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Virgin Trains nameplates raise over £106,000 for charities

Press Release   •   Apr 13, 2009 23:00 BST

14 February 2009

Virgin Trains has raised over £106,000 for charities after auctioning over 100 train nameplates at London's Waterloo station on February 14th 2009.

The nameplates, which have been removed from trains over the last ten years were auctioned in the former Eurostar booking hall at Waterloo station.

The money raised will go to Virgin Group's charitable arm, Virgin Unite, and the Railway Benefit Fund. The Virgin Unite contribution will benefit the Virgin Trains chosen charity CLIC Sargent, which is the UK's leading Children’s Cancer Charity.

Over 107 nameplates and nose-end badges were snapped up by collectors with nothing from the auction catalogue going unsold.

Top earner was Charles Rennie Mackintosh, from a Class 86 electric locomotive fetching £4,700.
There was also a significant interest in Voyager and Super Voyager nameplates, with Devon Voyager fetching £2,600 and Doctor Who going under the auctioneer's hammer for £2,000.

Pride of Toton, from one of the former CrossCountry Class 47 diesel locomotives raised £3,600.

Virgin Trains Communications Manager Steven Knight said: “We are delighted that the nameplates have raised so much money for our charities. The nameplates had being held in storage, having been removed from trains over the last few years, and rather than leaving them to gather dust we wanted to offer collectors and historians the opportunity to own and hopefully cherish a part of Virgin’s history, while at the same time raising money for two very worthy causes. We had expected to raise £50,000 but doubled our estimate.”

Notes to Editors

Virgin Unite is the non-profit foundation of the Virgin Group which works with partners all over the world to develop new approaches to social and environmental issues.

The Railway Benefit Fund (RBF) is the UK’s only charity dedicated exclusively to helping staff who work or have retired from the rail industry. The care and support it offers takes many forms from providing grants for medical and mobility equipment to railway pensioners to buying new clothes and furniture for a signalman’s family after the house and its contents was ruined by a fire.

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