ScotRail have raised £505 after 15 bids in a charity auction for Poppy Scotland which closed on December 11.
The charity auction took place on the online marketing website Ebay, after it was launched on December 4.
Giving members of the public a rare chance to use the state-of-the-art Class 334 Training simulator in Glasgow Central Station for a solid hour along with three friends, including a return ticket to winner’s local station.
A ScotRail Alliance Spokesperson said: “We’re over the moon to see such a fantastic sum donated for this rare opportunity. Poppy Scotland does invaluable work supporting those who serve- or have served- our country. Every single penny raised in this auction will be going to help them continue this.
“We are proud to be long standing partners of Poppy Scotland. In 2017, the first time we supported the campaign nationally, we raised £57,892.49.”
When Abellio took on the ScotRail franchise they agreed with Transport Scotland that they would make four slots every year of the train simulator available to charities, which raised over £2,000 since the franchise started in 2015 – including the £505 raised for Poppy Scotland.
A ScotRail Alliance Spokesperson said: “Auctioning the simulator sessions allows us to share our state-of-the-art training facilities with people who otherwise would not get a chance to experience anything like it, while also raising money for good causes.
While the train simulator auction raises a lot of money for Poppy Scotland, they also carry out other smaller duties by placing collecting tins at every staffed station during the annual appeal, welcoming in collectors and hosting Poppy-up shops on stations in the run-up to the 11 November and issuing a number of free-on-duty travel passes for their staff.
However, ScotRail’s main charity is done in association with MND Scotland. They help people affected by Motor Neurone Disease and fund research into a cure for the condition. Last month they announced that they surpassed their annual fundraising target of £50,000 in just seven months ahead their deadline of March 2018 and have beaten many expectations.
The Train simulator will give the winner the unique experience to drive a simulated route of the currently used Class 334 fleet used mainly around Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire – including Helensburgh, Balloch, Airdrie and Cumbernauld. It also runs to Edinburgh Waverley via Bathgate.
As well as this, ScotRail have the Class 170 diesel train simulator, which is used on express services such as those between Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness.
However, the train simulator can be used by anyone via accommodated requests from staff or members of the public. Last year, ScotRail invited a five-year-old boy to become a train driver for a day after his father passed away just before Christmas.
The simulator has two roles but is mainly used for assessing qualified train drivers’ performance, as it tests their understanding of rules and procedures of train driving while testing them on rarely encountered situations in real life. The second function is to allow trainee drivers the opportunity to put the theory they learned in the classroom to the test.
The simulator centre is in use between 7am and 7pm on Monday and Friday