DSC 0443 - GWR's NHS Thank You tribute

Recently I spotted GWR’s special liveried Class 800 (number 802020) at Paddington and I thought a post on it would be in order. The train was conceived as a result of a competition during the lockdown period in April/May/June 2020 where which the winning entries were submitted by three school pupils. GWR have said the livery will stay on the train indefinitely thus there’s every chance of spotting it somewhere on the GWR network! Possibly because there’s not so many people using the railways at the moment, there’s been rather few pictures of the train itself – I’ll post some of mine just to give an idea of the detail of the livery and the wording used.

The competition was judged by Tim Dunn who said it was a very difficult choice to select the winning bids, but it seems to have been a very good choice because it was actually a mix of three different entries that worked very well together. GWR’s Dan Panes said: ‘We wanted to give people the opportunity to express their thanks to key workers in a unique way. This design on one of our Intercity Express Trains will provide a lasting tribute to the selfless dedication of all those who have given everything to help us through these unprecedented times.’ (Source: GWR.)

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I prefer my tweets in dark mode but realise its not always best for others. A reason I have posted it as a graphic is tweets and accounts are often deleted! The original is below…

One of the winning entries can be seen from the dad whose son, Ned Thompson, designed the main overall livery for the train.

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The original tweet can be seen here.

The other two winning entries contributed a number of further elements to the overall design.

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The entry from Sam Moorey suggested the many thank-yous in different languages. Source: Twitter

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This entry by Sam Smith was for The Nation Says Thank You element of the concept. Source: Twitter

The train at Paddington’s Platform One during the final #ClapForCarers.

Not many people seem to have captured the train with their cameras however it was seen several times as it passed along the iconic sea wall section on Brunel’s Devon main line as well at a number of locations around Taunton.

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Dawlish 12 July 2020. Source: Twitter

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Dawlish 27 August 2020. Source: Twitter

This next picture is Sam Smith’s own photo of the IET at Stonehouse. Sam’s design was one of the winning entries for the special livery. He must have been totally delighted to see it – and get a ride on it too!

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802020 at Stonehouse station. Source: Twitter

I spotted the train at Paddington for the first time a couple of weeks ago from a Crossrail train. The IET was spotted standing in Paddington sidings near the station – a few minutes later it pulled into the platforms. I asked the station staff for permission to go and photograph the train as it was on one of those platforms which require a ticket to access. The opportunity was taken to photograph the train in quite some detail and here are those pictures…

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802020 waiting on the reversible road in Paddington sidings just outside the station.

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The country end of 802020.

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The various languages around the country end of the train.

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To all our key workers, the Nation says thank you.

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The rear end of the power car.

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On social media someone had asked if diolch would be included on the train because GWR serves Wales too. Its certainly there in quite large lettering below the driver’s window!

The train was formed as a twin set (I didnt get the number of the other set sorry!) The difficulty here however was the London end of the unit was right by the staff mess rooms which are midway along most of the platforms at Paddington station – and the platform area alongside the staff facilities on platform five is very narrow – thus it was quite difficult to get reasonable pictures of that power car. I didnt have my wide angle lens so had to make the best of it!

For the feature image (main image at top of the page) I managed to shoot it from the other side of the platform, carefully ensuring the platform canopy supports and staff mess rooms were out of the way as much as I could get them – and hoping there would be enough picture area to make up the image I wanted! BTW I haven’t seen the NHS train since – though I’ve seen 800321 – thats the one with the face masks – and the rainbow LGBT unit (800008) several times in the past couple of weeks!

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