Thursday, April 30, 2020

Veteran Hero Has a Locomotive Named After Him

Happy Birthday Colonel Tom!
Shipping News Feature

UK – It has been a bit of a week for Tom Moore. Not many people live to celebrate their 100th birthday, let alone do it getting a fly past from a spitfire, a personal message from the PM, a promotion to Colonel, become an honorary member of the England cricket team, have a number one hit record and raise around £30 million for the NHS. And now, on his birthday, he has had a train named after him.

Having already dedicated a new locomotive to the NHS last week, GB Railfreight (GBRf) decided to name the 129-tonne, Class 66 freight locomotive in the veteran’s honour, although he was only a captain when the decision was made and since he has been bestowed the honorary title Honorary Colonel of the Army Foundation College, by the military on behalf of the Queen for his fund raising efforts.

The naming took place to coincide with Captain Moore’s 100th birthday today (30 April). The name plate which will now adorn the locomotive, was unveiled by GB Railfreight Managing Director John Smith, with Captain Moore watching the ceremony from home. John Smith commented:

“Happy birthday Captain Tom! On behalf of myself and the whole team at GB Railfreight I wanted to offer a big ‘thank you’ for what is fantastic fundraising that you’ve carried out. We are in awe of your efforts to raise money for frontline NHS workers. We thought we were good at raising money but what you’ve achieved for the National Health Service is quite simply fantastic.

“Last week we unveiled one of our freight locos in honour of all the critical workers at the NHS, painted in their livery. It was a way of offering our thanks particularly for your efforts, and to wish you a very happy birthday. We are very proud to name this loco after you, Captain Tom.

“After today it will be pulling crucial rail freight throughout the country helping to keep the NHS going, helping to get food on people’s tables and also helping to kick start the country’s economy as we go forward. Thank you again Captain Tom and I’m very proud that your name will be carried on our locomotive.”

The name plates were produced by Procast, one of which has been kindly donated by Railwayana Auctions UK Ltd, as a thank you for Captain Moore’s amazing efforts. Lifelong rail enthusiast Neil Booth, Director of Railwayana Auctions UK Ltd, said:

"I was inspired by the sheer tenacity and conviction of the fundraising task for the NHS that Captain Tom Moore had set himself and thought that it would be a wonderful idea to name a locomotive in his honour on his 100th birthday.

"Once we had his family's permission to do so, we very quickly had the nameplates cast, had Sir Peter Hendy CBE, Chairman of Network Rail and John Smith, Managing Director of GBRf on board along with his management team and staff who have bent over backwards in providing a more than suitable locomotive to be honoured in this way. I just can't thank everyone enough for their sterling efforts in making this happen within just seven days."