TV star on board for rail travel campaign

Donna Train, formerly known as Donna Air, at London Kings Cross at the start of I Love Trains week.

Donna Train, formerly known as Donna Air, at London Kings Cross at the start of I Love Trains week.

First published in News by

TELEVISION star Donna Air is changing her name for seven days to front a new campaign celebrating the joys and adventure of rail travel.

York-based East Coast Trains is encouraging passengers to tell their stories of life on the railways of Britain in their "I love Trains" project.

Already trainspotters have been queuing to record their accounts at the National Railway Museum, including one who as a York schoolboy got into deep trouble in an engine shed.

As she prepared to launch the seven-day festival today, Donna Train, usually known as Donna Air and formerly of The Big Breakfast, Byker Grove and MTV, said: “I think there is something very romantic about a train journey – it’s the perfect opportunity to share some time with a loved one.

"There’s a real sense of adventure, somehow you’re in your own little bubble, and conversations and feelings become more memorable and intimate as you speed through the lovely British countryside.

“I love trains. They’ve been a huge part of my life, and to prove it on social media for this special week, just call me …Donna Train!”

She will use her new name on her Twitter feed.

New research released by the railway company shows that 40 per cent of rail passengers chat to fellow passengers, compared to 15 per cent on flights, 11 per cent on buses and three per cent on London Underground.

This morning, three trainspotters will be at the museum to tell their accounts, including Nick Bielby of York, who was so keen to record engine numbers as a boy, he sneaked into a diesel depot, only to run into straight into the boss and get a talking to.

Special photo booths have been set up at the National Railway Museum and other booths will tour major East Coast stations from London to Edinburgh so that people can get an instant photo that they can put online with their account at the dedicated website ilovetrains.co.uk.

From today until Sunday, passengers and rail fans can share their experiences on the website as well as via twitter using the hashtag #ilovetrainsweek.

East Coast Managing Director Karen Boswell said: “We love trains more than anyone, and we are really proud to be championing what is truly the stalwart of British transport by helping the nation rekindle its love for rail travel with the launch of I Love Trains Week, which celebrates the nostalgia and romance of trains and train travel."

Comments (7)

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10:17am Mon 11 Aug 14

smudge2 says...

Perhaps a name change to Air head or Donna Middleton maybe. ??
Perhaps a name change to Air head or Donna Middleton maybe. ?? smudge2
  • Score: 6

10:38am Mon 11 Aug 14

Ignatius Lumpopo says...

"There’s a real sense of adventure, somehow you’re in your own little bubble, and conversations and feelings become more memorable and intimate as you speed through the lovely British countryside..."

I can't put my finger on precisely which train she's talking about. Is it the commuter-packed standing-room only 0815 York - Manchester on a drizzly Monday morning in November... or perhaps the drink-fuelled supporter-laden 1900 out of Kings Cross on a Saturday evening after Newcastle/Sunderland
/Middlesbrough have been beaten 4-0?

I'm sure both are delightfully memorable in their own way.
"There’s a real sense of adventure, somehow you’re in your own little bubble, and conversations and feelings become more memorable and intimate as you speed through the lovely British countryside..." I can't put my finger on precisely which train she's talking about. Is it the commuter-packed standing-room only 0815 York - Manchester on a drizzly Monday morning in November... or perhaps the drink-fuelled supporter-laden 1900 out of Kings Cross on a Saturday evening after Newcastle/Sunderland /Middlesbrough have been beaten 4-0? I'm sure both are delightfully memorable in their own way. Ignatius Lumpopo
  • Score: 9

10:59am Mon 11 Aug 14

Frodo Baggins says...

TV STAR?
TV STAR? Frodo Baggins
  • Score: 10

3:20pm Mon 11 Aug 14

Joseph 1968 says...

Turn up and buy a ticket? That'll be £8000 please.

Book online? That'll be one way only so we have less responsibility when there's a delay.

Price? Oh, that varies with the wind.
Turn up and buy a ticket? That'll be £8000 please. Book online? That'll be one way only so we have less responsibility when there's a delay. Price? Oh, that varies with the wind. Joseph 1968
  • Score: 2

8:08pm Mon 11 Aug 14

Oncebitten says...

Dear oh dear oh dear.......rearrange the following 3 worded phrase ......."life get a"......
Dear oh dear oh dear.......rearrange the following 3 worded phrase ......."life get a"...... Oncebitten
  • Score: 2

9:05pm Mon 11 Aug 14

AnotherPointofView says...

Is she only changing her name on Twitter? Surely to do the job properly you would be changing your name by deed poll. At least John B&Q Batchelor did (remember him).
Is she only changing her name on Twitter? Surely to do the job properly you would be changing your name by deed poll. At least John B&Q Batchelor did (remember him). AnotherPointofView
  • Score: 3

3:58am Wed 13 Aug 14

Magicman! says...

the joys and adventure of rail travel

Does that 'adventure' include standing at Darwen (near Blackburn) for a train to manchester, only for it to be cancelled and there's an hour wait until the next one...

Perhaps part of the adventure is getting on a Northern train at 4.30pm with an offpeak ticket and being told it's no longer valid until 6.30pm and you have to pay more money to have the pleasure of standing on a jam-packed 30-year-old railbus with all the aerodynamics and speed of a village hall and all the ride quality of a wheelbarrow...

Or perhaps the adventure is having been using the same 6-coach train for several years, turning up one day and finding out that from thereon it's now only half the size, because the government have allowed the company owning the trains to send some of those carriages to a train company serving the Home Counties instead
[quote]the joys and adventure of rail travel[/quote] Does that 'adventure' include standing at Darwen (near Blackburn) for a train to manchester, only for it to be cancelled and there's an hour wait until the next one... Perhaps part of the adventure is getting on a Northern train at 4.30pm with an offpeak ticket and being told it's no longer valid until 6.30pm and you have to pay more money to have the pleasure of standing on a jam-packed 30-year-old railbus with all the aerodynamics and speed of a village hall and all the ride quality of a wheelbarrow... Or perhaps the adventure is having been using the same 6-coach train for several years, turning up one day and finding out that from thereon it's now only half the size, because the government have allowed the company owning the trains to send some of those carriages to a train company serving the Home Counties instead Magicman!
  • Score: 0

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