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The John Farrow Salute


Wednesday 18 August 2021

UK Railtours are proud to present an incredibly special train to celebrate and remember the life of a great railwayman, respected businessman and true gentleman.

John’s involvement with railtours first began when he was working for British Rail, running occasional tours for the Lea Valley Railway Club. This was followed by the formation of Hertfordshire Railtours and later UK Railtours, which under his command both proved to be hugely successful and respected names in the charter train world.

Sadly John passed away on Sunday 19th April 2020, having contracted Covid-19 while at The Royal Free Hospital in London where he was being treated for bowel cancer. As is befitting, all profits generated by today’s train will be donated to The Royal Free Charity.

Our special train will be hauled throughout by a steam locomotive that would have worked through  Sherborne on a regular basis in the days of steam, Merchant Navy Class 35028 ‘Clan Line’. As one of John’s favourite locomotives, an image of Clan Line takes pride of place on the memorial plaque where his ashes lie and so it is very fitting for today’s train.

The train departs from London Victoria, calling also at Clapham Junction, Staines and Woking. From here our journey is via Basingstoke and the delightfully unspoilt station at Salisbury where we pause to take water. Then it’s on down the Blackmore Vale, passing the Somerset & Dorset junction station of Templecombe, to arrive at Sherborne.

Nestled in the delightful Blackmore Vale, Sherborne is everything you could possibly expect of a town in beautiful rural Dorset. The whole place abounds in wonderful old buildings built of ochre yellow stone. There are welcoming pubs, cafes and interesting old shops.

Its crowning glory, Sherborne Abbey, is recognised as being the finest building in the whole county. Simon Jenkins, author of ‘England’s Thousand Best Churches’ said of the abbey: ‘I would pit Sherborne’s roof against any contemporary work of the Italian Renaissance’. Thirteen centuries later it is still renowned for its choir, its music and its great bells. The Abbey is no more than a five minute level walk from the station.

We are extremely grateful to the Parish Secretary at Sherborne Abbey for her invaluable help in arranging a unique memorial service especially for John. You have at least a three hour break so there will be plenty of time to explore the town as well as to enjoy the memorial service and pay your respects.

All fares include a contribution to Sherborne Abbey for the memorial service. First Class Dining includes the Great British Breakfast and a Four Course Dinner. A refreshment trolley will be available for those not dining. First Class Dining is not available from, or back to Woking.

Please be aware that for your safety and that of all staff and crew, this railtour will operate in line with government guidelines as they stand at the time of running. This could include, among other measures, the wearing of face coverings at all times (while not eating or drinking) on board the train, as well as at Victoria and in the Abbey. Full details of required covid-safe measures will be provided with your tickets approximately two weeks before the trip runs.

Please be aware that for your safety and that of all staff and crew, this railtour will operate in line with government guidelines as they stand at the time of running. This could include, among other measures, the wearing of face coverings at all times (while not eating or drinking) when on board the train, at stations, on road coaches and at off train locations where applicable. Full details of required covid-safe measures will be provided with your tickets approximately two weeks before the trip runs.

All timings are provisional and intended only as a guide.

ClassPrice Availability
First Class Dining£229Fully Booked
First Class Dining Party of Four£896Fully Booked
Standard Adult£125Good
Standard Junior£115Good
StationDepartArrive
London Victoria08.4521.15
Clapham Junction09.0021.00
Staines09.3020.20
Woking10.0019.40

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