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UK’s first Pride train staffed by all-LGBTQ crew makes maiden journey

Avanti West Coast is ignoring the lessons of Boaty McBoatface and giving the public the chance to name the train.

By Will Stroude

The UK saw its first ‘Pride train’ staffed by an all-LGBTQ crew make its maiden journey from London to Manchester this week.

Avanti West Coast, which began operating on the West Coast Main Line at the end of last year, has wrapped one of its 11-carriage, 265-metre ‘Pendolino’ trains in the Pride flag, in what will be a permanent rainbow addition to the fleet.

The new Pride makeover made sure to include the pink, blue and white of the transgender flag, as well as black and brown stripes to signal racial diversity and acceptance.

Having apparently not learned the lessons of ‘Boaty McBoatface’, Avanti West Coast has also launched a competition for the LGBTQ community to name the train, with submissions being accepted via their website and the winner to be announced in October.

The train’s maiden journey from London Euston to Manchester Piccadilly on Tuesday (25 August) saw the vehicle staffed by an all-LGBTQ crew, with carriages adorned with LGBTQ-themed literature and posters to highlight the importance of LGBTQ education.

Train manager, Paul Austin, said: “This is about being accepted for who I am and representing the LGBTQ+ community we serve across our network.


“Being a part of the UK’s first all LGBTQ+ crew is a sign of the steps we’re taking towards a more inclusive, diverse and equal society and I am so proud to be involved today.”

Avanti West Coast Executive Director – Commercial, Sarah Copley added: “I’m delighted to be launching our new Avanti West Coast Pride Train which represents everyone in the LGBTQ+ community.

“It is a symbol of our commitment to diversity and inclusion as it travels up and down the West Coast Main Line. We Live Proud 365 days a year, not just today.

“I am so proud to be a part of a business where our people represent the communities we serve. We are always listening to them and customers to ensure our diversity and inclusion strategy is relevant. Our new train livery is a powerful example of keeping the conversation going”.