Veteran music producer and rail enthusiast Pete Waterman has unveiled the name of HS2’s first Midlands tunnelling machine.

He announced the equipment was named Dorothy after Dorothy Hodgkin, who became the first British woman to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1964.

The name was suggested by a student at Warwickshire College Group and was the winner from a public vote this summer.

Pete Waterman
Pete Waterman visited the construction site in Warwickshire (Steve Parsons/PA)

The 2,000-tonne machine will create a one-mile-long twin bore tunnel under Long Itchington Wood, Warwickshire.

Mr Waterman, 76, who grew up in Coventry, visited the construction site on Wednesday.

He said: “All my working life I’ve travelled and commuted by rail. HS2 is a new chapter in rail travel.

“I can only hope that this railway can do for others what railways did for me.”

Pete Waterman, right, at the unveiling
Pete Waterman, right, at the construction site (Steve Parsons/PA)

He added: “Our great-grandchildren will thank us. Thousands of people across the West Midlands are working on this project, now. Twenty-thousand people across the UK. That’s a massive employer.

“HS2 is creating more jobs than any other industry would ever do.”

The tunnel is being created in an attempt to protect the ancient woodland above it.