Toton weekend was a memorable experience
What memories Pip Dunn’s feature on the Toton Open Weekend in 1998 brought back ( RAIL 860). But his memory is playing tricks on him - I wasn’t at the breakfast before the event and actually missed the event, having left EMAP some months earlier.
That said, in my then role as Commercial Manager for the railway titles, I had spent a considerable time at Toton with the EWS media team and the Toton depot team, planning the event. I recall the ideas at the initial planning meeting were very low-key, but there was a real ‘can do’ attitude from all concerned to the ideas and suggestions raised.
To me, this was a breath of fresh air, having seen a real change following privatisation of the railway and Health and Safety Executive rules being frequently quoted as the reason that things could not be done.
When I subsequently rejoined the editorial team at RAIL, I was given the role of helping to project manage the Old Oak Common event two years later. This was much easier to visualise, and the experience of the entire
RAIL team from the Toton event was extremely useful.
I also managed to include my interest in buses, and get London operator Metro line on board to provide a free bus shuttle from Willesden Junction and Acton to nearby the depot entrance.
Then I did it again… I left RAIL before the event, but in my role at Virgin Trains I was able to support the transportation to the depot of a Pendolino Driving Car (which was unveiled during the event), as well as including at least one Class 47 naming. Steve Knight, Peterborough