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Message of hope on Ipswich-based train after driver's tragic death

PUBLISHED: 07:30 22 November 2019

Dave Bray from Freightliner, Steve Read from GB Railfreight and Judy Wright from the Samaritans at the train naming ceremony in Ipswich. Picture: PAUL GEATER

Dave Bray from Freightliner, Steve Read from GB Railfreight and Judy Wright from the Samaritans at the train naming ceremony in Ipswich. Picture: PAUL GEATER

Archant

A locomotive has been named to honour the memory of an Ipswich-based train driver who died earlier this year.

The Freightliner locomotive that will take the message across the country. Picture: PAUL GEATERThe Freightliner locomotive that will take the message across the country. Picture: PAUL GEATER

The Freightliner locomotive was named at Ipswich station at a ceremony organised by the company and the Samaritans in memory of the driver who we were asked not to name.

The locomotive "You are Never Alone" will now carry its message across the country at the head of Freightliner trains - the company hauls many of the longest trains leaving Felixstowe for other freight yard across Britain.

As well as staff from Freightliner, there were also friends of the driver from fellow rail operator GB Railfreight which also operates out of Felixstowe and Ipswich.

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At the unveiling Neil McNicholas, from Freightliner, said the naming of the Class 66 locomotive in the company's new livery showed the its commitment to mental health and its hope to support those who felt the need to find someone to talk to.

He said: "As a caring and responsible business, we obviously provide a duty of care to anyone in this situation. However, we always recommend that colleagues turn to the Samaritans for further support should they need it.
"As well as pro-active support following an incident, Samaritans also provide trauma support training, and have also recently joined forces with the rail industry to launch the 'The Million Hour Challenge' where, over the next five years the rail industry is coming together to volunteer one million hours to help Samaritans achieve their vision that fewer people die by suicide.
"The Million Hour Challenge will help Samaritans be there for even more people who are struggling to cope and also aims to improve the mental health and wellbeing of rail industry employees."

Dave Masters from the Samaritans said the message was very important for anyone feeling isolated.

He said: "We want people to know that if they need support they can find someone to talk to. Some people may feel they are alone - but some who have people around them may feel they don't want to burden others with their problems."

The ceremony was also marked by the train drivers' union Aslef and pastors who are able to offer support to staff who might need help.

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