The UK's most obsessed mini train enthusiasts become conductors for the dayBack to press releases page
Wednesday, 1 November 2023
Today (Wednesday 1 November), West Midlands Railway (WMR) hosted its greatly-anticipated event, giving mini train enthusiasts across the UK a once in a lifetime experience as part of its Little Train Conductor competition.
11 lucky winners, aged between four and ten, lived out their wildest dreams this half-term as they boarded at Birmingham New Street station and experienced first-hand what it’s like to be a train conductor, alongside their parents and the WMR team.
From the second they stepped aboard one of WMR’s brand-new Class 196 trains, to the moment they arrived at their destination, Shrewsbury, the Little Train Conductors embraced typical conductor duties - ranging from checking tickets and greeting customers, to making important announcements over the public tannoy system. It was a day they’ll remember forever! And of course, no conductor would be complete without their uniform, with the winners receiving their very own whistle, torch, tie, high-viz waistcoat, and flags to ensure their train conducting duties ran smoothly.
The winners included Alexander, aged 7, Northampton, Roksana, aged 5, Church Stretton, Oliver, aged 9, Coventry, Benjamin, aged 7, Kidderminster, Charlie, aged 9, Sutton Coldfield, Noah, aged 5, Telford, Sammy, aged 10, Kings Heath, Adam, aged 6, Stourbridge, Zachary aged 7, Walsall, Alfred, aged 8, Wolverhampton and Franco, aged 5, Sutton Coldfield.
Little Train Conductor, Charlie, aged 9, said: “Today has meant a lot to me, it’s been a once in a lifetime experience on the Class 196. I really liked making the announcements as I’ve never done something like that before - and was so excited! I’d just like to say thank you to West Midlands Railway for everything they’ve done and for making this competition possible. You are the best rail operator in the world.”
Jonny Wiseman, customer experience director at West Midlands Railway, said: “Our Little Train Conductor event was certainly one to remember! It was an absolute pleasure to welcome our enthusiasts onto our brand-new trains, offering them an experience we hope they hold onto for years to come.
“We were blown away by each and every entry we received as part of our competition, and had a very hard task on our hands trying to choose the winners. It’s always a joy to see children as passionate about the railway as we are here at West Midlands Railway. Perhaps in the future we’ll even see the return of some familiar faces embarking on their own career as a conductor.”
The competition, which launched at the start of the summer holidays, encouraged kids across the UK to apply in the hopes of being specially selected to conduct one of WMR’s brand-new state of the art trains.
Budding train fans were asked to share (via their parents and guardians) a video to Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok (or by email) detailing what they love most about trains, where they last went on a train, and why they’d like to be a conductor for the day.
When the search began back in July, WMR were initially looking for just four lucky winners. However, after receiving a whopping 150 submissions from hopeful applicants up and down the country, it left the judges with no choice but to select 11 mini train fans to join them on the day of the event.
Having officially joined the railway network across the Shrewsbury, Hereford, and the newly named Elephant & Bear lines – the brand-new Class 196 trains feature more seats, additional under-seat luggage space, bike storage, and greater accessibility.
Following hot on their heels are the new Class 730 trains with the same great benefits, arriving on the Walsall-Wolverhampton and Cross City lines soon.
About West Midlands Trains
For further information on this release, email [email protected]
West Midlands Trains operates both West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway services.
- London Northwestern Railway services operate between Liverpool and Birmingham, and on the West Coast Main Line to and from London Euston.
- West Midlands Railway services operate to destinations across the West Midlands via Birmingham New Street and Birmingham Snow Hill.
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