Rail industry honours Olympic heroes
Star Olympic and Paralympic athletes travelled from Manchester to London for victory celebrations thanks to free transport from the rail industry.
The athletes took part in a parade in Manchester yesterday to celebrate their achievements, after Britain won 67 Olympic medals and 147 Paralympic medals in Rio this summer.
Early this morning, they left Manchester Piccadilly for London Euston for a celebration in Trafalgar Square, with their journey made possible by free services from Virgin Trains, Caledonian Sleeper and GB Railfreight.
Martin Frobisher, Network Rail’s West Coast route managing director, who served the athletes refreshments on the train, said: “I was inspired by these Team GB and ParalympicsGB heroes over the summer. Serving them croissants and coffee today was a great honour and, frankly, the least I could do.”
A red carpet was rolled out at Manchester Piccadilly for the athletes, while the TransPennine Express Choir sung and local school children waved them off.
They travelled on Virgin and Caledonian Sleeper trains, with a GB Railfreight engine pulling the Caledonian.
Ryan Flaherty, guest experience director of Caledonian Sleeper, said: “These remarkable individuals are extraordinary role models for us all, so we are humbled that we are able to play a part in recognising the true appreciation we have for their efforts.”
Phil Whittingham, managing director of Virgin Trains on the west coast, said: “Team GB and ParalympicsGB are an inspiration to us all, a great example of what can be achieved when you aim high. That’s why we had no hesitation in playing our small part in their richly deserved homecoming celebrations.”
Mark Carne, chief executive of Network Rail, said: “It is our privilege to help honour our Team GB and ParalympicsGB heroes. They did us proud in Rio. We hope we did them proud today, too.”
(Image c. Network Rail)
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