It seems the outrage following the overruling of a public vote to name a British polar research ship “Boaty McBoatface” in 2016 is still a fresh memory, as a competition to name new express trains on the Stockholm-Gothenburg line in Sweden has resulted in “Trainy McTrainface” emerging as the winner.
When The Local called rail company MTR Express marketing chief Per Nasfi to ask about the result, one question was undoubtedly the most important: will we actually see the name chosen by voters become a reality this time, or will there be more disappointment?
“I can guarantee with my life that the train will be called Trainy McTrainface,” he answered.
“The name will be on the train. We'll hold naming ceremonies in the autumn both in Gothenburg and Stockholm where we travel between. Half of the trains will be named in Stockholm, half in Gothenburg.”
The other names picked so far are Ingvar (after TV host Ingvar Oldsberg), Estelle (after the young Swedish princess), and Glenn, a reference to the high number of “Glenns” in the two time UEFA Cup winning IFK Göteborg team of the 1980s, such as local heros Glenn Hysén and Glenn Strömberg.
That's a detail still recalled to this day when supporters of the club chant “everyone is called Glenn in Gothenburg” (“alla heter Glenn i Göteborg”) at matches.
Asked if MTR Express suspected that Trainy McTrainface would be the outright winner of the poll when it was launched, marketing head Nasfi admitted it was clear early on, and that the vote also appeared to have registered beyond Swedish shores.
“We saw pretty quickly that Trainy McTrainface was in the lead and the popular option. There was a bit of international attention on the vote, and I imagine that some people were quite delighted to get some revenge for the Boaty McBoatface thing.”