‘Purple loco’ set to star at the SVR’s Platinum Jubilee event

The Severn Valley Railway will be putting on a celebration ‘fit for Royalty’ when it welcomes visitors to a four-day special event in June to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Festivities will take place from 2nd-5th June, as the railway joins with the nation to celebrate the historic and momentous occasion across the extended bank holiday weekend.
 
Crowning the first day of the event will be the unveiling of locomotive 34027 with its new name, ‘Elizabeth II’, new number ‘70’, and unique, head-turning purple livery, specially commissioned to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Visitors will have the chance to see the ‘purple loco’ throughout the four-day event. 
 
On the Thursday afternoon, SVR locomotives at Kidderminster and Bridgnorth will sound their whistles as town criers make a special Queen’s Platinum Jubilee proclamation.  Evening services will transport diners to The Engine House, Highley for a Beacon Banquet, at which the SVR’s beacon will be lit at the same time as thousands of others across the world.
 
Alongside the stunning sight of the ‘purple loco’ No 70 ‘Elizabeth II’, the appropriately-named No 2999 ‘Lady of Legend’ will be making its final appearances at the SVR before it returns home to Didcot Railway Centre.
 
It’s not just steam engines that will be headlining the show, but also a heritage aircraft. The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s iconic Lancaster is set to perform a fly past on all four days of the event.
 
It was 1952 when Queen Elizabeth II became Sovereign, and the era of rock ‘n roll and the 1950s comes to the SVR for the celebratory event. At Bridgnorth, visitors can hop aboard a vintage fairground ride, and on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, there’ll be live music from the era at Kidderminster Station, a pop-up milk bar and juke box at The Engine House, along with evening concerts at Kidderminster featuring a rock band (Friday 3rd) and an Elvis Presley tribute act (Saturday 4th.)
 
Meanwhile at The Engine House, courtesy of BrickLive, the Severn Valley Railway will be hosting a hand-built Paddington-themed exhibition. The much-loved fictional bear made his debut in the 1950s since when he’s delighted generations of children in books and on the silver screen. Hundreds of thousands of bricks will go into creating this stunning exhibition, which is sure to delight visitors of all ages.
 
Alongside Paddington, the work of leading photographer Jack Boskett is showcased in an exhibition called ‘From Railways to Royalty’, with 75 of his best works featuring heritage rail and the Royal Family.
 
Across the railway’s six authentically-preserved stations, the SVR’s gardeners will work their magic to produce floral displays in honour of the historic occasion, and each visitor will receive a special edition ‘seeded’ ticket to take home and plant for their own celebratory display. Michael Dunn, head of visitor experience at the Severn Valley Railway said:

“The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee is a once-in-a-lifetime historic event. We’re pulling out all the stops to make sure our celebratory event will be truly memorable.
 
“The unveiling of No 70 ‘Elizabeth II’ in its stunning purple livery will be a real ‘wow’ moment as we launch into the weekend. This is going to be an exciting and joyful celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and we can’t wait to welcome our visitors.”
 
Day tickets for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee event are on sale now at svr.co.uk, and tickets for the Beacon Banquet and evening concerts will be available from 21st April.

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