The farewell tour of the Class 442 trains raised thousands of pounds for the Eastbourne charity Embrace.
Southern has now replaced the last Class 442 trains which ran originally on the Gatwick Express route, and until recently, between Eastbourne and London.
More than 400 people bought tickets for the tour which took in some unusual places on the Southern Network such as sidings and depots.
Ticket sales, an on-board raffle and an on-board auction contributed to the £6,668 total which was presented to Annette Ackland, from Embrace, by Southern train services manager Ant Yandell at Eastbourne station yesterday (Thursday, April 6).
Embrace helps children with special needs, promoting inclusion and improving life skills.
Annette said, “Thank you so much. This will make such a difference to us. This can help us run our Saturday club for the next year. We’ve recently seen our numbers of children on the rise and need more staff. This will help so much. We can’t thank you enough!”
Su Rogers, station sales clerk at Mouslecoomb station – who nominated Embrace to become one of Southern’s corporate charities – added, “For such a small charity, run by volunteers, this means so much. It is wonderful - we really couldn’t believe the amount raised. Thank you to everyone so much.”
Kevin Adlam from the Branch Line Society, which sold the tickets on behalf of Southern, said, “We had a really good time out on the trip with over 400 people riding with us. The money came from the the trip itself plus auctions and raffles we held on board - everyone was so generous. It was nice to see everyone having a good time while doing something really positive.”
Ant Yandell, who was the driving force behind the trip, added, “It was a really intense four weeks to organise this and the whole thing seemed to take over my life, but I’m really pleased with how the day went and that we have so much money to pass onto the charity. Everyone was happy to donate to support Embrace.”