TransPennine Express (TPE) has named a Nova 1 train ‘Diligence’ in honour of the bicentenary of the world’s first locomotive works.
The historically-named train – class 802208 – was unveiled at Darlington Station, 200 years after Robert Stephenson & Co was established.
Paul Staples, Fleet Director at TPE, said:
“Robert Stephenson counts amongst Great Britain’s finest engineers of the 19th Century.
“It’s an honour to pay homage to such a pioneer in our industry by naming one of our Nova 1 trains after one of his own iconic locomotives.”
Robert Stephenson & Co was a locomotive manufacturing company founded in 1823 in Forth Street, Newcastle upon Tyne in England. It was the first company in the world created specifically to build railway engines.
By 1899, 3,000 locomotives had been built at the Forth Street site, and a new company was formed, Robert Stephenson and Company Limited, where the Darlington works was opened.
“’Diligence’ reminds us of where rail in the UK started, with our newly named Nova 1 now sharing a name with one of the first locomotives on the Stockton and Darlington railway.
“It’s wonderful to think that 200 years after the first Stephenson locomotives worked in the north east, our modern bi-mode trains – one of which is bearing the same name – are carrying tens of thousands of people each year in the same region.”
Donald Heath OBE, Robert Stephenson Trust Chairman said:
“It’s an honour to have witnessed the unveiling of ‘Diligence’ at Darlington Station.
“The creation of Robert Stephenson & Co, and the opening of the ‘locomotive factory’ in 1823 was a milestone, not just in Robert’s career, but also in the development of railways worldwide.
“Robert Stephenson played a key part in the history of our railways and it’s great that we are still recognising the impact he had.”