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HM The Queen names dedicated Royal Train locomotive at Bristol
Friday 25 February 2005  

EWS, Britain’s largest rail operator and operator of the Royal Train, today invited Her Majesty The Queen to name a locomotive dedicated for hauling the Royal Train.

The locomotive, painted in Royal Claret, the official colour of the Royal Train, was named by HM The Queen at Bristol Temple Meads station following a day of engagements in the Bristol area.  

HM The Queen named the locomotive Royal Sovereign, which then hauled the Royal Train on its journey from Bristol.

The locomotive will join another EWS locomotive, named Queen’s Messenger, as the only two locomotives in Britain responsible for hauling the Royal Train.  

Keith Heller, EWS Chief Executive, who invited HM The Queen to name the locomotive, said:  “This afternoon’s train is the 155th journey since EWS began operating the Royal Train in 1996.  EWS employees are honoured to be continuing the railway’s 163 years of association with the Royal Family and their train.  We are extremely pleased that HM The Queen has named this EWS locomotive Royal Sovereign.”

The first Royal Train ran on 13 June 1842, when Queen Victoria and Prince Albert travelled from Slough to Paddington.

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Notes to editors:

EWS has ISDN facilities.  Interviews can normally be arranged on request.  For further information, please contact: Graham Meiklejohn, EWS Media and Public Affairs Manager, on 0870 060 0260 or 07801 905363. For a picture of the naming (available from Monday 28 February) please contact Graham Meiklejohn.

 EWS is the largest and fastest growing rail operator in Britain, providing a range of freight, passenger, engineering support and hire services.

 EWS is the only rail freight operator to provide a full nationwide level of service provision in Britain, with access to mainland Europe through the Channel Tunnel.

 EWS is a national employer, with 5,400 staff based across the whole of Britain.

 EWS was established in February 1996, and since then has played a major role in increasing the amount of freight moved on the rail network by 50%.

 EWS operates over 8,000 services each week. On average, an EWS service starts its journey every 90 seconds - all day, every day.