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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Why do Engineering Tube Trains have Girls' Names?

I rarely get excited about pictures of London Underground trains. Well unless they're
full of pink upholstery. That's because I'm a girl and girls aren't really supposed to like trainspotting or want to drive trains when they grow up. Admittedly a number of the women reading this blog probably are Tube drivers or want to drive one. However, I did get snap happy seeing this yellow engineering train coming through Barons Court Tube station yesterday.

Clementine Approaching Barons Court Tube

I seriously have no idea what it does or why there were lots of little white steering wheels at intervals throughout the cars.

London Underground Trans Plant Train

I managed to see that they were called TransPlant, but that still left me none the wiser as to what that meant. I assume it's nothing to do with gardening or surgery.

London Underground Trans Plant Train at Barons Court

But I did note that it was named "Clementine", which was kind of sweet yet slightly puzzling. It got me thinking about why trains are often given women's names. Even fairly ugly yellow engineering trains which should probably have names like "DustBuster" or "Transplanter" or "Burt" or "Brad" or something equally butch, are still given pretty names like "Clementine".

As the train left I could see the car on the back was called "Denise" so I reckon that each car was given its own female name.

Anyone know why trains are often named after women? Also if you do know what this TransPlant thing actually does I'd love to hear.

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