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Crawley train fan Dave in charity bid to visit all GB railway stations in just 6 weeks!

A control room train services manager for Govia Thameslink Railway hopes to set a new record – by visiting all 2,580 of Great Britain’s railway stations in just six weeks.

Dave Jones from Three Bridges, West Sussex, expects to average 62 stations a day in England, Wales and Scotland, which he’s charting on social media as his ‘Great British Rail Adventure’.

His trains have to stop at every station for them to qualify. Two workmates helped with the mammoth task of mapping his journey on a Word document. They used their railway industry train tracking system and National Rail Enquiries.

His colleagues now have a 6ft by 2ft map of the Great Britain and a small image of Dave to move around to track his progress as he updates them on his latest position via social media.

Dave said: “I’ll be sleeping on board wherever I can. I’ll be on my own so the thing I’m dreading most is keeping my mental health going. Some people call me brave. Some people call me bonkers. And some people call me other things which I can’t repeat.”

Dave set off from Three Bridges station, home to the Sussex Rail Operating Centre where he works and has been stopping at as many stations as possible when not on shift but tomorrow (28 February) he’s taking just over a month’s leave so he can pack in as much travel as possible.

A man sits at a desk with four monitors around him.
Dave Jones at his desk in the Sussex Rail Operating Centre, Three Bridges. ©Govia Thameslink Railway

Raising money for charity

“It’s all for charity,” said Dave. “I’m splitting the money I raise between Great Ormond Street Hospital and the children’s intensive care unit at the Oslo University Hospital. I referee Sunday park football and the Oslo hospital saved a friend’s life when she was refereeing there on tour. She had a nasty freak accident on the pitch that split her spleen. If it hadn’t been for the medics, this would have been more of a memorial trip. I also want to highlight how great the railways are and encourage people to visit fantastic destinations across the network.”

As well as the stations of suburbia and Britain’s 86 counties, Dave’s trip will take him to the Isle of Wight and the Island Line’s eight stations, but he’s most looking forward to the scenic routes of the West Highlands, Cornwall and Wales.

Only two other people are known to have visited all the stations in Great Britain. Geoff Marshall and Vicki Pipe completed their tour in 2017 and charted their trip on YouTube. They weren’t racing the clock and took a ‘leisurely’ 14 weeks, 6 days and 22 minutes. There were also only 2,563 stations then – 17 fewer than today.

Geoff Marshall said: “I take my hat off to Dave. He must be mad to try this! Good luck to him.”

Dave’s fundraising page is here. You can also follow him on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. His handles are Twitter (X) @railadventure89 and Instagram greatbritishrailadventure

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