Great Western Railway (GWR) will send the ‘Captain Tom Centennial’ on an epic journey as part of the Captain Tom 100 challenge.
Intercity Express Train 800025 – which bears the name Captain Sir Tom Moore – will make a mammoth 100 stops at stations across the GWR network in just over 40 hours, covering nearly 1,500 miles.
The ‘Captain Tom Centennial’ will start passenger service from London Paddington at 0637 on Friday 30 April, taking in routes to Penzance, Swansea, Hereford and Bristol Temple Meads over the following hours.
GWR Head of Communications Dan Panes said: “What makes calling at 100 stops in the ‘Captain Tom Centennial’ so unique is the geographical challenge. Normally our Class 800 trains wouldn’t travel down to the South West but we wanted to do our bit to ensure Captain Tom’s legacy lives on and reaches all parts of the GWR network.
“We were delighted to name a train in his honour last April following requests from both colleagues and customers. Now we’re hoping people will enjoy following the progress of the ‘Captain Tom Centennial’ and donate in the name of Captain Tom.”
On 6 April last year, Captain Tom set out round his garden to thank the nation’s NHS heroes. One hundred laps later, he’d raised £38.9 million for the NHS COVID-19 appeal.
His simple message of hope – ‘Tomorrow will be a good day’ – inspired millions around the world and brought comfort and joy to many during the pandemic.
Captain Tom sadly passed away on 2 February this year. Friday 30 April would have been his 101st birthday and to honour him and his achievements, the Captain Tom Foundation is urging everyone, of all ages and abilities, to take part in the Captain Tom 100.
Captain Sir Tom’s daughter and Co-Founder of The Captain Tom Foundation, Hannah Ingram-Moore, said: “My father would have simply loved the idea of the ‘Captain Tom Centennial’ train making an epic journey as part of this special event. He was very proud to leave behind the growing legacy of his Foundation and would have really enjoyed watching people across the country uniting to have fun and inspire hope with their Captain Tom 100 challenges. It’s going to be a very special few days.”
Find out how you can donate and get involved in the Captain Tom 100 here.
As more people return to rail after the easement of lockdown restrictions, GWR has been working hard to welcome people back on to its services.
- A 24% increase in cleaning hours every week since March 2020
- Sanitising (fogging) of 1,120 vehicles every 4 weeks
- Carrying out 2,150 on board surface tests (ATP) every four weeks, to ensure the effectiveness of our cleaning
- 272 train cleaning processes reviewed, and many adapted
- Hand sanitising facilities at key stations across its network.
The train operator has also provided extra staff at key stations to offer help and guidance; and processes are in place to help customers maintain a safe distance where possible.
GWR is encouraging customers to continue to travel safely. People are reminded to:
- Wear a face covering
- Travel at quieter times where possible
- Wash your hands more regularly
- Buy tickets online, on a smart card or by using the GWR app
Photo credit: Great Western Railway