Your news: Heritage train was a huge success

From left: Andrew Brock, Christine Robinson, Stephen Hutton, Tim Briggs, Carol Hughes (on behalf of St Peter and St James), Howard Strongitharm and Andrew Strongitharm.
From left: Andrew Brock, Christine Robinson, Stephen Hutton, Tim Briggs, Carol Hughes (on behalf of St Peter and St James), Howard Strongitharm and Andrew Strongitharm.

A heritage diesel train, run to mark the 175th anniversary of the opening of the railway, raised nearly £6,000 for St Peter and St James Hospice in Wivelsfield.

The train, owned by Hastings Diesels Ltd (HDL) and operated by freight company GBRf, had to be self-financing but, despite uncertainty over passenger numbers on the day, both companies agreed to let the run go ahead.

In the end, more than 2,000 people rode the route between Haywards Heath station and the site of Ardingly station.

Two extra trains had to be run - possible thanks to the co-operation of HDL and GBRf - to cope with demand. Of the seven trains that ran, virtually every seat was taken with some people even standing.

Andrew Brock, who organised the event together with Andrew Strongitharm, said: “We couldn’t believe how popular these trips were and are extremely pleased to have raised so much money for a very worthwhile charity, which is close to the hearts of many people.

“We would like to thank everyone who contributed to the success of the day, particularly the support and encouragement from the core HH175 ‘team’, HDL and GBRf for the planning and operation of the train and all the onboard and station staff who assisted on the day.”

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