Great Western Railway (GWR) has named one of the first of its new Intercity Express Trains after Paddington Bear author Michael Bond.
The train, 800010, was unveiled by his daughter Karen Jankel at a special event on Platform 1, London Paddington, near to where her father’s creation first arrived in London.
Michael’s wife, Sue Bond, was also in attendance at the ceremony held on Wednesday 10 January.
Karen Jankel, Michael’s daughter said:
“Even before my father found the bear that inspired him to write his first book, he had decided that Paddington would make a good name for a character. He saw it every time he arrived at Paddington Station from his home town of Reading, so it is hard to imagine anything more appropriate than naming a train after him.
“Sadly, my father is no longer with us but his family are all delighted that both he and Paddington have been honoured in this way.”
The train bears Michael Bond’s name on one end, and Paddington’s name on the other. Each name is accompanied by an illustration by Peggy Fortnum, who drew the first ever Paddington images – making the train personal to Michael as an inspiration to many, and making the train individual from the rest of the fleet.
Michael strongly featured in GWR’s 100 Great Westerners campaign to name its new fleet after prominent Great Westerners, and was nominated by the public. The full list is available here.