Class 37 locomotive photoshoot raises £3,000 for Yorkshire children’s hospice

Network Rail workers organised a charity photoshoot in York and raised three thousand pounds for Yorkshire charity, Martin House Children’s Hospice.

The event took place at Network Rail’s Holgate Engineering Works, which is its largest in the country. More than seventy people attended the one-off photoshoot on Saturday evening, which marked the end of the leaf-busting season for the network’s Rail Head Treatment Trains (RHTT).

Three Class 37 locos lined up at Holgate Engineering Works, Chris Gee Network Rail
Three Class 37 locos lined up at Holgate Engineering Works // Credit: Chris Gee / Network Rail

Volunteers from across the rail industry cleaned five Class 37 diesel locomotives, which were stationed at the works throughout the RHTT season. Once they looked their best, attendees took photographs which captured what Network Rail describes as “enigmatic and atmospheric images under the evening’s moonlight”. Photographers each paid a donation to be a part of the evening.

The organisers held the event because they knew that the locomotives are very popular with rail enthusiasts, who often follow their activities. During the autumn, the trains blast fallen leaves off the railway and leave a sand-based substance on the rail head to help train wheels grip and run reliably.

The Railway Benefit Fund recently awarded staff from Network Rail and DB Cargo a ‘Heart of Gold’ award for raising over £250,000 for the charity through organising a series of rail tours across the country. In April, Network Rail and DB Cargo staff handed a cheque for two hundred thousand pounds to Martin House.

'York Leaf Busters' - Two Class 37 locos at Holgate Engineering Works, Chris Gee Network Rail
‘York Leaf Busters’ – Two Class 37 locos at Holgate Engineering Works // Credit: Chris Gee / Network Rail

Chris Gee, Programme Director for Network Rail and one of the event’s organisers, said: “We had a brilliant evening on Saturday as over 70 people from the across the industry and beyond came down to Holgate Works to mark the end of Rail Head Treatment Train season through pictures and raise a great amount of money for Martin House.

“It has been a busy season for the locomotives based at Holgate and it was lovely to see them presented so nicely after working hard throughout the autumn keeping the nation’s passengers moving.

“Network Rail has supported Martin House’s incredible work for a number of years now and it is amazing that we have been able to raise even more money for them through this special event.”


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