Southeastern and Network Rail staff worked late into the night on Christmas Eve to get food to lorry drivers who were stranded on the approaches to Dover due to the sudden border closure. An estimated 6,000 lorry drivers were stuck trying to leave the UK, with roughly 2,000 waiting on the Kent motorway.
Seven trains loaded with crates of food left London stations for Ashford, with Southeastern staff working until late into Christmas Eve to fill more crates with much-needed supplies.
Southeastern workers took the initiative when they recognised that rail station shops would have excess food stock. Working with Network Rail, they collected food donations from London station outlets including Leon, Boots, Pret A Manger, Starbucks and M&S.
Staff filled crates with donated food and put them onto trains from London St Pancras, Charing Cross and London Bridge stations.
The crates were picked up at Ashford International railway station in Kent, which the Salvation Army distributed to stranded lorry drivers.
Macknade Kent Foodhall, based in the Kent town of Faversham, also donated parcels of food to the enterprise.
David Statham, managing director of Southeastern Railway, said: “We saw that lorry drivers in Kent were in a difficult place and we wanted to play our part in helping other transport professionals. I’m proud of how quickly our colleagues have reacted to this situation and are helping people in difficult circumstances.”