London Paddington’s station manager will feature in the next episode of Channel 5 behind the scenes documentary, Paddington 24/7, as Her Majesty The Queen arrives at the station to mark the 175th anniversary of the first ever rail journey made by a monarch.
Calum MacKay, who works for Network Rail, was in charge of the station as Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh arrived from Slough to recreate the maiden royal rail journey by Queen Victoria in 1842.
To mark this unique occasion the royals travelled on Great Western Railway’s new Hitachi-built Intercity Express Train (IET), which comes into passenger service later this year and will provide longer trains with more seats, greater comfort and more frequent journeys. Once they arrived at London Paddington the Queen named the IET ‘Queen Elizabeth II’ in front of a large crowd.
Calum described the Queen’s visit as the biggest day he has had since becoming station manager at London Paddington.
It doesn’t get much bigger than a visit from the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh and it was a fantastic occasion.
It takes months of planning to put on such an event but it was a huge success and all ran fairly smoothly in the end so those involved deserve a lot of credit.
Running such an iconic and busy station has many challenges and it was a honour and a privilege to help GWR recreate the first every royal train journey and welcome them to London Paddington.
I hope people watch the documentary and get a better understanding of what Network Rail does and the range of challenges that the team at the station faces.
The fifth episode will be aired on Monday 9 October on Channel 5 at 9pm, with each subsequent episode shown on Monday evenings at the same time.