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Open day success

Staff at the Siemens train maintenance depot in Northam, Southampton raised £2,640 for those suffering with motor neurone disease by opening up the TMD for a behind-the-scenes Open Day.

Over 1,700 local residents and rail enthusiasts turned up. Says Steve Walker, South West Trains Fleet Director at Siemens, ‘We really had a fantastic day with perfect weather adding to the atmosphere on site. It was great to see so many local people take the time to come and join us, raising money for this hugely worthwhile charity in the process.

I’d like to thank everyone who volunteered their time and made an effort to contribute in some way, with particular thanks to the Swanage Railway for loaning us our star attraction – a Drummond M7 steam engine.’

Visitors were able to look under a train, sit in a driver’s cab, see a re- railing exercise and watch a train wheelset removed for maintenance. Cheerful Siemens staff hosted stalls and organised a special steam train ride on the day to raise money for the local branch of the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association. South West Trains arranged a free shuttle bus service to and from the depot.

Partnership approach

The open day on 12th October also celebrated the 10th anniversary of the opening of the depot and the partnership approach developed by Siemens and the South West Trains and Network Rail Alliance. Including the money raised on the day, over £5,600 has been donated to the MND Association.

Recently 19 employees took part in a London to Southampton cycle ride to raise money for the charity. MND was selected for support by local Siemens staff following the diagnosis of one of their colleagues with the progressive disease. SWT’s 172- strong fleet of Siemens Desiro Class 444 and 450 trains are based at Northam.

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