Train retirement tour through Hertfordshire raises £10,000 for charity
PUBLISHED: 13:59 25 October 2019
Passengers and railway staff have raised £10,000 for charity with a special farewell rail tour to mark the retirement of the venerable Class 313 train from Great Northern, after 42 years in service.
The Class 313 train - which had its front carriage specially restored to iconic Network SouthEast livery for the occasion - travelled across the network, stopping at London King's Cross, Welwyn Garden City, Royston, Hertford North, Alexandra Palace and Moorgate on Wednesday.
Nearly 300 passengers spoke with staff about their memories of the fleet, with some of Great Northern's engineering team discussing starting work at Hornsey depot shortly after the 313's introduction in 1976.
Govia Thameslink operations development manager Grace Roche, who was one of the event organisers, said: "It was a really great day. There was an excitable atmosphere on board as people shared their 313 stories and memories.
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"At each station, there were crowds lining the platforms to take photos and videos as we passed through.
"It was a very special trip and great to see so many of my colleagues come together to support the event and raise money for charity."
The last Class 313 ran in passenger service on Monday, 30 September, and has since been entirely replaced by modern, air-conditioned Class 717 trains in a £240m upgrade for passengers on the routes between London Moorgate and Stevenage, Hertford North and Welwyn Garden City.
READ MORE: New trains for Welwyn Garden City and Stevenage passengers travelling to and from London on Great Northern routes
Hornsey depot manager Scott Last said: "The new fleet is transforming passenger journeys and the way we work at Hornsey depot. For some of our apprentices, shifting from 1970s to 2019 technology has been quite the experience. The team told me that they wanted to celebrate the 313 in style, and I'm proud that we found a way to do that while raising funds for four important causes."
The charity tour was organised with all proceeds going to GTR's three employee-selected corporate charities: For Jimmy - which helps young people make their local communities safer, MIND - which provides advice and support to help anyone experiencing mental health problems, NOAH Enterprise - which provides a practical and caring service to people who are homeless, as well as children's charity, The Railway Children.