Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Rail Freight Carrier Commemorates War Dead with Tribute and Charity Scheme

Locomotive Renamed in Honour of the Lost
Shipping News Feature
UK – To commemorate railway workers who died in World War One UK rail freight operator Freightliner has renamed one of its locomotives ‘Patriot’. In a naming ceremony that took place on Remembrance Sunday at Freightliner’s maintenance facility in Crewe locomotive 66418 was given its new designation in front of more than forty people, including Graham Wood, whose grandfather, Wilfred Wood VC, a former employee of London North Western Railways, was awarded the Victoria Cross on 28 November 1918 for conspicuous bravery and initiative on the Italian front against Austro-Hungarian forces in World War One.

The naming is part of an initiative entitled ‘Project Railway Honour’, the brainchild of Corporal Gareth Atkinson who serves in the 1st Battalion of the Mercian Regiment. Under the scheme, model railway manufacturer Dapol will produce a detailed scale model of locomotive 66418 ‘Patriot’. For every model sold, a donation will be made to ABF – The Soldiers’ Charity - the national charity of the British Army. Speaking at the event Corporal Atkinson said:

“Seeing this project come to life with this very special naming at the most apt of times was both an emotional and proud day for me. Without the support shown by all parties, especially Freightliner, this project would still be just an idea on a piece of paper."

Pre-orders for the limited-edition N gauge models of ‘Patriot’ can be made at the Warley National Model Railway Exhibition at the NEC Birmingham on 26/27 November 2016 or shortly from the Project Railway Honour website. The unveiling of the plaque fell to Freightliner UK MD Adam Cunliffe, who said:

“Freightliner is honoured to name locomotive 66418 ‘Patriot’ in commemoration of the 20,000 railwaymen who made the ultimate sacrifice in WW1. It is particularly poignant that the naming ceremony took place at our new maintenance facility in Crewe, where the original war memorial steam locomotive ‘Patriot 1914’ was built, in remembrance of the fallen of the London and North Western Railway.”

At an occasion which was that enigmatic conundrum between sorrow and celebration which typifies such British Remembrance Day services , Phillip Naylor, Regional Director North West, ABF observed:

“It was an absolute pleasure to take part in the naming ceremony of the locomotive, Patriot, named in memory of fallen railway employees. The whole team at Freightliner Crewe should be very proud of the immaculate turnout of the engine and a really moving naming ceremony that caught the spirit of Remembrance perfectly. Moreover, the nameplate will be a lasting reminder of the sacrifice made by those who have gone before.