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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

SWR marks TBF centenary with train naming ceremony

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South Western Railway has named one of its trains after the Transport Benevolent Fund to celebrate its centenary.

The TBF supports public transport workers in times of need, hardship, and distress. Members contribute £1.25 per week to be part of the charity, which enables them, their partners and dependent children to access a wide range of health, welfare and financial support.

This includes a comprehensive range of complementary therapies, medical assistance, convalescence, legal advice, as well as bereavement grants.

The organisation was founded in 1923 by the predecessors of Transport for London, with roots in a fund established in 1914 to help the dependants of those who fought in the First World War. It has since expanded to cover all public transport workers in England, Scotland, and Wales.

SWR has more TBF members than any other train operator. Around 2,600 SWR colleagues are members of the TBF, almost half of all colleagues. The operator marked the occasion with a special train naming ceremony at its flagship London Waterloo station, which recently celebrated its own 175th anniversary.

One of SWR’s Class 450 trains, number 450100, named ‘Transport Benevolent Fund CIO’, was unveiled by the managing director of SWR, Claire Mann, the chair of the TBF, Rob Jones, and the chairman of Network Rail and patron of the TBF, Lord Hendy.

Claire Mann, managing director of South Western Railway, commented: “We’re proud to celebrate the fantastic work the TBF does providing advice and support to people during difficult periods in their lives. That SWR has more members than any other operator shows the generosity and community spirit of so many of our colleagues.

“One of our values as an organisation is that we are supportive of each other, and membership of the TBF is a wonderful example of that. We hope this TBF named train will be a reminder of the good that comes from putting our values into action.”

Rob Jones, chair of TBF, commented: “This is a great occasion for the TBF, especially as we celebrate the Fund’s centenary. I thank the SWR team and Lord Hendy for their support in facilitating this event and for the opportunity to promote the good work of the charity.

“In my role as TBF Chair I am extremely proud of the Fund’s work in providing help and support to those members who find themselves in times of need and hardship. We are dedicated to helping to keep the wheels of the transport industry turning by helping those employees get back on their feet.”

Peter, Lord Hendy of Richmond Hill CBE, Chair of Network Rail and Patron of Transport Benevolent Fund CIO, commented: “As a Patron of the Transport Benevolent Fund, I am proud to celebrate their 100th anniversary. The TBF is the best example of how the transport community comes together to look after each other in times of need.

“Over the last century the fund has supported thousands of staff and their families through difficult times, including recently when the fund was at the forefront of the fight against COVID. The naming of a train in honour of this essential work is a fitting and appropriate tribute.”

The train naming ceremony this morning was attended by SWR colleagues as well as representatives from the TBF and the wider railway industry.

Image credit: SWR

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