Britain’s first fully decorated Pride train staffed by an LGBT crew will make its inaugural journey this morning.
The 11-carriage train, emblazoned with a huge rainbow flag, will travel from London Euston to Manchester Piccadilly.
It will also have black and brown paintwork to symbolise black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, as well as the pink, blue and white of the transgender flag.
Members of the train’s crew said that the eye-catching paint job and the staffing selection is a ‘sign of the steps we’re taking towards a more inclusive, diverse and equal society’.
Train manager Paul Austin said: ‘This is about being accepted for who I am and representing the LGBT+ community we serve across our network.’
The Avanti West Coast Pride Train will be filled with posters and literature for passengers and will feature Pride-related information during onboard announcements.
While future crews will not be exclusively LGBT, the multi-colour livery featuring the Pride flag will remain for the ‘foreseeable future’, the train company said yesterday.
Sarah Copley, Avanti West Coast executive director, 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.’