390155 Railway Benefit Fund - Runcorn

Avanti West Coast names Pendolino train in honour of Railway Benefit Fund

Iconic Pendolino train named 'Railway Benefit Fund' in recognition of charity.

  • Avanti West Coast Pendolino train named in honour of railway charity
  • Celebrity Pete Waterman joins guests at a ceremony to unveil new name
  • Event marks the start of the charity’s Railway Family Week

Avanti West Coast has named one of its Pendolino trains ‘Railway Benefit Fund’ to mark the start of the charity’s week of fundraising. 

The charity’s president and record producer Pete Waterman, a long-time supporter of the railway, joined a small number of invited guests including attendees from Network Rail, Alstom (who maintain Avanti West Coast’s fleet) and other train operating companies at a ceremony at Liverpool Lime Street station.

They unveiled the new name as part of the drive to kickstart Railway Family Week which is hoped will raise £50,000 for good causes.

The Pendolino, number 390155, is expected to travel over a quarter of a million miles in ‘the next year, helping to raise the profile of the charity and highlight their support to railway families, past and present, who have fallen on hard times.



“It’s a real privilege for the Railway Benefit Fund to be recognised in this way,” enthused Pete Waterman. “The Pendolino is such an iconic train and we can’t thank Avanti West Coast enough for their support. It’s been a tough year for everyone, especially charities, so this week is all about raising money to fund the great work the Railway Benefit Fund does to support railway families up and down the country.”

In the past year, the charity has supported the ‘railway family’ in many ways, with help ranging from financial assistance to funding of home schooling equipment for children during lockdown.

“We’re extremely proud that one of our Pendolino trains will bear the name ‘Railway Benefit Fund,” said Phil Whittingham, Managing Director at Avanti West Coast.

“The charity has been supporting our people and the wider industry for over 160 years and we couldn’t think of a better way to show our support for the Railway Family Week.”

Tim Shoveller, managing director for Network Rail’s North West & Central region and Railway Benefit Fund chairman, said: “The past year has been tough for so many people, including our railway family who’ve worked tirelessly to ensure key workers and millions of tonnes of critical goods (like medicine and food) can continue to travel across the country.

“This event is a great way to kick off Railway Family Week. Colleagues across the industry have been using the charity’s founding year, 1858, to complete challenges to help raise £50,000 so the RBF can continue supporting those in need. I’ll be completing my challenge this week by swimming 1858m non-stop.”

Contact Information

Richard Stanton

Avanti West Coast


Notes to editors

About Avanti West Coast

Avanti West Coast, operator of intercity rail services on the West Coast Main Line, is a joint venture between FirstGroup and Trenitalia, delivering a cleaner, greener railway that drives the West Coast forward.

We’re on a mission to revolutionise train travel, linking together the towns and major cities of the UK to create an iconic railway the country can be proud of. We’ve got big plans including a fleet of new intercity trains, as well as the complete refurbishment of the existing Pendolino train fleet. We will introduce more train services every week with new routes added, and a much-improved onboard service with enhanced free Wi-Fi, plug sockets, 25,000 brand new seats and improved catering. Since 8 December, passengers have benefitted from improved passenger compensation, available for journeys delayed by just 15 minutes.

For the latest news, visit the Avanti West Coast Media Room: https://newsdesk.avantiwestcoast.co.uk/

Press Office: 0845 000 3333                                                                                                                 

About Railway Benefit Fund

The Railway Benefit Fund is the charity that solely supports railway people and their families. Founded in 1858, and now based in Crewe, they offer bespoke care and advice to railway families to help them through tough times.

The Railway Family Week is being held from 26-30 April, 2021 with the aim of raising £50,000 with a series of events around the UK linked to the 1858 challenge.