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Mass GBRf/Metronet naming for five Class 66/7s at Euston

The five GBRf Class 66/5s dedicated to Metronet track renewal trains, Nos. 66718 to 66722, were ‘dedicated’ in a mass naming event held at platform 18 of London Euston station on 26 January 2007.

It had been the wish ever since the locos were delivered in their new joint GBRf/Metronet livery to apply suitable names, these were eventually chosen by competition held within Metronet, GBRf and Rail Magazine.

The guest of honour at the event was Gwyneth Dunwoody, MP and Chairperson of the Parliamentary Transport Select Committee and Peter O’Toole, Managing Director of London Underground.

The fleet of Class 66/5s are part of a new engineering train fleet supplied by GBRf under a 10-year, £80million contract to Metronet. The rolling stock will double the amount of new track that can be potentially laid in any one weekend and triple the number of worksites on one-third of the Underground network.

The locos were named in numerical order, the first being 66718 named Gwyneth Dunwoody unveiled by the lady herself, to much applause by the invited guests. The second to be unveiled was 66719 Metro-Land, unveiled by Tim O’Toole Managing Director of London Underground, this name was chosen as Metronet's salute to the 2006 centenary of the birth of poet Sir John Betjeman. The name was coined in 1915 to promote the Metropolitan Railway, the very area in which the GBRF/Metronet ‘66s’ will operate.

Metronet held a competition to find a name for 66720, a 27 year-old Sam Ellis a Project Engineer, who entered Metronet through its graduate scheme. Sam Ellis came up with the name Metronet Pathfinder, which he selected as ‘pathfinder’ means ‘one that discovers a new course or way” (as in new track). A name which has been missing from a train for many years Harry Beck, the man who invented the London Underground map, based broadly on an electrical schematic, was unveiled on No. 66721 by John Smith Managing Director of GBRf.

The final loco to be named, No. 66722 had its name selected by a competition run by Rail Magazine. The competition was well entered and the winning name was Sir Edward Watkin, selected by reader David Jukes. Sir Edward Watkin was the pioneering chairman of the Metropolitan Railway who oversaw the extension of the Metropolitan Railway from Swiss Cottage to Harrow and then persuaded the Metropolitan Board to build the Harrow and Aylesbury line on which the Metronet Class 66/7 fleet operates today.

All five locos were prepared for naming by Alstom, Willesden and operated as a ‘block’ from Wembley yard to Euston for the event.

Gwyneth Dunwoody and Metronet Chief Executive Andrew Lezala pose by the just named 66718. CJM
Tim O’Toole Managing Director of London Transport and Metronet Chief Executive Andrew Lezala stand by No. 66719.CJM
Metronet prize winner Sam Ellis proudly stands by ‘his’ name on the side of No. 66720. CJM
The ever popular John Smith, Managing Director of GBRf and a huge supporter of the UK rail industry stands by the name Harry Beck, supplemented by a brass LT map on the side of 66721. CJM
Rail competition winner David Jukes (left) and Rail managing Editor Nigel Harris pose by the winning name was Sir Edward Watkin. CJM


Last Updated: 26 January 2007
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