One of the UK’s foremost rail networks has raised more than £40,000 for charity after auctioning off vintage nameplates.
Famous names from the London North Eastern Railway (LNER)’s iconic Intercity High Speed Train (HST) fleet attracted interest from around the world during an online sale.
The proceeds, totalling £41,000, will now go to the Campaign Against Living Miserably (Calm), in support of suicide prevention.
Among the highly sought-after nameplates, the 43308 Highland Chieftain proved most popular among train enthusiasts, selling for £13,900.
A 43300 Craigentinny and one crest each fetched £6,500.
Auctioneers said these are record prices for Class 43 HST nameplates.
The Highland Chieftain, first introduced in 1984, operates daily in each direction between London King’s Cross and Inverness via the East Coast and Highland Main Line.
It was brought in to complement The Clansman, which historically was the principal train between London and the Scottish Highlands, running via the West Coast Main Line.
The Craigentinny also served the East Coast Main Line, and was named in tribute to the 100th anniversary of the Edinburgh depot where it is primarily maintained.
Managing Director of LNER, David Horne, said: “We are delighted these symbols of rail history have generated such interest and raised much needed funds.
“Calm has seen record demand for its helpline services this year with teams answering more than 70,000 calls and chats since lockdown in March.
“This money will help support even more people during these uncertain times.”
In total seven nameplates were up for auction, with all sold.
The proceeds of the auction will be added to the £230,000 LNER has already raised for Calm since they entered into a partnership in October 2018.
The charity works to prevent suicide, the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK and the cause of 18 deaths a day.
The charity’s chief executive, Simon Gunning, said: “LNER has been absolutely brilliant championing the CALM cause and raising funds for our vital helpline services.
“This auction is another example of its generosity.
“A lot has happened over the past eight months and the pandemic has affected our lives in many ways, which is why people are needing Calm and our helpline services more than ever.”