Good News Friday: Your weekly round-up of positive rail news!

Posted: 28 June 2024 | | No comments yet

In this week’s ‘Good News Friday’, we cover Northern’s rail safety event for schoolchildren, a 240-mile charity cycle by railway veterans and Gargrave Primary students building a ‘bug hotel’ for local biodiversity.

Good News Friday: Your weekly round-up of positive rail news!

Northern empowers schoolchildren with rail safety event in County Durham


Credit: Northern

Staff at Northern helped dozens of schoolchildren gain confidence to travel by train during a rail safety event in County Durham. Around 180 primary school pupils attended the event at the Locomotion railway museum in Shildon earlier in June 2024.

Staff from Northern, CrossCountry and London North Eastern Railway (LNER) shared their experiences and taught Year 6 pupils how to stay safe and plan their train journeys. Network Rail colleagues warned children about trespassing dangers, with the event organised by Bishop Line Community Rail Partnership. In addition, British Transport Police officers demonstrated their tools and equipment, while community rail representatives also participated.

Jason Wade, Regional Director for Northern, said: “It’s fantastic to see colleagues across the rail industry come together and give these pupils the confidence to travel by train in the future. We also welcome any opportunity to teach children important lessons about staying safe on the railways and show them how our staff work to run services for people across the North.”

Pupils from Etherley Lane Primary School, Northwood Primary School and St George’s CE Academy travelled to the event on a Northern train. Nearby St John’s CE (Aided) Primary School pupils joined after a short walk.

The rail safety sessions were delivered by Northern, CrossCountry, Network Rail, Railway Children and British Transport Police, supported by Community Rail Network, TransPennine Express, Locomotion, Shildon Station Adopters, Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership and Weardale Railway.

The first event had been held in 2023 to address trespassing incidents near schools in Darlington and North Road. 

Railway veterans Stuart and Lee embark on 240-mile charity cycle

Railway Benefit Fund

Credit: Railway Benefit Fund

The Railway Benefit Fund (RBF) has announced that Stuart, a dedicated railway veteran with 34 years of service, and his colleague Lee will embark on an inspiring 240-mile cycling journey to raise awareness and funds. The ride, which spans three days, from 29 June until 1 July 2024.

The ambitious journey will take Stuart and Lee through 10 railway stations, depots and companies, highlighting the crucial support RBF provides to the railway community. Stuart, driven by his deep connection to the industry he has served for over three decades, has chosen to champion this cause as a way to give back.

Stuart’s dedication to the railway community and his commitment to raising funds for RBF underscore the importance of the charity’s work. The Railway Benefit Fund offers vital assistance to railway workers and their families, providing essential support in times of need.

Head of Fundraising Suzy Powell expressed her gratitude, stating, “We are immensely grateful to Stuart and Lee for championing our cause and dedicating their efforts to help us continue our work. Their commitment and passion are truly inspiring.”

For those interested in supporting Stuart and Lee’s fundraising efforts, donations can be made through their JustGiving page

Gargrave Primary students build ‘bug hotel’ at local railway station


Credit: Northern

Students from Gargrave Primary School in North Yorkshire have helped create a ‘bug hotel’ for insects at their local railway station. Made from old wooden pallets, twigs, leaves, moss and other materials collected by the pupils, the hotel has welcomed its first guests.

This initiative was part of a workshop led by Northern’s undergraduate employees as part of their ‘Year in Industry.’ The workshop, announced in April 2024 and delivered in partnership with Bentham Community Rail Partnership, aims to educate children on biodiversity and the importance of local habitats.

David Gray, Head of Energy and Environment at Northern, said: “We are committed to making a positive contribution to the environmental sustainability of the areas in which we operate. Bug hotels like this one at Gargrave are small but practical interventions we can make to increase biodiversity at our stations. We’re grateful to the students at Gargrave Primary School for their help with this first ‘bug hotel’ and we’re confident of five-star reviews from its guests.”

Northern, the UK’s second largest train operator, runs 2,500 services a day to over 500 stations across Northern England.