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Friday 5 February 2010

Royal Visit Confidential

Now that all concerned have left the building, I can reveal that HRHs The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall made a brief visit yesterday afternoon to Crewe, although they did not leave the Royal Train.

In the early afternoon, officers of the British Transport Police (BTP) could be observed patrolling in increasing numbers on the west side of Crewe station, and later, under the supervision of an inspector, made the central part of Platform 12 a sterile area. I am not at liberty to reveal the methods and procedures followed, but can say that this involved rather more BTP officers than a Crewe Alex home match, and two sniffer dogs.

A small group of enthusiasts and other interested and curious people, expecting to see the Royal Train along with new build steam locomotive Tornado (despite this information being routinely embargoed), was allowed to gather at the south end of the platform at around 1800 hours. I am not at liberty to disclose the numbers involved, but can reveal that this group included off duty station staff and traincrew, as well as variously dedicated railfans.

The Royal Train passed through the station just after 1800 hours, and then was set back into Platform 12, where Tornado and its support coach were detached before heading south. There was much interest in this magnificent new locomotive, and very little directed at who may or may not have been on board the Royal Train. Among the many photos taken at this time are these views of Tornado.

I am not at liberty to reveal the further progress of Tornado and the Royal Train, as by just after 1900 hours it was time to head home for another fix of a rather excellent Thai Red Curry.

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