At a ceremony held at HM Naval Base Devonport in Plymouth on Tuesday 11th July, GB Railfreight (GBRf) and the Royal Navy (RN) celebrated the naming of a Class 66 engine Argyll, after HMS Argyll, a type 23 frigate.
Loco 66 775 has been repainted in a special livery for the occasion and also has the ship’s crest attached to the engine.
John Smith, Managing Director, GB Railfreight, said:
“We at GB Railfreight are deeply honoured that one of our engines will carry the name of Argyll, in recognition of the service our brave armed forces provide and the close working relationship between our two organisations.
“GBRf is also pleased to continue to draw inspiration from our serving men and women, such as those onboard HMS Argyll, replicating their hard work, culture of service towards a greater national good, and the development of our highly valued workforce through new skills and experiences. These values are at the core of our business too, and we know the Argyll class 66 engine will continue in this spirit.”
The naming marks the next step in a partnership between GB Railfreight and the senior service which began with a trip to sea for affiliated organisations, as guests of the captain, to experience a day in the life of a warship and her crew.
Bob Tiller, Engineering Director, GB Railfreight Ltd, described his experiences of life aboard the Argyll:
“I was lucky enough to be on board HMS Argyll during some work up trials as a quest of Commander Shaughnessy as part of an affiliated group. Two of our train drivers, Clive Coulis and Martin Clemis joined me.
“We sailed from Plymouth and undertook various exercises with the crew including live firing, damage-control, emergency fire and dummy man overboard retrieval.
“We were treated to such kindness and welcomed so much by her commander and crew that I asked the captain if I could name one of our GB Railfreight Locomotives after HMS Argyll in tribute to her crew. This I am pleased was warmly accepted. We were to say the least overwhelmed with how the crew of HMS Argyll and worked together as a team and we at GB Railfreight took back with us a lot of thought and inspiration.’’