Published on: Friday, 28 July 2023
Last updated: Friday, 28 July 2023
Greater Anglia has unveiled a special train livery to celebrate Pride and the LGBT+ community.
The livery, which has been applied to an Alstom-built ‘class 720’ commuter train (number 720506), includes both the Pride and transgender flags adjacent to the driver’s cab, on both ends and sides of the five-carriage train.
The train operates between London Liverpool Street and Cambridge, between London Liverpool Street and Clacton, Harwich and Ipswich, and on many other Greater Anglia routes across much of Essex and Hertfordshire.
Launched at a special ceremony at London Liverpool Street station on Thursday 27 July, it also includes the word ‘Pride’, applied beneath the windows of the first and last carriages, in colours supporting the progress flag and representing visibility for marginalised LGBT+ people, as well as the wider values of diversity and inclusion.
The special livery, which was the idea of Lee Shaw, a train service manager at Greater Anglia (GA), and applied at the company’s Ilford depot, will now provide a year-round reminder of GA’s overall commitment to diversity and inclusion, and more specifically to LGBT+ staff and customers across its network.
Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia’s managing director, said: “Many of our colleagues at Greater Anglia are members of the LGBT+ community, along with many of our customers too.
“It’s important we show that they and everyone else is welcome on the railway, right across all the many destinations we serve on the GA network.
“We’re pleased to celebrate our continuing commitment to diversity, inclusion and, in particular our LGBT+ colleagues and customers, with this livery showing that Pride is all year round.
“Suggested and developed by GA colleagues, it’s a really positive and very visible initiative, on a train which will operate on many of our routes, helping to embed and symbolise our ongoing work to make Greater Anglia a welcoming place for all.”
Two drivers who were directly involved in the event, by driving and accompanying the train from Ilford depot into the terminus for the unveiling, are supporters of the initiative.
Martin Burr, who drove the train from Ilford depot, is a diversity and inclusion representative for the depot and also gay himself, said: “I’m glad to be a part of it and take pride in being so.
“Ilford depot is one of the most diverse workplaces. We have different cultures from all over the world and different orientations here, and we’re reflecting the diversity in the depot by being part of the day.
“It’s nice to show respect for people who are represented by this livery, as well as showing your understanding and acceptance.
“These sorts of trains catch your eye and it’s just different from the day-to-day normal livery - it’s extra special and I’m sure it’ll make people feel respected and represented.”
Jason Winstanley, a trainee driver who is non-binary and who was in the cab, said: “Hearing that Greater Anglia was putting a Pride livery on a train at pretty much the same time I was joining the company filled me with happiness.
“I love the idea that trains are out there with the Pride flag on and that the railway shows that it accepts and welcomes the LGBT+ community.
“When I manage to drive the Pride train in passenger service, it will be a special day.”
The livery unveiling comes just weeks after station staff put up flags and bunting at a number of stations across the Greater Anglia network in celebration of Pride month in June.
It is part of Greater Anglia’s wider diversity and inclusion strategy, which sees the company working year-round to make itself a better and more inclusive place to work.
A group for LGBT+ colleagues and their allies’, called ‘Affinity’, was also set up earlier in the year.
The aim of the group, run by frontline and manager members of staff together, is to inspire action, education and connection, along with acting as a support community around the topic of sexuality and ensuring the company is as inclusive as possible.