Avanti West Coast has donated rock salt that it does not need, to help local community groups over the winter.
Rock salt helps to prevent slips, trips and falls on icy surfaces by lowering the temperature at which the ice melts. This is known as freezing-point depression.
The operator's team at Warrington Bank Quay station worked with Railway Mission (a Christian charity offering pastoral care to staff and public on the rail network) to identify groups in the town, and in Lancashire, which could use the unwanted salt.
After Avanti switched to a different de-icing measure, the station had forty-five bags of rock salt left over, and Customer Service Assistant Steph Doohan suggested repurposing it. Steph, who volunteers as a Green Champion to support Avanti West Coast's environmental efforts, approached Railway Mission Chaplain Mike Roberts and proposed contacting groups that would benefit from rock salt this winter.
Steph said, “At Avanti West Coast we're being encouraged to reuse, recycle, and repurpose. While we're no longer using this salt on the railway, it is still great for lots of uses. Our Railway Chaplain linked us up with a rural community group in Lancashire who will also use their resources to help the community”
Mike said: “It was heavy work as we loaded just over a thousand kilos but this is going to support a community involving a local church, community facilities, and a community-owned and run pub, which is only fifteen minutes off the West Coast Main Line. It's great to see Avanti West Coast supporting their local communities and making a conscious effort to do the green thing.”
Leonie Purvis, Avanti West Coast Station Manager at Warrington Bank Quay, said: “I'm really proud of the efforts of Steph and the team, as well as our Railway Chaplain to find a good home for the salt, as we want to make a positive difference to the people and places we serve. Donating the bags is a brilliant idea to responsibly repurpose our unwanted materials and we hope they will serve the many community groups well this winter.”