A high speed tribute

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THE name of Sheffield railways expert Peter Fox is to run on - on the side of a train engine.

Known across the country for his encyclopaedic knowledge of heavy and light rail, the former Liberal Democrat councillor died last February at the age of 68.

Pictured on Platform 5 at Sheffield Railway station ,'where a train was being named in honour of Sheffield Railway expert Peter Fox who died this year 'Peter's wife Doreen  pictured

Pictured on Platform 5 at Sheffield Railway station ,'where a train was being named in honour of Sheffield Railway expert Peter Fox who died this year 'Peter's wife Doreen pictured

In a ceremony at Sheffield station on Sunday, Grand Central Railway Company named one of their High Speed Train power cars `Peter Fox 1942-2011’.

“I thought it was marvellous, and a great tribute,” said his wife, Doreen. “Peter would have loved it.”

Andrew Dyson, director of Sheffield-based Platform 5 Publishing Ltd, which Peter co-founded, said: “There could be no more fitting tribute.

The name of the company came from Peter’s favourite spot on the Midland Station from his early days - and that’s where the train name was unveiled.

Peter, who lived in Dore, died in hospital from heart failure three months after replacement heart valve surgery.

He had been a Lib Dem councillor for Dore for four years before stepping down in 1999, and before then had helped to shape his party’s policy on the introduction of Supertram. His political colleagues continued to consult him on transport issues up until his death.

The idea for the train naming came from Grand Central, which operates between North East England and the West Riding to London Kings Cross. “Peter was closely involved with Grand Central,” said Andrew.

And the type of High Speed Train, which used to run between Sheffield and London, was one of Peter’s favourites. This one has a new engine fitted at a cost of £750,000.

On Sunday, it took members of Peter’s family to Derby and back. They included his son, David Fox, and daughters, Suzanne Cullen and Jane Damerun, and grandchildren Sarah Cullen, ten, and Erin Cullen, five.

Peter Fox’s interest in trains stemmed from when he used to live in Heeley within earshot of the Midland Mainline and the Queens Road goods depot. After working as a metallurgist with British Rail in Derby, he went on to concentrate on Platform 5 Publishing.

He published his first `Motive Power Pocket Book’ in 1978 and since then the company has grown to become the market leader for British and European railway rolling stock guides.

More than a million Platform 5 books have been sold, and the company also now publishes two monthly railway magazines – Today’s Railways UK and Today’s Railways Europe.

Peter was also involved in everything from the campaign to reopen the Matlock-Buxton line in the early 70s to the Campaign for Better Transport, the Peak Railway Society and the Light Rail Transit Association.