Full steam ahead for train firm tar­get­ing new gen­er­a­tion

The Sunday Telegraph - - News - By He­lena Hor­ton

A NEW steam train com­pany is aim­ing to at­tract younger gen­er­a­tions in the hope of breath­ing life back into Bri­tain’s vin­tage lo­co­mo­tives.

Adrian Shooter, who ran Chiltern Rail­ways for two decades, has gath­ered pub­lic sup­port to fund a new rail­way com­pany for steam trains.

The 69-year-old wants to use his com­pany, Vin­tage Rail, to in­spire a love of steam trains in new de­mo­graph­ics, in­clud­ing young peo­ple and women.

Mr Shooter, who orig­i­nally trained as an en­gi­neer, told The Sun­day Tele­graph: “It’s for us to make sure that there is the resur­gence in steam trains be­cause we have put in place a prod­uct that ap­peals to peo­ple. If we were just try­ing to ap­peal to men with grey hair and beards that’s not a busi­ness. We want to get young­sters and peo­ple of all walks of life en­thused.”

He said he was aim­ing to use so­cial me­dia to cap­ture the at­ten­tion of young peo­ple.

Vin­tage Trains Com­mu­nity Ben­e­fit So­ci­ety is the only pub­licly owned main­line rail­way com­pany in Great Bri­tain op­er­at­ing steam-hauled ex­press trains. It is funded by mem­bers of the pub­lic who be­come share­hold­ers. The Birm­ing­ham-based com­pany aims to over­haul old steam trains and by 2021 al­low peo­ple to ride on them for plea­sure on re­stored rail lines owned by Great West­ern Rail­way.

“We will be train­ing for ap­pren­tices and in­volv­ing the lo­cal com­mu­nity as much as we can,” said Mr Shooter.

Clun Cas­tle builds up steam in Ty­se­ley, Birm­ing­ham. Vin­tage Rail, a pub­licly owned main­line rail com­pany wants to in­spire a love of steam in a younger, more di­verse de­mo­graphic through the in­creased use of so­cial me­dia

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