A special Southeastern high speed poppy train will run an exclusive one off service ahead of Remembrance Sunday in November to raise thousands of pounds for the Royal British Legion.
The commemorative train - named Operation Javelin - will snake its way from London Victoria through Kent and East Sussex and on to Eastbourne on Saturday, November 7.
Tickets for the journey are now on sale and memorabilia will also be sold on the train. Every penny raised will go the soldiers’ charity.
This is the second year running that one of Southeastern’s high speed trains has been used to raise money in this way ahead of Remembrance Sunday.
During this journey, the train used in 2014 - with the design for that year still on it - will be coupled to this year’s train - displaying the new design - for the entire journey.
Last year’s train will then have its poppy design removed and the new high speed unit will take up the mantle, keeping its poppy display for a whole year to raise awareness for the Royal British Legion.
This year’s train will see poppies on the exterior paintwork at the front of the train, a large poppy next to the first door on the cab and a large display further back emblazoned with the message: ‘LIVE ON: To The Memory Of The Fallen and The Future of the Living.’
The first poppy train – the Victoria Cross train – started last year to mark the 100 years since World War One.
It was the brain child of Southeastern employees Andy Harding, a Cl395 fleet engineering manager based at Ashford, and Kent Evenden, a high speed driver manager.
They intend to run a new train with new poppy designs every year up until 2018 as part of the 100 year commemorations.
Last year’s service, which was run with help from other Southeastern staff who gave up their time for free, raised £25,300. It is hoped they will raise even more money this time round.
Andy said, “Kent and myself plan this journey in our free time and it is great that our employers let us do this and let us use their trains for free. It means we can then raise a great deal of money for the Royal British Legion and raise awareness of their important work”.
“Tickets are already on sale so be quick if you want to get on board for this commemorative journey.”
Kent added, “We are arranging this train – joined to last year’s – to go on routes that the High Speed trains never usually travel as we know rail enthusiasts will want to catch it.
“All money earned goes to the Royal British Legion. This is a great way to raise money for this extremely worthwhile and laudable cause.”
To buy a ticket or for more information please go online at http://www.ukrailtours.com/product/operation-javelin/