Rail industry honours Team GB and ParalympicsGB heroes: GB Paralympic and Olympic Rio celebration – Oct 2016

Tuesday 18 Oct 2016

Rail industry honours Team GB and ParalympicsGB heroes

Route:
National

Britain’s rail industry joined forces today to transport 350 Team GB and ParalympicsGB athletes from Manchester to London as part of nationwide celebrations of their Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games success.

The athletes’ journey today was made possible by Virgin Trains, Caledonian Sleeper, GB Railfreight and Network Rail, which each offered their services free of charge.

The Team GB and ParalympicsGB athletes enjoyed a celebratory ‘welcome home’ parade on the streets of Manchester yesterday.

Early today they boarded their two trains from Manchester Piccadilly to London Euston for celebration events at London’s Trafalgar Square.

Mark Carne, chief executive of Network Rail, said: “It is our privilege to help honour our Team GB and ParalympicsGB heroes. They did us proud in Rio. We hope we did them proud today, too.”

Phil Whittingham, managing director of Virgin Trains on the west coast, said: “Team GB and ParalympicsGB are an inspiration to us all, a great example of what can be achieved when you aim high. That’s why we had no hesitation in playing our small part in their richly deserved homecoming celebrations.”

Ryan Flaherty, guest experience director of Caledonian Sleeper, said: “These remarkable individuals are extraordinary role models for us all, so we are humbled that we are able to play a part in recognising the true appreciation we have for their efforts.”

John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight, whose engine pulled the Caledonian, said: “We’re thrilled to be able to participate in the celebrations with Team GB and Paralympics GB. Huge congratulations to our athletes for their outstanding achievements this summer.”  

A red carpet was rolled out at Manchester Piccadilly station today for the Team GB and ParalympicsGB athletes.

As they boarded their trains the Transpennine Express Choir sung and local school children waved them off.

On board the Caledonian Sleeper serving refreshments to the athletes was Martin Frobisher, Network Rail’s West Coast route managing director, who said: “I was inspired by these Team GB and ParalympicsGB heroes over the summer. Serving them croissants and coffee today was a great honour and, frankly, the least I could do.”

Waiting beside the platforms at Euston were 10 red double-decker London buses, which took the athletes on to Trafalgar Square.

 

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Journalists
Network Rail press office - Lucy Jones
Media relations manager
Network Rail
033 0854 3835 / 07734 649248
lucy.jones2@networkrail.co.uk

About Network Rail

Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.

About the Railway Upgrade Plan

The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:

  • longer, faster more frequent trains;
  • better, more reliable infrastructure; and
  • better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.

Follow us on Twitter: @networkrail
Visit our online newsroom: www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk