GREAT Western Railway is celebrating Pride month with a difference as it toasts Trainbow’s second birthday.

With local pride events across the region being cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, GWR is teaming up with Network Rail to celebrate Pride virtually.

Trainbow, the Intercity Express Train specially designed to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, made its first journey on June 7, 2018.

Later this year it will be named after Alan Turing, one of 100 Great Westerners.

Turing, born in London, was responsible for the breaking of German ciphers in World War Two.

He was convicted for his sexuality in 1952 and received a posthumous pardon in 2013, when the 'Turing Law' was passed to pardon all gay men convicted in the past.

GWR’s Business Assurance Director, Joe Graham said: "Naming Trainbow after Alan Turing is the most fitting tribute to one of our most recognised Great Westerners.

"This is a double celebration of both the LGBTQ+ community and the 75th anniversary of VE Day, with Turing being instrumental in the war effort.

"Over the last two years, Trainbow has continued to bring joy across the Great Western Railway and is our way of showing how proud we are to support our colleagues and customers who are part of the LGBTQ+ community."

GWR and Network Rail are sharing the message that the rail industry is committed to providing a supportive, inclusive and diverse place for everyone to work in. They are using their social media channels to share content that celebrates Pride month.

Shane Andrews, chairman of Network Rail’s Archway (LGBT+) employee network, who also works on the Wales and Western region of the organisation, said: "We are absolutely thrilled to be joining with our friends at GWR in celebrating Pride month across Network Rail’s Wales and Western region and we join with them in celebrating the second anniversary of Trainbow.

"While Pride month is usually a time to join together with family, friends and colleagues to celebrate the diverse communities we both serve and live in, it is also an important time to reflect.

"It’s a time to remember that for many of us in the LGBT+ community, the laws and freedoms we now live under are relatively new, so we must continue to ensure we move forward towards a more inclusive society.

"The global pandemic will not be a barrier to us celebrating Pride month, we will still celebrate, but in a very different way this year."

GWR is continuing to remind people to only travel by public transport if it is really necessary.

To help those who have no alternative, the train company is asking customers to avoid the train if they can, including not using services for leisure purposes or as part of daily exercise.

UK Pride month is June, with GWR’s Pride week starting on June 7.