The A1 Trust is honoured to be providing the motive power for British leg of a private charter commemorating the Kindertransport trains and celebrating the life of an extraordinary man, Sir Nicholas Winton, who rescued 669 mainly Jewish children from Nazi occupied Czechoslovakia in the summer of 1939. Originating in Prague, the train has followed the route taken by the life-saving originals which allowed many Jewish children to escape the holocaust in Czechoslovakia. Now 100, Sir Nicholas will be meeting this unique train, hauled by a unique locomotive, Tornado, as guest of honour at Liverpool Street station.
With the benefit of hindsight it is now known how the kindertransports meant the difference between life and death. But that was far from clear-cut in the summer of 1939. The temptation to simply acquiesce, to turn a blind eye, or even to go into denial was often stronger than the motivation to take some positive action by putting your own head above the parapet. Yet the latter is what some people did. As Sir Nicholas enters his twilight years one might hope that he can leave the world a better place. It is here that The Winton Train provides a unique link between the past and the future. The children of the kindertansports had a future only thanks to Sir Nicholas’ selflessness. Sir Nicholas has always denied being a hero, but many people would not have done what he did. It is to be hoped that the example set by Sir Nicholas 70 years ago, and this commemoration of it, will inspire the next generation to such actions in the future.
The Winton Train – Harwich Parkeston Quay to London Liverpool Street arriving 10:37 (platform 10). This is the final leg of a Prague to London private charter by steam locomotive. It is being run by Czech Railways and sponsored by the Czech government, dedicated to their EU Presidency. It has the theme of “Inspiration by Goodness”. See www.wintontrain.eu
Harwich Int: 09.12hrs
London Liverpool Street: 10:37hrs