By Phil Marsh

I’m going to London to see the Queen by rail (or boat)!

Published: 9th May 2016

How do I get to Windsor Castle to see the Queen celebrate her 90th birthday?

Extra trains have been planned by Great Western to Windsor and Eton Central via Slough for the Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration. This is because there is likely to be a huge influx of visitors to Windsor for The Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations between May 12 and 15.

Windsor is served by two rail routes from London, Great Western Railway (GWR) from Paddington and Southwest Trains (SWT) from Waterloo. GWR has decided to try and meet demand by providing almost 20 more train services over this period running via Slough. SWT runs frequent services from Waterloo via Staines, Twickenham and Clapham Junction.

The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration takes place in the private grounds of Windsor Castle for ticket holders only in the evenings of Thursday 12 to Sunday 15 May. If you have tickets for these events, its best to travel early and to avoid any peak time travel which means getting to Windsor before 4pm.

And don’t forget that trains from Windsor after the events will be heaving! So don’t leave it to the last minute to get to whichever Windsor station you are using.

What’s happening?

The event is billed as ‘a celebration of The Queen’s life’ with her love of horses, her dedication to the Commonwealth and international affairs and her deep involvement with the Navy, Army and Air Force reflecting the content.

Lasting over 90 minutes, 900 horses and over 1,500 participants from around the United Kingdom and the World will create a joyful event for The Queen. It is not known whether a Corgi will be present, but you can take them to Windsor on trains to see The Queen…..

The 90-year journey will take us from the excitement of the birth, through to World War Two, her marriage, the coronation and a reign of more than 60 years. The Celebration will use horses, actors, bands and dancers to tell the story.

The celebration has been designed by the same team that organised the Diamond Jubilee Pageant in Windsor in 2012. This time, technology will play an important part in the celebration. The 90-minute experience will be a fusion of the latest video projection, LED effects and theatrical lighting. The finale will be a kaleidoscope of memories and achievements.

They said:

GWR Station Manager for the area Alison Hanscomb said:

“While our friendly and approachable staff will be on hand to help keep people moving, I would urge customers to allow time for their journeys to get to Windsor and to check the time of journeys home. We are providing extra trains but the station is still expected to be a lot busier than normal.”

You can always travel to Windsor by boat on the Thames, but getting back afterwards may be tricky!

Other things to do at Windsor

You don’t have to go to Windsor for this special event but it makes a great day out – perhaps at a less crowded time. Windsor Castle hosts the changing of the Guard at 11am daily and is also home to some of the world’s finest art contained in the Royal Collection. There is also Queen Mary’s Dolls House which boasts running water and electricity!

The Castle is the world’s oldest and largest occupied castle stretching back over 900 years and as is known is one of the official residences of Her Majesty The Queen covering an area of 26 acres. The High Street located Windsor Guildhall is the way into Windsor Castle and also boasts the Royal Borough Museum.

Thames River Cruises are operated by French Brothers who offer return trips upstream to Boveney Lock with views of Windsor Castle, Eton College, Mill House, Windsor Racecourse and Brocas Meadows. Full day longer river cruises are also available. A great relaxing day out on the river combined with a Castle can’t be bad!

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The Queen’s locomotive?

The Queen has had one locomotive named after her, LMS Pacific No. 6201, Princess Elizabeth which was built in 1937 which has been preserved and is about to return to main line action with Steam Dreams. This locomotive started the Pageant from the Chelsea river bridge in 2012.

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