The UK’s First Pride Train Is Now In Service, And It’s Been Given A Lovely New Name

Avanti West Coast has launched the UK’s first fully wrapped Pride train.

Back in August, the UK’s very first, rainbow-covered Pride train set off from London Euston to Manchester Piccadilly on its first official service. Avanti West Coast were due to support for various Pride events this year, but since they weren’t able to go ahead (due to the pandemic), the train operator took celebrations into their own hands.

In the most spectacular fashion, they’ve fully covered one of their trains with the most recent iteration of the Pride flag, which includes black, brown, light blue, pink and white, representing people of colour, transgender people and those living with or who have been lost to HIV/AIDS. The first official service was also staffed by an entirely LGBTQ+ crew.

Avanti West Coast are wholeheartedly committed to diversity and inclusion, and wanted the train to represent everyone in the LGBTQ+ community.

The train is 11 carriages long, measuring in at 265 metres, and has become a permanent part of the Avanti West Coast fleet. The operator gave the public the chance to name it after its debut, and after receiving some 1500 entries. we’re happy to report that the train has been given the very appropriate name ‘Progress’, revealed today on National Coming Out Day (Sunday, October 11). Suggested by rail engineer Edward Hitchon Godfrey (amongst others), the name “embodies both a celebration of where we have got to as an industry and as a society, and a recognition that we’re not there yet – that there’s still work to be done”, as Godfrey so eloquently puts it.

Pride Train
Edward Hitchon Godfrey with the new nameplate for the train.

You’ll find Progress steaming up the West Coast Main Line on a regular service, but the education doesn’t stop with the makeover. The train features Pride-related information and fun facts during their onboard announcements, as part of a continued commitment to LGBTQ+ education – so it looks like it’s full steam ahead for Progress!

To learn more about Pride, its meaning and history, check out these 10 LGBTQ+ books to help further your education!


Also published on Medium.

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