London Overground has donated a total of £66,114 to two railway charities after running guided public tours through the historic Brunel rail tunnel, which runs under the Thames on the East London line.
London Overground was able to organise and run the tours during the Bank Holiday weekend of 24-26 May when the section of the East London Line, which includes the tunnel, was closed for the London Overground five-carriage capacity improvement programme and Crossrail engineering works. London Overground's capacity improvement programme (LOCIP) will boost capacity on the line by 25 per cent.
While handing over cheques for £33,057 each to the Brunel Museum in Rotherhithe and the Railway Children charity earlier this week, Transport for London's London Overground Director Mike Stubbs, said: `We are very pleased that these two very worthwhile charities can benefit from these donations which are funded entirely from the ticket sales for tours of the Brunel tunnel.
`Thanks must go to those members of the public whose enthusiastic response - tickets sold out within eight hours - enabled the tours to be such a success. Giving the public access to the tunnel when possible is a great way to use this historic London asset to raise funds for charity and a great way to give access to the eighth wonder of the world.'
Railway Children Commercial Director, Steve Frost, said: `From everyone at Railway Children, a huge thank you to London Overground for raising such an incredible amount of money that will help us reach more vulnerable children alone and at risk on the streets.`
Brunel Museum Director, Robert Hulse, said: `A big thank you to London Overground which has shown us continued support over the years. We will use the money to turn the Brunel tunnel shaft into a community space and exhibition hall.`
Just under 4000 people were taken through the 800m long tunnel walk by 85 volunteer guides from Transport for London staff.
Pictures of the presentation are available on request.