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East Midlands Trains will once again be using one of its trains to raise some valuable funds for charity this weekend. Following on from the success of the ‘Mid Norfolk Marauder’, which raised more than £24,000 for the Railway Children’s Charity in 2011, Saturday 4 November will see ‘The Worth Valley Wanderer’ special running in aid of the Samaritans and the Weston Park Hospital in Sheffield.
The High Speed Train (HST), which will depart from St Pancras at 07.40, will run through Northamptonshire, the East Midlands and South Yorkshire before finishing at its final destination of the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway. From Keighley, there will be an opportunity to travel on the HST for the first time ever up to Oxenhope, in West Yorkshire’s glorious Brontë Country.
East Midlands Trains will be splitting all proceeds from the train to donate to the Samaritans and Sheffield’s Weston Park Hospital. Volunteers from the Samaritans and Weston Park Hospital will also be helping out on the train, and a total of 19 East Midlands Trains employees will either be donating their days’ wages to the charity, or donating their time at no cost.
Passengers booked onto the train will be treated to a special silver service meal in First Class, and there will be a real ale bar on offer for all passengers, serving beers from the Thornbridge Brewery and the Sheffield Tap.
Pete Glass, Head of Service Delivery for East Midlands Trains, said: “We're really pleased that the train is now a complete sell-out, which is helping us to raise lots of money for two very worthy causes.
“We’ve worked with the Samaritans for a number of years and are fully committed to supporting their work, both on a national and a local basis. However, the feedback from our employees also showed that there was a huge degree of personal feeling towards supporting the local Sheffield-based Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity. Many of our staff have had friends or family who have been looked after by the team at Weston Park and wanted to show their support for this charity which is close to many people’s hearts.
“Everybody is really looking forward to the day, which will allow a one-off opportunity to travel the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway on one of our trains, at the same time as raising some much needed funds for two important charities.
“We’d like to thank all of our partners in helping to make this special train possible – to Network Rail for arranging the track access, UK Rail Tours for selling the tickets for free, GBRF for helping us to run the train, the Thornbridge Brewery and Sheffield Tap who are donating the beer and of course, all the volunteers who are so generously giving their time.”
The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway (KWVR) is a standard gauge branch line which joins the national railway network at Keighley in the north east of England and runs 5-miles up the Worth Valley to Oxenhope. Other stations on the Line are at Ingrow, Damems, Oakworth (location of the film 'The Railway Children') and Haworth (the former home of the Brontë family). The Railway is perhaps most famous for its role in the 1970 film version of Edith Nesbit's story The Railway Children.
Sam MacDougall, Traffic Manager for the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, said: "We are delighted to be hosting this event for East Midlands Trains and are really excited about the fact this will be the first ever visit of a prestigious High Speed Train to our line. I am sure the passengers will enjoy their day out on our historic heritage railway."
For more information on the Samaritans, visit www.samaritans.org, or to find out about the Weston Park Cancer Charity, visit www.wphcancercharity.org.uk