DRS Open Day 2016 – A Great Success

DRS’s Flagship event took place on Saturday 23rd July 2016 at our Gresty Bridge Depot in Crewe and was officially opened by DRS Managing Director Debbie Francis.
The annual event raises money for charitable causes and we are delighted to announce that a record braking £21,000 was raised at this year’s event ………….Thank you everyone!

The ever popular event has grown over the years and is now seen as one of the biggest railway events of the year. This year we welcomed over 4,000 visitors who were keen to take a look behind the scenes.

We would like to thank everyone who visited the 2016 Open Day. All monies raised will be donated via DRS’s Sponsorship & Donations Committee who provide and manage assistance to local communities around the sites where DRS operate through sponsorships, charitable giving and employee participation in local and national fundraising events. Last year DRS were able to support over 50 different causes and donated over £17,000.00 via the Sponsorship & Donations fund.

DRS recognise that Corporate Social Responsibility is a long-term commitment and we will continue to review, research and introduce new initiatives as they are identified. The Open Day itself is a great opportunity for us to engage with stakeholders, celebrate the industry and promote safety. We take our responsibility as a considerate neighbour seriously and are committed to go the extra mile to contribute towards economic development while improving the quality of life of our workforce, their families and the communities in which we operate.

The 2016 Open Day saw around 20% of our fleet on display with as much variety as possible. From the Class 37 locomotive to the Class 68 there really was something for everyone. For those with a more technical interest, the maintenance shed was open allowing access to the cabs of locomotives including the Class 68 where Stadler Rail also had a variety of engine parts on display.  This kind of access cannot be found anywhere else and is a privilege we are proud to offer.

DRS volunteers were on hand to chat to visitors and explain what is involved in maintaining the DRS fleet and provide technical information. The event also provides the industry with an opportunity to promote railway safety as well as the career and apprenticeship opportunities available.


The Rail Safety & Standards Board (RSSB), Network Rail and their Safety Bus, British Transport Police as well as Sammy the Safety Bear from Virgin Trains were all able to support the event, highlighting how they help to keep the UK Rail Network safe for us all.




The event saw DRS celebrate three naming ceremonies. The first to be unveiled was 37424, now carrying the name ‘Avro Vulcan XH558’ and renumbered 37558.  Vulcan XH558 is owned and operated by Vulcan to the Sky Trust, a British charity established to maintain and operate the aircraft.  Following the event, Trust Chairman, John Sharman, who carried out the official naming ceremony said: “I am absolutely delighted that we have entered  into a mutually beneficial partnership with such a prestigious and well known company as DRS. I am sure that our supporters will delight in seeing the name ‘Avro Vulcan XH558’ once again being carried around the country by such a fine machine, which not only carries the same name and registration number, but was also built in the early 60’s at the Vulcan Foundry in Newton-le-Willows by English Electric – a classic synergy with both the Vulcan and Canberra and like them, an outstanding example of British innovation and engineering prowess.”  The Class 37 Diesel-Electric locomotive was purchased by DRS in 2015 with the objective of carrying out a major refurbishment programme and returning her to mainline working.

The second naming ceremony was 47712. The Class 47 locomotive was withdrawn from service by Direct Rail Services in 2011 and later purchased by Crewe Diesel Preservation Group in 2013. Built at Brush Traction, Loughborough and entering traffic on 10th August 1966 as D1948 the loco went onto be renumbered 47505 in 1973. In 1979 it was fitted with TDM push pull equipment to work on the 100 mph Glasgow Edinburgh express services. Crewe Diesel Preservation Group has re numbered the loco 47712 and repainted in her original Scotrail livery. Debbie Francis, MD for DRS was honoured to carry out the unveiling and renaming ceremony of the locomotive ‘Lady Diana Spencer’.

The third naming was carried out by a lucky visitor who entered into a prize draw to perform the unveiling. DRS were delighted when D1944 was offered by Jeremy Hosking, founder of Locomotive Storage Limited for display at the Open Day showcasing her two tone green livery and celebrating the renaming of the locomotive as ‘Craftsman’.

DRS would like to thank all traders and exhibitors for their support and Stoke on Trent Sixth Form College who were our official photographers of the event. Special thanks goes to the open day planning team, without their dedication and enthusiasm the event would not be possible and of course the teams of volunteers who work the event.



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