Full steam ahead for train firm targeting new generation
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