Thank you to the NHS and key workers
Published 16 April 2020 | Average read time
4 min read
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The railway has come together to say a huge thank you to the National Health Service and key workers, and salute their crucial efforts in getting Britain through the coronavirus outbreak.

In recent weeks, Network Rail, railway stations and train operators have shown their appreciation by turning infrastructure NHS blue, clapping for carers each Thursday at 8pm with the rest of the country and more:

Blue light up

Last week, Glasgow Queen Street and Leeds City stations became the latest structures on the railway to light up blue for the NHS – following in the footsteps of Scottish rail icon the Glenfinnan Viaduct.

Alex Hynes, managing director of Scotland’s Railway, said: “We are delighted to illuminate  the new glass façade of Glasgow Queen Street Station as a symbol of public support for the vital and fantastic work of NHS staff who are tackling the coronavirus.

“We are hugely grateful to everyone in the NHS and all key workers across the country, including those in our railway family, who are playing a massive role in supporting all of us across the country at this time.”

The illumination of Glasgow Queen Street’s new glass façade came as people throughout the country once again joined in a mass round of applause at 8pm that Thursday to thank NHS staff for their incredible work.

Gallery: Glasgow Queen Street and Leeds City stations

The Glenfinnan Viaduct in the Highlands lights up blue:

Station teams show their appreciation

Network Rail’s Paddington station team showed their appreciation for the NHS and their neighbours at St Mary’s Hospital with a giant banner at the side of the station, where the hospital workers can see it:

Mustaq Haji, Network Rail’s London Paddington station manager, said: “We are proud of everyone at the NHS including all of those at St Mary’s Hospital which is next to us here at Paddington.

“A lot of NHS staff are still using the railway to get to and from work and we are doing all we can to show our appreciation inside the station.

“However, we wanted to make sure those NHS staff that perhaps don’t use the station know how grateful we are for everything they are doing.”

At Reading station, a huge blue heart on the staircase near the main entrance covering more than 44 steps:

Free parking

Elsewhere, we’re doing what we can to support the NHS and other key workers. On April 1, we announced free parking for key workers at 24 locations across Britain.

By downloading the APCOA Connect App and following a set of simple instructions, key workers from nurses and carers, to transport workers and supermarket employees, can park for free at locations across the country, including at London Paddington, Birmingham New Street and York, until 30 April.

Birmingham New Street station now offers free parking for key workers this month

Station shop becomes NHS clinic

An empty shop at Birmingham New Street has turned into a clinic for the NHS

An empty shop at Birmingham New Street station became an NHS clinic for patients to have routine blood tests away from hospital.

We’re providing the former retail space for free to medics for six months to alleviate pressure on Midlands hospitals as they deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

The temporary phlebotomy clinic will be staffed by the University Hospitals Birmingham trust and tests will be carried out by appointment only.

Read more:

Coronavirus: how we have responded so far

NHS staff help make protective gear for the NHS