On the day 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 collector’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 ‘Taw Valley’, the locomotive that will soon appear in a unique purple and silver livery in honour of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, renamed as ‘Elizabeth II’.
The leading heritage railway sparked worldwide excitement in February this year when it revealed its plans for the head-turning repaint. The name ‘Elizabeth II’ was selected by public vote, and has received royal approval via the Cabinet Office. Additionally, the loco will be renumbered as ‘70’ to reflect the seven decades of Her Majesty’s reign.
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“We knew we’d cause a stir by painting this wonderful heritage locomotive in such a striking colour,” said the SVR’s head of visitor experience Michael Dunn.
“It’s a huge seal of approval that Hornby now want to reflect this bold move and we’re delighted to be working with such a prestigious partner. There’s already a huge amount of interest from visitors who want to see the ‘purple loco’ for themselves and we can’t wait to welcome them to the railway so they can travel behind it.”
Simon Kohler, Hornby’s marketing and product development director, said: “Hornby 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. We’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, I’m thrilled to be producing a model that’s not green or black, just for a change!”
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 ‘Elizabeth II’ on Thursday 2nd June at the start of the SVR’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 ‘Elizabeth II’ to The Patron’s Fund, which supports the charitable organisations across the UK and the Commonwealth for which Her Majesty acts as a Patron.