http://www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk/NewsItem.aspx?id=399 PC was 43165.
17 October 2006
One of First Great Western’s High Speed Train power cars will have a Royal connection after it was named “Prince Michael of Kent” in recognition of the Prince’s lifelong fascination with railways and his extensive knowledge of the world’s trains.
The Prince unveiled the nameplates bearing his name at a ceremony at Bristol Temple Meads train station today (Tuesday October 17). The naming was a part of a day of activities he enjoyed with First Great Western when he also travelled in the driver’s cab of a High Speed Train and visited the company’s full size replica driving simulator so that he could “have a go” at driving a train in a safe environment.
First Great Western has named just two other High Speed Train power cars this year and decided to name the third for Prince Michael after hearing that it was his ambition to have a train or locomotive named after him.
The Prince developed an enthusiasm for trains and railways following his first experiences of the Royal Train as a child. He takes every opportunity to travel by train, both in the UK and abroad, and was a frequent traveller with First Great Western when he lived in Gloucestershire. A strong supporter of the railway heritage and preservation movement, he is also Patron of the Transport Trust.
“After reading about Prince Michael’s ambition, and finding out about his enthusiasm for rail travel, we just had to name one of our power cars in his honour, particularly as he has such strong links with our network,” said First Great Western Managing Director Alison Forster. “He is a great ambassador for rail transport in the UK and across the world.”
The naming took place at platform 4, Bristol Temple Meads train station. Afterwards he visited First Great Western’s maintenance depot in Bristol which also houses one of the company’s three full size replica simulators of the driver’s cab of a High Speed Train. The Prince was able to spend time ‘driving’ the simulator and experiencing the challenges a driver faces on a daily basis.
Later in the day the Prince returned to London in the driver’s cab of a First Great Western High Speed Train when he had a driver’s eye view of the route and a demonstration of the many safety and operational systems in the cab of a modern train.