Thursday, May 22, 2014
Exmouth’s new land train will be named after Geoff Ingram, following a public vote.
However, the first service of the new land train, originally scheduled for this Sunday, will now not take place until June 18.
The land train is being built from scratch on the continent - but German engineers have decided to add a few additions to improve the safety and comfort of passengers.
Dozens of names were suggested and a shortlist of four was drawn up.
More than 200 people voted on the final four, with half the votes going for Geoff.
Geoff’s wife Sarah Ingram said: “I think the votes speak for themselves.
“There were also votes for Brian Rowsell, and Geoff would not have minded if the engine had been named after him one bit, because he was brilliant and taught Geoff everything he knew about seamanship.
“For many years Geoff travelled up and down the seafront every day, albeit by boat.
“And with a land train named after him it will be nice for people to say ‘oh look, there goes Geoff going up and down the seafront again!’.”
Helen Newton of Exmouth Land Train said: “We have had a fantastic response - more than 200 people have responded.
“The public have chosen local Exmouth hero, Geoff Ingram as the name that will be on the locomotive engine.
“But because there was so much interest in the voting, the runner-up names of Bill Sleeman, Garth Gibson and Brian Rowsell will be placed on to the carriages.”
Each carriage will have information on each of Exmouth’s famous personalities.
Ian Stuart of Stuart Lines Cruises, operators of the land train, said: “The carriages are a brand new design and ours are the first off the line.
“It has been decided that an aspect can be improved for the comfort and safety of passengers and therefore the factory will not release the train until it has been done.
“We are all obviously very disappointed that it can not be here as planned but it is still coming and will now start on June 18.”
The first service will now depart at 9am on June 18 – and the train’s first conductor will be the town crier Roger Bourgein.
He said: “It is the very best way of meeting a huge amount of people who will visit Exmouth.
“This summer should be a really special summer for Exmouth.”