Avanti West Coast has kicked off a quest to find a name for its new multi-million pound fleet with a unique event on board a train to come up with ideas.
Calling the session a “Trackathon”, guests were invited to take part and put forward proposals which would make a suitable moniker for the Hitachi sets which are due in service in 2023.
As the building of the trains continues apace at Hitachi’s factory in County Durham, the creative juices were put to test on a Pendolino train heading for Manchester from Euston, with a carriage of participants eager to help shape the next generation of rolling stock on the West Coast Main Line.
Global naming agency Schwa, whose team were behind such names as Ocado, were enlisted to lead the session. Their aim was to coax out as many good ideas as possible from Avanti West Coast colleagues and participants from the wider railway industry including Hitachi, train financiers Rock Rail and consumer watchdog Transport Focus.
The £350m fleet will comprise of 10 Class 807 seven carriage electric trains and 13 Class 805 five carriage bi-mode trains. They will replace the current diesel Voyager trains and serve the West Midlands, North Wales and Liverpool.
Sarah Copley, Executive Director Commercial at Avanti West Coast said, “The reason behind this is because the name of our new fleet must mean more to our people, our communities, and our customers. It should stand for something bigger. A title that gives the world a glimpse of what we aim to achieve which goes beyond A to B.
“We want to inspire. A name that reflects the heritage of the routes we serve which is why we invited representatives of our network to bring a different spark and knowledge to this search.”
The new name is expected to be announced later this year when the trains are expected to start the extensive programme of testing.
Photo credit: Avanti West Coast