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Rays of Sunshine Children’s Charity and Didcot Railways Centre fulfil 10-year-old’s wish to be a steam train driver


A seriously ill 10-year-old boy from Burton-On-Trent, Staffordshire, had his greatest wish granted to be a steam driver for the day, thanks to Rays of Sunshine and Didcot Railway Centre in Oxfordshire.

Alex, from Staffordshire, is currently living with DiGeorge Syndrome, a rare genetic condition that has caused him to have a range of complications. The condition has meant that the young boy is required to wear splints on his legs and attend regular hospital appointments. Despite what he has been through, the young boy has been extremely brave and he is very kind and caring. Alex also really enjoys Thomas the Tank Engine and this was the inspiration for his greatest wish.

To make Alex’s wish of becoming a Steam Train driver come true, Rays of Sunshine enlisted the help of Didcot Railway Centre, who organised a very special day for the 10-year-old. During his wish, Alex got to enjoy a guided tour of the Centre, including the workshops and signal boxes, with an experienced guide. To make his dream become a reality, he also got the chance to drive and fire the locomotive, as well as being guard of the train.

After his wish, Ian, Alex’s father, commented:

Thank you so much Rays of Sunshine and Didcot Railway Centre for organising Alex’s wish. We had a fantastic time.

Roger Orchard, Railway Centre Manager, added:

“It was our absolute pleasure to have Alex and his family at the Railway Centre to make his wish come true of driving a real Steam Train. Alex made a fantastic Steam Train Driver and it was great to be a part of something so positive and help Rays of Sunshine put a smile on his face.”