Greater Anglia to present charity train cheque for £12,500 to East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices

Friday, 1 December 2017

Greater Anglia is to present East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) with a cheque for £12,500 following its highly successful EACH Express 2 charity train held in mid-September.

Photo calls will take place at on Monday 4 December at Norwich station at 09.15 and Ipswich station at 11.00, with Jonathan Denby, Head of Corporate Affairs for Greater Anglia and Victoria Matthews (Norwich) and Will Self (Ipswich) EACH.

The special trip operated with one of the company’s intercity MkIII carriage sets "top and tailed" by two Class 68 diesel locomotives. It ran from Norwich to Ely and back, then from Norwich up the Great Eastern Main Line to London Liverpool Street and back – different routes from where the locomotives had previously operated on passenger trains.

The Class 68 locomotives were used on some weekday Greater Anglia passenger services between Norwich and Great Yarmouth/Lowestoft from July 2016 to September 2017, firstly to cover for a train needing long term repairs and latterly to provide cover during the roll out of Greater Anglia’s innovative Wheel Slip Protection modification programme for its Class 156 diesel units (an initiative which makes the trains’ wheels less susceptible to damage, thereby improving reliability, especially during the challenging autumn period when track conditions can be difficult).

To mark the end of the locomotives’ time in the region, Greater Anglia ran a follow-up to its highly successful EACH Express trip with Class 37 diesels at the end of April 2016. This year’s trip operated with valuable support from Direct Rail Services (DRS), which hired the Class 68s to Greater Anglia and provided the drivers for the trip.

With hospices in Milton (Cambridgeshire), Quidenham (Norfolk) and Ipswich (Suffolk) offering support to children with life-threatening conditions and their families across those three counties and to some in Essex, too, EACH provides its service across a similar area to Greater Anglia, and the itinerary for the trip took the train quite close to all three hospices.

The charity has previously been chosen by employees as the recipient of charitable funds linked to the company's employee survey and last year’s EACH Express trip, as well as more localised fundraising initiatives.

In addition to its wider fund-raising work, the charity is currently raising money towards The Nook, a new hospice for Norfolk to succeed Quidenham.

Jonathan Denby, Head of Corporate Affairs for Greater Anglia said: "We're delighted that our special Class 68 railtour to raise funds for East Anglia's Children's Hospices was such a success.

“We’re grateful to everyone who bought tickets and joined us on the day, when we raised even more money from an on-board raffle and the on-train catering.

“EACH is an extremely worthwhile cause focused on the region we serve and supported by many of our employees. As a train operator we’re passionate about playing our part in supporting the communities we serve.”

Sam Loveday, Director of Income Generation for EACH said: “We’re thrilled this second special charter train raised so much money for EACH.

“It was a great occasion for rail enthusiasts, allowing them to indulge their passion whilst backing our work caring for children with life-threatening conditions across the region and supporting their families. We’d like to say a very big thank you to Greater Anglia for their generosity and continued.”