GTR wraps it trains to send a message

Thameslink unit 700111 carrying its new livery.

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has found a new way to show its appreciation for NHS staff and other key workers who have stayed at their posts through the Coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic.

To coincide with the nation’s weekly ‘Clap for our Carers’, the operator of Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express services has wrapped three trains with a message that echoes the brand’s ‘We’re with You’ promise and illustrates the operator’s heartfelt support and gratitude to NHS Staff and the 200,000 key workers who rely on GTR’s services each week.

Steve White, GTR.

GTR’s chief operating officer Steve White said: “We are proud to be supporting the NHS, social care and emergency services during this crisis. We hope that our NHS and Key Worker trains show how grateful we are to those working so very hard to keep people safe and beat this virus.

“There are more than 50 hospitals across our network and we are carrying more than 200,000 key workers each week. The team at GTR appreciates each and every one of them.

“I am also really proud of our teams, key staff themselves, who have worked so hard to support this project.”

The initiative was part-funded by Porterbrook Rail and Cross London Trains and the new train liveries were designed, created and installed, in less than a week, by a team from Aura Brand Solutions, in close collaboration with the team at GTR.

The Thameslink Class 700 train that carries the new special livery is unit number 700111, which was selected to show thanks for the tireless efforts of the NHS’s 111 advice line. The Southern Railway unit is number 377111 for the same reason, but the Great Northern train will be unit 717011, as there are only 25 in the fleet and the numbers don’t reach 111!

Applying the new livery.

As part of the campaign, whilst GTR continues to urge people to follow Public Health England guidance and stay at home, it is also set to announce a social engagement campaign. This will encourage those making essential journeys, who spot the special trains, to share a photo and put their hands together to show support for the heroic work being achieved by the NHS.

Tim Locke, Aura Brand Solutions.

Tim Locke, rail director at Aura Brand Solutions, added: “It’s been a pleasure to work on this project with Govia Thameslink to help highlight and support the incredible work the NHS is doing during these unprecedented times.

“At Aura Brand Solutions, we have remained operational, albeit with a reduced workforce. It’s enabled us to continue to support our customers providing essential services with items such as social distancing floor graphics, safety-critical labelling and livery for the core transport infrastructure and the emergency services across the UK.

“We wrapped the trains using the latest sustainable non-PVC branding technology from 3M.”

Since the Coronavirus outbreak, GTR has worked with hospitals, NHS suppliers, passengers and other stakeholders to make sure its current timetable matches the needs of key workers. Their input was included in the planning of the reduced timetable, responding with adjustments to help passengers get to and from work with the space to maintain social distancing.

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