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About Us

Charity Railtours was formed by me, Dennis Barnes, in August 2011.

I am a Train Driver for Colas Rail and after more than twenty-five years on the footplate, I can honestly say I still enjoy my job. But the last decade has seen a massive change, especially in terms of traction.

When I began my Driving career, there were many times when you simply did not know what traction you would be working with. We all have our favourite class of locomotive and sometimes there was a pleasant surprise when you were assigned to work such a loco. Maybe you were rostered Spare and the Supervisor would send you out to work a loco-hauled passenger train, shunting with 08s & 09s, or
maybe a “special”with a Class 37, 46 or 47.

Charity Railtours enabled me to get involved at the sharp end driving interesting trains over unusual routes.  Today, after a change of employer, I am no longer permitted to work these trains, so my involvement is purely planning, marketing and delivery.

Things have evolved a little as we will sometimes need to work with different train companies but the most important thing is we put together a really good day out with all the profit going to a very worthy cause.

I would very much like to be able to organise further tours, maybe one or two a year, but it’s a congested market and an extremely busy railway network. However, with the continued support of fellow railway enthusiasts such as you, as well as friends, colleagues and the railway industry as a whole, I sincerely hope we can continue with our “work”.