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Maidenhead Heritage Centre adds to exhibit with model train

The history of the Great Western Railway will be brought to life in Maidenhead's Park Street with the addition of a model train.

The replica of one of the first engines used on Brunel’s route – the Iron Duke - is ‘high detailed’, according to the Maidenhead Heritage Centre’s chairman, Richard Poad.

Named for the Duke of Wellington, the military commander behind the victory at Waterloo, it was designed by Daniel Gooch, Brunel’s engine specialist.

It could reach speeds of 80mph but when hauling a full train over a long journey it hit about 52mph.

The model is on loan from the Friends of Swindon Railway Museum group for at least two years, and staff at the centre hope visitors will pay a visit.

The centre already has a display on the railway, which features a 12ft long model of the Sounding Arch bridge.

Staff have been involved in discussions about the Royal Borough's regeneration plan, which could involve the centre moving in to a larger museum.

Curator Nick Forder said: “Transport will be the major theme in the proposed new Heritage Centre, covering cars, boats, railways and planes."

“Brunel’s work, including the Sounding Arch railway bridge, will start the railway story, with a wonderful model of a broad gauge locomotive now included in our display.

“The railway story will be brought right up to date with the Crossrail and GWR electrification projects, due to open in 2019.”

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