MK teenager wins contest to name Avanti West Coast train

A teenager from Milton Keynes has won a contest to name an Avanti West Coast train.

Kyla Louise Poulton, 18, from Milton Keynes, had the successful entry in naming a train painted in a climate change awareness livery, with her name picked by an Avanti West Coast panel from 150 entries.

Avanti West Coast’s Climate Train will now be known as “Opportunity” following a nationwide search to find a worthy name.

A competition on social media was launched last October after the Pendolino was wrapped in a unique design championing rail travel, as part of Avanti West Coast’s partnership with Eurostar to transport delegates attending the COP26 Climate Change Conference between Amsterdam and Glasgow.

There was also a contest to design the emblem on Opportunity’s name plate, which will adorn the Pendolino. That was was won by 10-year-old Luca Fazakerley from Liverpool, who created the artwork themed on what the planet meant to him.

Kyla explained she took inspiration from Avanti West Coast’s Pride Train, which is named Progress.

She said: “The name was an idea I had after talking to my friends. We knew about the Progress train name, so I wanted to come up with a name that was on a similar line to that so that they were linked in some way.

“I just thought about how I see the future of transport is being changed by climate change and how trains represent an opportunity to provide low emission transport services. It’s just very cool to have your chosen name on a train because I use them so much.”

The pair were each presented with their own replica nameplates and the original will be attached to Pendolino (390121) in the coming weeks.

Opportunity is also wrapped in a unique design, with slogans including “Our planet means the world to us” and “Ride against climate change”. The wrap was applied with the support of Aura Graphics, train builder Alstom, and rolling stock company Angel Trains who own and invest in the Pendolino fleet.

Avanti West Coast, Alstom and Angel Trains have also recently signed an agreement to commit to working collaboratively to use Opportunity as a trial train to continually reduce the carbon impact of the Pendolino fleet and in turn the West Coast Main Line to provide a sustainable, safe, as well as an attractive transport journey for passengers.   

Head of Sustainability at Avanti West Coast, Gareth Williams, said: “Kyla couldn’t have picked a more fitting name and Luca’s emblem looks fantastic.

“’Opportunity’ showcases our commitment to climate change and protecting our planet. As the train travels up and down the West Coast Main Line it will provide a constant reminder that we can all do more to reduce our carbon emissions and one simple step could be taking the train, as a low carbon form of transport, to ‘ride against climate change’.”

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