Two heritage railway groups have combined to provide central Victorians with a royal rail experience.
The Victorian Goldfields Railway and the Seymour Rail Heritage Centre have teamed up to restore and operate State Cars 4 and 5 on eight Saturdays during the Bendigo Art Gallery's Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits exhibition.
The two rail cars were used were used for the 1954 tour by Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip and in 1983 when Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales visited Victoria.
The cars will be hauled by the same class of 1950s diesels as the 1954 royal train meaning fans of the royal family, will have a chance to travel the way the visiting British monarchs did.
“The people of Victoria will be able to personally experience travel previously only accessible to Royal and Vice Regal travellers," Seymour Rail Heritage Centre president David Liptrot said.
VGR president Steve Strangward said support from Bendigo Tourism, Victrack and V/Line had made the project possible.
“It’s been a really exciting and rewarding project to get so many organisations working together for a great community outcome," he said.
The idea for running a royal train came from Bendigo Tourism in December and quickly gained momentum.
VicTrack, who own the historic vehicles, made a significant contribution to complete the restoration of the state cars.
The SRHC house the cars and have now been able to restore the vehicles for public access.
When the first train hits the tracks, the VGR will be eager to show off its heritage line to many visitors.
City of Greater Bendigo tourism and major events manager Terry Karamaloudis said it was a fantastic collaboration.
"(It) will provide visitors with an amazing opportunity to have an authentic royal rail experience on the way to the Tudors to Windsor’s exhibition at the Bendigo Art Gallery," he said.
"It will encourage visitors to stay the weekend in the region which provides more dollars into the local economy."
For more details on the Royal Train, or to book tickets, visit www.vgr.com.au
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