Lost in translation for First Capital Connect

Harpenden becomes Harpenthen

Harpenden becomes Harpenthen - Credit: Photo supplied

A spelling mistake on a mock up model of a new state-of-the-art Thameslink train sparked a social media frenzy as Harpenden was renamed ‘Harpenthen’.

The full size model was unveiled at the Excel Centre in London on Tuesday by Rail Minister Stephen Hammond as part of the Government’s £6.5 billion revamp for the First Capital Connect line.

When checking out the new electric Class 700 train journalist Tom Edwards (@BBCTomEdwards) noticed the blip and tweeted a picture with the caption: “Oops – spelling mistake on new Thameslink trains Harpenthen”.

Users of the social networking site were quick to comment on the bodged station name, including our editor Matt Adams who tweeted: “I lived in Harpenthen, but don’t live in Harpennow...”

Several stops were also omitted from the replica passenger information screen, including Radlett, Elstree and Borehamwood and Mill Hill Broadway.

In response, FCC spokesman Roger Perkins said of the “frustrating” typo: “This mock-up of the exciting new Thameslink train was shipped over from Germany where it was created.

“The passenger information screen is just a mock-up of the real thing and its manufacturers were unable to correct the typo in time for the grand unveiling.”

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The first new train is set to begin operating in early 2016, sans the typo, and will run on the current Thameslink network between Bedford and Brighton and the Wimbledon Loop.

It is expected to increase the line’s capacity and reliability for an improved passenger travel experience, as well as create up to 8,000 jobs as part of the deal to build 1,140 carriages and to complete the wider infrastructure work required.

Rail Minister Stephen Hammond said: “Once operational they [the trains] will provide a huge benefit to the hundreds of thousands of passengers who travel into London every day. It will vastly improve train travel providing fast, reliable and more frequent services.”

Read next week’s Herts Advertiser for full coverage on the new Thameslink trains and what they will mean for the district’s rail users.