This is the vision of the team of Manchester-based Virgin Trains’ drivers who came up with the idea of organising an event that would combine a passion for the railways with a desire to make a difference for a very worthwhile cause.
The steam-hauled Train of Hope will run on 1 October 2011 from Crewe to Carlisle over the Cumbrian fells and return on the scenic Settle and Carlisle line. The historical train is formed of luxurious first class coaches and hauled by Scots Guardsman, a steam locomotive built in 1927. All money raised by the event will go to Virgin Trains’ charity partner CLIC Sargent, the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people.
Steam train journeys are always popular but this one really has the x-factor. The train will be waved off at Crewe at 09:00 by a brass band and pop impresario and railway enthusiast Pete Waterman, and met in Carlisle by a piper and the Mayor and Mayoress of Carlisle.
Whilst onboard, passengers will be invited to indulge in a full English breakfast on the outward journey and a five course dinner, including complimentary wines and refreshments, on the return. Ticket holders travelling on the Train of Hope will be able to travel First Class by Virgin Trains to and from Crewe on the day at no extra cost.
A selection of fantastic prizes will be raffled on the train exclusively for Train of Hope customers. These include:
Two premier dining tickets with the Rail Touring Company
Balloon flights for two
Limited edition prints
Worth Valley Railways family tickets
One night’s stay at Crewe Hall, including breakfast, evening meal and two spa treatments
Foxfield Railway Footplate Drivers days
Two night’s stay in London, including a show and First Class travel with Virgin Trains
Twelve month’s subscription to Railway Magazine
Llangollen Railways Family ticket
House of Commons bottle of whiskey and a guided tour of the House of Commons.
Train of Hope tickets are available, which includes breakfast, a five course dinner with complimentary wine and return Virgin Trains First Class tickets to and from Crewe on the day.
While the rail tour and on-train auction is the headline event, the organising team is running a raffle and auctioning items on eBay. These include exclusive items offered by the railway industry such as a day on highly realistic driver simulators, two Standard Class tickets to New York and an overnight stay for two at Lucknam Park Spa and Hotel in Bath.
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