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07.11.19

Poppy train launched to remember rail workers’ wartime service

Southern Railway has launched a special commemorative train to remember the wartime service of railway workers.

The poppy-themed train entered service today as part of Southern’s support for The Royal British Legion’s annual Poppy Appeal.

Southern’s owner, Govia Thameslink Railway, has also donated £10,000 to the Royal British Legion towards its support for military veterans.

Train number 377101 was launched by Southern and Gatwick Express managing director, Angie Doll, from Southern’s Selhurst depot.

GTR chief operating officer, Steve White, said: “It is important for us to pay our respects to the men and women who contributed to the war effort.

“The railway played a key role in delivering supplies and munitions, with hundreds and thousands of men and women across the country working tirelessly to keep the rail network moving.

“This poppy train will serve as a poignant reminder of their sacrifice and the donation will help the Royal British Legion continue their vital support for Armed Forces personnel.”

The £10,000 donation was marked with a cheque presented by Steve White to the Royal British Legion’s head of corporate partnerships, Ben France, at Blackfriars station in central London.

Mr France said: “We’d like to thank Govia Thameslink for choosing to make this generous donation to The Royal British Legion. Without your kindness, we would not be able to provide vital support to the Armed Forces community, and remember their service and sacrifice.”

More than 19,000 railway workers from Great Britain and Ireland lost their lives in the First World War, with the historic London Brighton & South Coast Railway – operating on the Brighton Main Line of today – seeing more than five and a half thousand men leave to join the war; over 500 did not return.

The organisation further supported by transporting 30,000 soldiers and around 7 million tonnes of the British Army’s munitions to the continent.

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