New Locos named for Metronet and GBRf

New Locos named for Metronet and GBRf

31 Jan 2007

New Locos named for Metronet and GBRf

Gwyneth Dunwoody, MP, who heads the Parliamentary Transport Select Committee, and Tim O’Toole, managing director of London Underground, were among the guests naming five new class 66s at Euston. The126-tonne diesel Class 66 locos are part of a new engineering train fleet supplied by GB Railfreight under a 10-year, £80 million service contract with Metronet. It is the first time such heavy duty equipment from the national rail network has ever been used on the Tube.  The fleet will double the amount of new track that can be potentially laid in any one weekend and triple the number of worksites on one-third of the network. Says Metronet Chief Executive Andrew Lezala, ‘We are delighted today to be naming the five locos and welcome Gwyneth Dunwoody, Tim O’Toole and our other special guests. Track renewal work is crucial to our regeneration of the Tube which has previously suffered years of under investment, giving passengers more reliable, smoother and faster journeys. However, we recognise that shutting sections of the network at the weekend causes disruption to people so it is essential we make the most of every closure.”

The five names unveiled on the day were:

Gwyneth Dunwoody, named by Gwyneth Dunwoody, Chair of the Parliamentary Transport Committee. The committee provides scrutiny on transport matters, including London’s Tube.

METRO-LAND, named by Tim O’Toole, MD of London Underground to mark the centenary year of poet John Betjeman’s birth. Metro-land was coined in 1915 to promote the Metropolitan Railway. Betjeman was taken by the area including it in poetry and made a special programme for the BBC in 1973 called Metro-land: "Through Amersham to Aylesbury and the Vale/ In those wetfields the railway didn’t pay./ The Metro stops at Amersham today."

Metronet Pathfinder, named by Sam Ellis, a 27-year-old project engineer who entered Metronet through its graduate scheme. Sam won the chance to name one of the locomotives through a staff competition. He said: “Pathfinder literally means ‘one that discovers a new course or way (as in new track)’. This I think embodies the ethos of Metronet and the challenges of the PPP.”

Harry Beck, named by John Smith, MD of GB Railfreight in honour of the graphic designer who dreamed up the modern Tube map based on an electrical schematic.

Sir Edward Watkin, chosen by David Jukes, winner of acompetition run by RAIL magazine. Sir Edward was the pioneering chairman of the Metropolitan Railway who oversaw the extension from Swiss Cottage to Harrow before persuading the Metropolitan board to build the Harrow to Aylesbury line.The Metronet fleet is working on this stretch.

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