Birmingham Pride: Rainbow train unveiled as LGBT community celebrates

Birmingham Pride took place over the weekend – with the LGBT community out in force to celebrate the event.

The wet weather did not deter thousands from taking to the streets to march in support of LGBT equality, with many donning rainbow umbrellas.

(Creative Commons photo/Flickr user metrogogo)

SuRie, who recently represented the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest, made her first post-Eurovision Pride appearance at the event, performing her track ‘Storm’ amid the downpour and subsequent flooding.

The artist tweeted: “Can’t thank you enough for allowing me to share the joy with you Birmingham.

“Storms don’t last forever, but I do genuinely hope you, your families and homes are all OK after that month’s worth of rain fell in 1 hour. I’ve never seen flash flooding like it. Much love.”

(Creative Commons photo/Flickr user metrogogo)

Nadine Coyle, Courtney Act and Scissor Sisters star Jake Shears also took to the stage.

Meanwhile a rainbow train was unveiled by Virgin Trains, with the train surprising people on their way to the event at Birmingham New Street station.

The train features a prominent rainbow design and the #RideWithPride slogan, which Virgin says highlights their “passion for celebrating diversity and ensuring people can be themselves”.

The train will travel up and down the UK over the summer, and will ferry customers to Pride events along the West Coast route.

Virgin said of the Birmingham launch: “There was a true party atmosphere on board the train where everyone got involved in applying colourful face paint, sampling delicious rainbow cakes and waving #RideWithPride flags.”

Executive Director sponsor for Virgin Trains west coast’s pride, Sarah Copley, said: “We’re really proud of the diversity of our people. It’s part of what makes Virgin Trains amazing!

“The #RideWithPride train looks great and I have loved being here at Birmingham Pride today with so many colleagues and customers enjoying the celebrations at the UK’s biggest two-day Pride festival.”

It is the second such train of its kind in the UK.

The publicly-owned Transport for London unveiled a rainbow-themed train on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) line in 2015, running between Canary Wharf and Stratford.

It was part of a fleet of LGBT-themed vehicles TfL unveiled for Pride in London, with the company also making over a London bus and a traditional black taxi.

Virgin Trains caused controversy earlier this year when it cited LGBT rights as one of the reasons it would stop selling the Daily Mail on board.

The newspaper said the paper, which runs frequent attacks on LGBT rights, would not be allowed onboard due to its stance on “immigration, LGBT rights, and unemployment” as.

The Daily Mail said the decision was “disgraceful”, and an attack on freedom of speech.

Virgin later reversed the decision after politicians and public figures joined criticism of the move.

Richard Branson said: “This move has been seen as censorship.

“Freedom of speech, freedom of choice and tolerance for differing views are the core principles of any free and open society.

“While Virgin Trains has always said that their passengers are free to read whatever newspaper they choose on board West Coast trains, it is clear that on this occasion the decision to no longer sell The Mail has not been seen to live up to these principles.”