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13 March 2013 – In April 2013, the Northern Belle will contribute to making many deserving families’ dreams come true when it donates the entire train and services for a night to raise money for the ‘When You Wish Upon A Star’ children’s charity. 

The Northern Belle will depart from Manchester Victoria on 13th April taking a host of celebrities, parents and supporters of the charity on a journey like no other. Music mogul and railway enthusiast, Pete Waterman, will be at the helm in the engine cab hauling the seven gleaming carriages of the Northern Belle as the train approaches Manchester Victoria station, kicking off an evening to remember, supporting a truly fantastic cause.

Tickets are priced at £235 each with all proceeds going to When You Wish Upon A Star. The trip is expected to raise £70,000, enough to send 100 children and their families to Lapland in December for a memorable Christmas surprise. 

Direct Rail Services (DRS)¬ have generously donated the engine and driver for the trip and Network Rail have kindly provided the track access. Laurent-Perrier and Boutinot Wine have provided the Champagne and wines and many other Northern Belle suppliers have offered supplies and ingredients for the onboard team of expert chefs to prepare a sumptuous five-course menu for the journey.

Commenting on the special journey, Maria Moseley, Manager for When You Wish Upon A Star says,” The fantastic Northern Belle team, working together with DRS, are spreading a little fairy dust by donating their iconic train for our fundraising dinner on 13th April. The amazing donation of total ticket sales will turn the dreams of some very sick children into a reality, when they fly to Lapland for a special meeting with Santa Claus and Rudolph, in their home in the Arctic Circle this December.”

Several celebrities have offered their support to make sure the event is a great success and the fundraising total keeps rising. Julie Hesmondhalgh, who plays the character Hayley Cropper in Coronation Street, comments, "Our evening on the Northern Belle for When You Wish Upon A Star is one we are so looking forward to. The romance of the whole experience in such elegant surroundings, with such a beautiful dinner and good company, will only be enhanced by the fact that we are raising money for such a wonderful and worthwhile cause."


For further information, please contact Anna Nash or Emma Wylde at Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. on 0203 117 1377 or anna.nash@orient-express.com, emma.wylde@orient-express.com 

Editors Note:

Northern Belle was inaugurated 31st May 2000. The first classic luxury train of the millennium, Northern Belle revels in the bygone era of the golden age of travel.  Its name reflects the great ‘Belle’ trains of the 1930s, and with each carriage bearing the name of a significant stately home or castle, and furnished with commissioned designs, fabrics and marquetry, it is truly a celebration of British heritage and skills.

Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. is highly committed to the implementation of sustainable and responsible tourism practices, going to great lengths to ensure our properties and staff engage with their local communities and environments in a positive manner.  We operate in many regions around the world with cultural heritage and environmental sensitivities and we do our best to avoid negative impacts on this heritage and environment.  Where appropriate, we also endeavour to enhance these assets through our activities.  As a member of the International Tourism Partnership, we work together with the people and places around our businesses in ways that are appropriate to each location. 

‘When You Wish Upon A Star’ is a charity whose primary aim is to grant the wishes of children with a life threatening or terminal illness. When You Wish Upon A Star attempts to make their dream come true and provide happy and precious memories for the families of these special children. Time is not always on their side. Please help us to carry on making magical memories; so that the children can say ‘When I Wished Upon A Star’ my dream really did come true!

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