Additionally, the loco will be renumbered as â€˜70â€™ to reflect the seven decades of Her Majestyâ€™s reign.
â€œWe knew weâ€™d cause a stir by painting this wonderful heritage locomotive in such a striking colour,â€ said the SVRâ€™s head of visitor experience Michael Dunn. â€œItâ€™s a huge seal of approval that Hornby now want to reflect this bold move and weâ€™re delighted to be working with such a prestigious partner. Thereâ€™s already a huge amount of interest from visitors who want to see the â€˜purple locoâ€™ for themselves and we canâ€™t wait to welcome them to the railway so they can travel behind it.â€
Hornbyâ€™s marketing and product development director Simon Kohler added, â€œHornby have had a strong relationship with the Severn Valley Railway for a number of years, and the opportunity to produce this model is the absolute pinnacle of our association. Weâ€™re thrilled to be doing this, and are certain this will be a hit with model railway enthusiasts and collectors and also those who simply want to celebrate such a momentous event in royal history. On a personal level, Iâ€™m thrilled to be producing a model thatâ€™s not green or black, just for a change!â€
The Hornby 00 gauge model will be issued in a strictly limited edition of 1,500 and is available to pre-order from svrshop.co.uk, Hornby.com and leading Hornby stockists.
The locomotive will be officially renamed as â€˜Elizabeth IIâ€™ on Thursday 2nd June at the start of the SVRâ€™s Platinum Jubilee weekend event. It will run in its purple livery, carrying its new name and number for a limited time, after which the SVR will return it to its original name, number and livery.
The SVR and Hornby will donate a proportion of the profits from the sale of â€˜Elizabeth IIâ€™ to The Patronâ€™s Fund, which supports the charitable organisations across the UK and the Commonwealth for which Her Majesty acts as a Patron.