Welcome to Charity Railtours

Not for profit...for great causes!



Western Champion suffers engine trouble during mainline test.

As we neared the end of 2021, I really and truly hoped we were close to receiving news on a date for D1015's return to full health. Sadly, as I am sure many of you know, the mainline test run involving Western Champion hauling a loaded freight train, resulted in another big end bearing fault manifesting itself and the locomotive has returned to Kidderminster for further repairs.

The Diesel Traction Group have sourced another replacement power unit from overseas and discussions are taking place regarding the shipping and conversion of this marine engine. Once complete, this work will see D1015 with two fit and healthy power-units.

Unfortunately, at this time, there is no estimate available for when the engine my be ready for fitting into D1015, so it is with great regret that we have to continue to wait for news.

D1015 is scheduled to haul The Magnificent Severn to South Wales, including visits to The Dean Forest Railway and Sharpness. At present, we have no plan to amend the itinerary and the train remains approximately half booked.

I must once again gratefully acknowledge the tremendous patience of those of you maintaining your bookings and the herculean effort being made by volunteers working on the beloved Western Champion, doing their best to ensure this fine machine is ready to haul our long awaited railtour at the earliest opportunity.

Dennis Barnes - Founder, Charity Railtours

11th January 2022

D1015 Stagholt(Curly42 with copyright)_edited.jpg

We like to take trains to interesting parts of the rail network

To date, our railtours have visited docks, warehouses and heritage lines. It's been a real slog and we are still learning, but with a great deal of help from our volunteers and the tremendous support of train companies, port owners and logistics companies, here is what we have done so far.


The Mayflower

April 15th 2018

In aid of Macmillan Cancer Support
Our train visited the seldom-used Sizewell branch, Ipswich Griffin Wharf and Harwich Town.
Sum raised: £8850


The Four Triangles

May 9th 2015

In aid of ADRA
A 0400 start from Crewe meant a mammoth day for the volunteers on the day, but months before we were clearing vegetation away from the privately owned track at Eccles Road and arranging for inspections and maintenance to take place.
Sum raised: £5967.30


The Great Eastern Freighter

August 10th 2013

In aid of Alzheimers Society
This was the first passenger train to traverse the privately owned "cross-docks" line at Felixstowe and the first ever passenger train to visit Ipswich Griffin Wharf - and that required a LOT of shunting!
Sum raised: £7965



Charity Railtours

Please do get in touch and let us know what places you would like to visit by special train, what locomotives you like and what worthy causes you would like to support. 

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