The UK’s biggest Pride flag will be flown across the country today (August 24) as a train staffed by an LGBT+ crew makes its first journey.
The artwork will grace the side of the 11-carriage train, which is set to travel from London Euston to Manchester Piccadilly.
Members of the train’s crew said the eye-catching paint job and the staffing selection is a “sign of the steps we’re taking towards a more inclusive, diverse and equal society”.
Train manager Paul Austin said: “This is about being accepted for who I am and representing the LGBT+ community we serve across our network.
“Being a part of the UK’s first all-LGBT+ crew is a sign of the steps we’re taking towards a more inclusive, diverse and equal society and I am so proud to be involved today.”
The train will be covered in the traditional Pride rainbow colours, with the addition of black and brown to symbolise Black, Asian and minority ethnic inclusion, as well as the colours of the transgender flag.
Inside, the train will be filled with posters and literature for passengers and will feature Pride-related information and facts during the onboard announcements.
“I’m delighted to be launching our new Avanti West Coast Pride Train, which represents everyone in the LGBTQ+ community,” Sarah Copley, Avanti West Coast executive director, said.
“It is a symbol of our commitment to diversity and inclusion as it travels up and down the West Coast Main Line. We live proud 365 days a year, not just today. I am so proud to be a part of a business where our people represent the communities we serve.”