Praise keeps flowing for champion Ballarat jockey Michelle Payne following her historic Melbourne Cup win, with V/Line naming its latest VLocity train in her honour.
‘The Payne Train’ made its maiden voyage from Wendouree Station to Southern Cross on Tuesday, shortly after V/Line chief executive Theo Taifalos made the announcement at Ballarat Station.
It’s been more than a decade since V/Line named a train in recognition of a member of the public, with Ms Payne the first to ever have a VLocity model namesake.
Sprinter trains are named after sporting identities Steve Moneghetti, Bill Roycroft, Roy Higgins, while N class locomotives are named after Victorian regional cities.
The train is the latest from Dandenong’s Bombardier factory.
Ms Payne said the gesture was “very humbling”.
“Hopefully one day I’ll get a chance to have a ride on the train myself,” she laughed.
“Obviously I’m a very proud Ballarat girl and to have a train named here today is just awesome.
“(It’s an) absolute honour. So grateful to everybody who’s helped me along the way and Darren Weir, who was a big part of the (historic Melbourne Cup) win.”
Mr Taifalos said Ms Payne was an obvious candidate for the naming.
“Ballarat is such an important part of the V/Line network, so it just seemed to align and we’re very, very privileged and grateful that Michelle and her family have agreed to name a train in her honour,” he said.