In a ceremony at Freightliner’s new locomotive depot at Basford, Crewe, 66418 – now carrying the new Genessee and Wyoming branded version of Freightliner’s PowerHaul livery – was named “Patriot”. This is the first locomotive (of three) named as part of Project Railway Honour.
The naming was carried out by Adam Cunliffe, Freightliner’s UK managing director and 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 1.
The Victoria Cross is Britain’s highest award for gallantry. Mr Wood brought his grandfather’s with him.
The Mercian Regiment provided an Honour Guard and Army vehicles for the event.
The locomotive nameplate also carries the message “In Memory of Fallen Railway Employees” and it was noted that all railwaymen who fell in WW1 were volunteers, since working on the railways at the time was designated a “protected job” meaning that none faced conscription.
After the naming ceremony 66418 was taken up to Crewe station to allow enthusiasts to take photographs.
Project partners, Dapol are now working on producing the first limited edition N gauge model of this locomotive and all proceeds from sales will go to the ABF- The Soldier’s Charity. Only 250 models will be produced and orders are first come, first served – Dapol have a few minor corrections to the pre-production sample and will advise a delivery schedule shortly.
The limited edition N gauge model is now available for order for £105 + P&P from Revolution Trains (who have provided a free online ordering service to the project).