Avanti West Coast, a UK train operator, has launched its Pride train to celebrate the diversity of the community it serves.
It is the first train in the UK to be fully wrapped in Pride colours and at 265 metres long it’s going to make a fabulous statement as it cuts cross country.
In a statement, Avanti West Coast said it wanted to do something to show its support for the LGBTIQ community after many Pride events were cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The train pulled out of its first station on 25 August and is entirely operated by an LGBTIQ crew. Its livery (exterior) represents the most recent iteration of the Pride flag incorporating black, brown, light blue, pink and white to bring people of colour, transgender people and those living with or who have been lost to HIV/AIDS to the forefront highlighting the operator’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. Avanti West Coast said the livery will be permanent.
Not only is it the UK’s “biggest Pride flag” the train is also decked out with posters and reading material to educate passengers about the LGBTIQ community.
Avanti West Coast has also put a call out for a name for the train. Submissions can be made via its website and with the colour and creativity of the LGBTIQ community we are sure it will be more imaginative than Trainy McTrainface. Submissions close in October with the winning name announced on 11 October – National Coming Out Day.
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.”
Discussing how Pride means more for the diversity and inclusion of people up and down the West Coast Main Line, Avanti West Coast Executive Director – Commercial, Sarah Copley said: “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”.