Jack Thompson wished to be a ‘Station Master’ for the day and train operator Great Western Railway (GWR) made it a reality.
GWR were approached by children’s charity Make-A-Wish UK, who told them about 12-year-old Jack who was born with a brain tumour and is registered blind, and his ambition to work on the railways.
He spent the day working hard and spreading happiness through London Paddington station, checking tickets and riding in the driver’s cab of an Intercity Express Train.
Jack also made a station announcement, dispatched a train from the station and travelled on the 1200 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads service.
“I’ve had the most amazing day. I loved my ride on the train and being shown inside the driver’s cab. I can’t believe how fast it felt being on an Intercity Express Train. That was great fun.”
“I love trains and often ask my mum and dad to take me to the station so I can listen to the trains coming in and out. I also like playing Train Sim World on my PlayStation and driving the Great Western Express to Reading.”
Jack was born with an optic nerve tumour and endured seven rounds of chemotherapy to reduce it and enable him to grow to the average height of a 12-year-old.
He can see shapes and colours in the distance and read signs close up but his vision won’t improve due to nerve damage in his eyes.
GWR Customer Ambassador Jennie Williams took Jack on a tour of the station and said
“it was an absolute pleasure to welcome Jack and wonderful to see his enthusiasm for trains. He’s such a brave lad and has already proved himself to be a real fighter. It was lovely to be able to make it a special day for him.”
Photo credit: Great Western Railway