A team from Network Rail recently took part in a 28-mile walk from Woking station to London Waterloo to raise money for Railway Children. More than £3,500 has been raised so far.

Network Rail’s Clapham maintenance delivery unit – the base for those responsible for the maintenance of the railway in the Clapham area – initiated the idea of a charity walk in aid of the Railway Children charity, which was founded in 1995 by former head of safety policy for British Rail, David Maidment OBE.

The 29-strong team completed the walk on Friday, May 17, and were joined by a further 11 walkers (as well as a dog!) who supported the walk by joining for a leg or two. The walkers made excellent progress and arrived at London Waterloo an hour ahead of schedule.

Railway Children helps vulnerable children in India, Tanzania and the UK who are at risk on the streets and across transport networks to rewrite their future. The charity works in partnership with transport operators and the transport community to set up networks that identify children at risk and help get them to safety.

Railway Children provides outreach, advocacy and support services to vulnerable children living on the streets or at risk of exploitation around railway stations, offering shelter, education and opportunities for rehabilitation.

Jack Roberts, Network Rail project manager who helped organise the walk, said: “The walk from Woking to Waterloo was an amazing day and certainly one for the memory banks. I’d like to thank everyone involved in the organising and all those who took part.

“It was particularly amazing that everyone finished an hour before the Google Maps prediction, with some nearly three hours ahead of schedule.

“Railway Children is a charity that is close to the hearts of all of us on the Wessex route and we are proud to support them through this activity.”

David Maidment OBE, founder of Railway Children, said“The walk that Network Rail colleagues completed from Woking to Waterloo in aid of Railway Children is very fitting as Railway Children was launched from Waterloo station.

“Almost 30 years later I remain so thankful for our relationship with the rail industry and the vital support of fundraising events such as this that enable us to meet the needs of children and young people around the world who are vulnerable and at risk.”

Network Rail owns, operates and develops Britain's railway infrastructure – 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. It runs 20 of Britain's largest stations while the others, more than 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in Britain and over 600 freight trains run on the network. Passenger journeys, says Network Rail, have doubled over the past 20 years.

To sponsor the walkers and donate to Railway Children, please visit: www.justgiving.com/page/walktheduchallenge