William traveled to Derby, about 130 miles northwest of London, to visit with the makers of the trains, which will run on the new Elizabeth Line that has been named for his grandmother the Queen.
After a brief lesson from Chris Brittan, a dynamic test track driver, William was all smiles as he took the controls and gently eased ahead. Once he was up and running confidently, he sounded the train’s horn.
“He was saying that George would love it, he would be excited about seeing his dad driving,” Brittan told reporters.
“He was nice and controlled. We took it up to 30 miles per hour. He was doing all the driving. He said it’s easy to drive, it’s nice and smooth,” he added.
During his visit, William toured the assembly lines and met with manufacturing, welding and painting apprentices who work on the site for Bombardier. The company makes both planes and trains, and the factory in Derby is a global center of excellence for rail engineering and aluminium car body manufacture.
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In February, the Queen visited London’s Bond Street station, where she unveiled the Elizabeth Line logo – wearing a lilac outfit that perfectly matched the new purple colors of the line.
During his time in Derby, William also visited the Rolls Royce factory and a local charity, the Padley Centre, which supports those with mental illness and local homeless shelters. During the charity visit, the royal joined a pottery group and helped out with arts and crafts.
“I’m the least arty in my family! But I’m up for it!” William said, laughing.
He also told the group about his exciting morning. “I got to drive a train this morning, which I never thought I’d do. Never thought I’d get let loose on that.