Sir Peter Hendy, Chairman of Network Rail, has shown his support for a charity Auction of Experiences, organised by the Railway Benefit Fund as part of their Railway Family Week event. Sir Peter has himself donated a one of a kind experience to the auction: a trip out on his own London Routemaster bus for 63 guests. The prize winner will be chauffeured around the key sights of London – a unique and not to be forgotten experience.

The Auction of Experiences has seen the rail industry come together to donate fabulous prizes all for a great cause. All money raised from the auction will go directly to the Railway Benefit Fund- the only UK charity solely dedicated to supporting railway people and their dependants. In the past 12 months the RBF have seen a real increase in demand for their services, which is why they have organised Railway Family Week- a fundraising event designed to bring the entire rail industry together, held from 26th April to 2nd May.

One of the more unusual prizes up for grabs in the auction is a Hovercraft VIP Experience with Hovertravel, who operate the fastest service between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. This special experience for up to 70 people will include a behind the scenes look at the world’s only commercial scheduled passenger hovercraft service. There will also be a chance to meet the Pilots and Crew who fly these 45-tonne craft just metres above the sea, at speeds of up to 45 knots. Neil Chapman, Managing Director of Hovertravel, said:

“We are delighted to donate a Hovertravel VIP Experience to the Railway Benefit Fund’s Auction of Experience. We know that the RBF do amazing work and we believe that our VIP experience will appeal to people of all ages, who want to fly on our unique craft and learnt about this great British invention.”

Network Rail have also generously donated a range of exclusive money can’t buy rail experiences. Among these include a trip on Scotland’s Helicopter, a walking experience across the Ribblehead Viaduct, and the opportunity to record your own announcement at Euston Station. Sir Peter Hendy, Chairman of Network Rail, said:

“I’d like everyone in the Railway Family to show their support for the Railway Benefit Fund. The Railway Family has done its very best in the last 12 months. Railway people have made an enormous impression on Britain by keeping going during these tough times, and the Railway Benefit Fund stands behind our family to help them when help’s needed. I think it’s a great thing to support. Please do all you can – I am.”

One prize which has generated a buzz is a visit to the British Transport Police Dog School. With this prize you will receive a behind the scenes tour and see the training in action. BTP have over 60 working dogs across the network, and they all begin their careers at this training school, which is located in Kent.

These are only a few of the incredible experiences up for grabs. There are over 30 prizes available to bid on in this online auction, ranging from behind the scenes tours, a bus driving experience, cab rides and even a cottage stay in Northumberland.

Claire Houghton, CEO of RBF, said: “We are delighted to have launched our Auction of Experiences, which has so many money can’t buy rail experiences up for grabs. RBF would like to say thank you to all those who have donated a prize for our auction- your generosity will raise a lot of money for the charity!”

The Auction of Experiences for Railway Family Week closes on the 26th April at 6pm. View all of the prizes on offer and make your bid here: