Southern train crew thank key workers in music video

Bernie Barnaville, Harry McCormick and Ricky Duggins perform for the NHS.

A classic American gospel song, made famous by Johnny Cash and Mumford & Sons, has been rewritten and reworked by two Southern Rail conductors and a train driver at Eastbourne to praise key workers and raise money for the many NHS staff who travel on their services every day.

Conductor Bernie Barnaville had the idea to create a song and was joined by colleague and musician Ricky Duggins and driver Harry McCormick.

The lyrics for the song, first recorded in 1922 by Sister Rosetta Tharpe, have been altered somewhat for the 2020 Coronavirus (COVID-19) version:

All aboard and lend a hand
For the NHS to free the land
This train is bound for glory this train.
This train will the keep people moving, this train…

Bernie Barnaville said: “It’s a collaboration between a lot of us at Eastbourne, and we wanted to show as key workers ourselves, we support those who put themselves on the front line every day.”

Harry McCormick added: “We know it won’t be a Captain Tom but we think it will make a difference. We hope people can visit our JustGiving page to climb aboard the train and do their bit.”

Jamie Cleary, Southern.

Conductor manager for Eastbourne Jamie Cleary is pleased with the team: “I think it’s brilliant – Bernie said he wanted to do something to support the NHS and I’m completely behind it.

“People know about the NHS workers we’re carrying to work, but they may forget about the postmen, the teachers and everyone else, who travel each day for all kinds of work – so we wanted to remember them.”

Southern is running an amended timetable during the Coronavirus lockdown, with all Gatwick Express services suspended, although Southern and Thameslink trains are still calling at Gatwick several times each hour.

Angie Doll, Southern.

Angie Doll, Southern and Gatwick Express managing director, wanted to add her thanks to the efforts of everyone on the railway: “I’m so proud of everyone across the railway family who is working to keep our services running for key workers, including the NHS.”

Southern, along with many other train operators, is introducing a new timetable from Sunday 17 May to expand capacity while making it easier for passengers to maintain social distancing. Passengers may be asked to queue to enter some larger, busier stations. 

Government advice is still that, if people cannot work from home and have to travel for work, they should first consider alternatives to public transport.

This Train

The Eastbourne team’s amended lyrics, shown abridged below, recognise key workers from retail staff, to teachers and the NHS, highlighting the work Southern colleagues are doing to keep trains clean and people moving:

This train is bound for glory, this train;
All aboard and lend a hand
For the NHS to free the land
This train is bound for glory this train.
This train will the keep people moving, this train
Retail staff who keep us fed, the NHS cause they’re the best
This train will keep the people moving, this train
All aboard and lend a hand
For the NHS to free the land
This train is bound for glory this train
This train will keep the kids learning, this train
Taking teachers to the schools, keep on teaching with basic tools
All aboard and lend a hand, for the NHS to free the land
This train is bound for glory this train
This train is cleaned right through, this train
This train is cleaned right through, cleaned right through by the Eastbourne crew
All aboard and lend a hand
For the NHS to free the land
This train is bound for glory this train
This train is bound for freedom, Key workers are more than welcome.

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