Staff at St Neots station threw a surprise party for Lucy Conrad, 11, giving presents and sharing birthday cake with a very popular young passenger.
Lucy, who has special needs, loves coming to St Neots station at the weekend with her father Chris where her bright personality and enthusiasm has captured the hearts of the staff, eight of whom came in on their day off to present her with presents including a pink fluorescent jacket sporting her name and a frog, her favourite animal.
Chris, a police officer, and Lucy regularly travel together from St Neots two stops to Peterborough and back at the weekend and approached Great Northern staff ahead of her birthday about the idea of the party at the station.
Chris said: “The station staff were superb, coming in on their day off to give Lucy her surprise party. Lucy thought we would go and see a few trains pass by but was surprised and ecstatic to see her station friends and open presents. They had clearly put a lot of thought into the gifts and she wore her pink jacket all the way to London to watch the Cirque du Soleil, and it was not removed there either!”
Station manager Dominic Morgan said: “Lucy is a bit of a local favourite. All the station staff look forward to seeing her and her positivity is certainly infectious. I think that warmth of feeling shows in the presents they got her, as well as the fact that many came on their day off and on Valentine’s Day no less!”
Notes to editors
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Southern and Gatwick Express press office: 0203 750 2030
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Govia Thameslink Railway
Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) operates Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express services as follows:
Thameslink – Bedford to Brighton, Sutton, Wimbledon and Sevenoaks
Great Northern – London to Welwyn, Hertford, Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn
Southern – services between London and the Sussex coast (Brighton, Worthing, Eastbourne, Bognor Regis, Hastings) and parts of Surrey, Kent and Hampshire (Ashford International, Southampton, Portsmouth)
Gatwick Express – Fast, non-stop direct services between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria
GTR is now the largest rail franchise in the UK in terms of passenger numbers, trains, revenue and staff: GTR carries about 273 million passenger journeys per year, employs around 6,500 people and generates annual passenger revenues of approximately £1.3bn.
Details of the franchise:
22% of all UK passengers
£1.3bn annual revenue
£237m passenger journeys
£50m investment to enhance all 239 stations
50% increase in capacity
1,398 new train carriages
10,000 additional morning peak seats into London
Free Wi-Fi at 104 stations
20,000 days of customer service training for frontline employees
£1m per year for local communities to spend on improvements at stations
The GTR investment programme for stations includes funding for more CCTV, toilet refurbishments, new retail facilities, help points and car park improvements – as well as plans for increased motorcycle storage and improved transport integration.