Passengers have helped raise more than £50,000 for the children’s charity, Martin House, as rail industry partners donated prizes which are going to be auctioned online on Friday the 9th of July 2021.
Over last weekend Friday the 2nd of July to Monday the 5th of July Network Rail teams alongside rail Industry colleagues joined in to help operate a special charter train.
300 passengers enjoyed the service on each of the days raising an amazing amount already, with all profits going to Martin House Children’s Hospice.
Network Rail has helped to organised 3 other charter trains in the past raising money for charity, with the previous two achieving an impressive £40,000.
Due to Coronavirus, the special tour had to be restricted to 50% capacity to allow it to operate safely. However, partners from Northern and DB Cargo have donated some prizes to be auctioned online tomorrow, Friday 9th July 2021.
Some of the prizes include a family day ticket for 5 people using Northern services, a DB Cargo cab ride and a visit to Neville Hill depot in Leeds.
Martin House Children’s Hospice gives family-led care, support for babies, children and young people who are facing life-limiting conditions and offering the best possible end-of-life care whilst supporting families in bereavement.
The hospice supports children throughout the West, North and East Yorkshire areas, and was chosen following rail staff experiencing first-hand the work they do when a member of Network Rail’s route operating centre sadly lost her disabled son whilst receiving support from the hospice.
Alongside rail industry colleagues and Branch Line Society, crucial support to keep this fundraising charter on track has been given by Network Rail, DB Cargo, Direct Rail Services, Scottish Railway Preservation Society and Freightliner.
The charter train visited some wonderful locations throughout Scotland, North of England, Yorkshire and Derbyshire.
On Friday the 2nd of July the charter journeyed from Edinburgh to York via the stunning Settle-Carlisle line, stopping at Glasgow, Wakefield Euro Port and York. The leg of the charter running on Saturday the 3rd of July was a circular trip through the East Midlands stopping at Doncaster, Rolls Royce, Sinfin and using freight lines around the Toton depot.
Sunday the 4th of July saw another York circular trip which stopped at Meadowhall, Penistone, Huddersfield, Manchester East and Crewe Basford Hall, returning to York via the beautiful Hope Valley line.
The final day was Monday the 5th of July when the charter moved from York to Scotland stopping at Leeds, Harrogate, Hartlepool Docks, Tyne Yard and the Tyne Valley lines.
Jerry Dickinson, Route Control Manager for Network Rail’s North and East route who helped organise the event, said: “We are indebted to the many organisations and individuals who have given up their time to plan and deliver this event, and grateful to the large number of passengers who booked to join us on the charity charter train.”
“We’re honoured to be supporting Martin House, a unique place that supported a member of our control team with her disabled son who sadly passed away, and a charity that many colleagues have relied upon for support, respite and care during difficult times.”
Emily Sharman, regional fundraiser at Martin House, said: “We’re delighted that Network Rail and their partners have supported us again with their third charter train trip. We know it’s been particularly challenging to organise, given all the restrictions and uncertainty caused by the pandemic, so we’re thrilled it’s been such a huge success, and we can’t wait for the next one!
“Martin House relies on the support of our community to keep on providing care to seriously ill children and their families, so events like this are vital to us.”
Tony Baxter, Regional Director at Northern, said: “We are pleased to be able to support Martin House Children’s Hospice by donating a visit to our Neville Hill depot in Leeds as well as a family day ticket for up to five people using Northern services to help raise money for this worthwhile cause.
“One of our key goals is to make a positive impact in the north of England and we hope that by continuing our support for our local communities we can achieve this.”
Richard Corser, Account Manager Special Trains, DB Cargo, said: “DB Cargo UK is delighted to have been appointed train operator for the Branch Line Society’s special charter train in support of Martin House Hospice.
“Working collaboratively with both Network Rail, other freight operators and stakeholders we worked very hard to deliver a challenging itinerary over the whole of northern England and Scotland visiting unusual parts of the railway network. Our staff are proud to have been involved in the opportunity.”
Catch footage of the tour in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire with this fantastic footage recorded by RailView.
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