Iconic train's farewell on heritage line raises amazing sum

The final CrossCountry HST passes Corfe Castle 
Picture: ANDREW P.M. WRIGHT <i>(Image: CrossCountry)</i>
The final CrossCountry HST passes Corfe Castle Picture: ANDREW P.M. WRIGHT (Image: CrossCountry)

A memorable rail trip to Dorset which saw an iconic train make one of its last journeys has raised a sensational sum for a good cause.

The unusual sight of a High Speed Train (HST) - known as the InterCity 125 - was seen on the Swanage steam railway branch earlier in the autumn.

Although famous for reaching speeds up to 125mph, the iconic 1970s diesel train had to go far slower as it rumbled over the heritage railway bringing passengers to the Purbeck resort from Leeds.

The special excursion - jointly organised by rail operator CrossCountry and magazine Modern Railways in support of The Brain Tumour Charity - marked the end of the era for the HST which were withdrawn from service in September after more than 40 years of operation.

A total of £63,022.12 was raised for the charity through ticket, merchandise and food and drink sales on the day with a further £1,866.90 donated by attendees at Modern Railways’ annual Golden Spanner awards.

The charity was chosen in memory of former CrossCountry employee Jo Taylor.

Tom Joyner, CrossCountry’s Managing Director, said: “It was important to mark the contributions of not only our High Speed Trains that have served us so well for over 40 years, but also the generations of colleagues who have worked tirelessly to maintain them.

"It’s also been a privilege to raise so much money for such a worthy cause - just another example of what can be accomplished by colleagues across the rail industry working together.”