Starting on Thursday 20th September, GB Railfreight (GBRf) ran their Second 4-day marathon charity rail tour, raising money for some amazing causes.
The four day charter saw passengers travelling to an array of locations across the UK. On day one, passengers travelled from London Victoria to Bristol and Bridgend, before returning to London Paddington. Day two saw travellers leave London Euston and travel to Wellingborough and Tonbridge before returning to London Waterloo. The weekend was an overnight trip which started at London Waterloo on Saturday, before travelling to Blackpool North, via the Central Belt of Scotland to Fort William before stopping for the night in Glasgow, and returning to London Paddington on Sunday morning
During the tour, 18 locomotives were used and there were a number of firsts. On day one of the tour, the train’s return into London Paddington marked the arrival of the first electric locomotive into the station carrying passengers, the same was true of its entry to Blackpool North on day three of the tour. It is also highly unusual for passenger services to visit Wellingborough and Tonbridge freight yards.
The tour was the brainchild of GBRf Managers Paul Taylor, Dale Williams and Ian Grey. But these tours could not be done without the help of over 50 staff across the GBRf team, including volunteer Train Managers, Guards and an army of stewards and helpers from all parts of the business.
In total the four-day event raised £145,732. This will go towards GBRf’s two chosen charities: Macmillan Cancer Support and Headway.
Macmillan not only helps with the medical needs of people affected by cancer, but also looks at the social, emotional and practical impact cancer can have, and campaigns for better cancer care.
Headway works to promote understanding of all aspects of brain injury and provide information, support and services to survivors, their families and carers. It was chosen by GBRf following one of its staff members suffering a brain aneurysm in January 2017. GBRf has been supporting these charities since the beginning of 2018 and will continue to do so until the end of this year.
John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight, said:
“I am absolutely thrilled that for a second time, the GBRf team has pulled together such a fantastic schedule of routes and locos to raise money for causes that are very close to GBRf’s heart.
These amazing tours are a testament to the GBRf team, from the office staff, to train crews and planners, who give up their own time to make them happen. I am very proud of the fact that including this charity tour and other fund-raising events GB Railfreight have raised over £155,000 for charity this year, so far”
Paul Taylor, General Manager at GB Railfreight, said:
“We would also like to give special thanks to our suppliers, in particular fellow FOCs Colas and Freightliner and the infrastructure provider Network Rail, who’s kind efforts and contributions make the tour a possibility.”