The train company organised three festive themed services in the South West and South Wales on the first two weekends in December.
All money raised from the ticket sales and on-board raffles will be given to charity. Funds from the South Wales Christmas train will go to the National Autistic Society. Money raised from the Plymouth Christmas trains will go to Bowel Cancer UK.
GWR Customer Service and Transformation Director Richard Rowland said:
“We’re really proud our Christmas trains have helped make special memories for all those who took part and will help make a difference to two UK charities doing valuable work.”
Father Christmas took time out of his very busy schedule to visit each of the three GWR trains and presented every child on-board with an early Christmas gift. It is believed to be the first time Santa has travelled on an Intercity Express Train.
Branch Chair of the National Autistic Society, Swansea branch, Anthony Quinn-Flipping, said:
“We’re incredibly grateful to all the lovely people at GWR who helped raise money for autistic children on the Christmas train. It was a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness of the work we do to help those living with autism.”
The charities were chosen by GWR staff who volunteered their time to help operate the Christmas trains.
Bowel Cancer UK Director of Fundraising, Luke Squires, said:
“We are absolutely delighted to be chosen as one of the charities to benefit from Great Western Railway’s great Santa Special train journey. Bowel cancer is the UK’s second biggest cancer killer but with the help of GWR and everyone who took part in this special event, we can change that. The support will not only help stop people dying of bowel cancer by funding vital services and life-saving research, but gives us a fantastic opportunity to increase awareness of bowel cancer and Bowel Cancer UK with a huge range of different people – including Santa.”
It is hoped the success of these latest Christmas trains will mean the popular ‘Santa Express’ services will make a return in December 2019.
Photo: (L-R) Karen Roberts, GWR Customer Host, Lisa J Brown, Sarah Parry, Christian Davis, GWR On-board Service Managers, Anthony Quinn-Flipping, Branch Chair of the National Autistic Society, Swansea branch.
Notes to editors
Great Western Railway (GWR) provides high speed, commuter, regional and branch line train services. We help over 100 million passengers reach their destinations every year - across South Wales, the West Country, the Cotswolds, and large parts of Southern England.
We’re currently seeing the biggest investment in the network since Brunel so we can offer more trains, more seats, and shorter, more frequent journeys and continue the network’s heritage of helping connect more businesses to new and prosperous markets. Through a series of initiatives we aim to be a good neighbour to the communities we serve and are committed to making a positive social impact in those regions. Learn how we're Building a Greater West at GWR.com. GWR is a FirstGroup company.