Thameslink makes dream come true for train-mad Alfie

Thameslink makes dream come true for train-mad Alfie
Photo supplied

By Jill Dando News

Thameslink made dreams come true for one train-mad eight-year-old when they gave him a ride in the cab of one of their services and helped him make passenger announcements.

The brilliant Alfie Palmer, from Barton Hills, Luton, has Spina bifida and uses a wheelchair.

He came to Thameslink’s attention when he appeared on Justin Dealey’s weekend BBC Three Counties Radio show. Justin had fixed it for Alfie and his dad to see Luton play, as Alfie is also mad about the Hatters.

During the show, Alfie told Justin he loved trains and wanted to be a train driver. Justin called Thameslink and the trip was set up.

Photo supplied -

Thameslink driver, Competency Manager Barry Minall said: “As soon as we heard about Alfie’s love of trains, we wanted to make that dream come true. He can’t take to the driver’s cab just yet but we arranged the next best thing – a trip in a cab. And – never-say-never – his wheelchair may be an issue in driving a train now but who knows how things might change in the future!”

Ready for the off - Alfie Palmer.jpeg
Photo supplied -

Barry and station manager Joe Healy met Alfie, his dad, Kevin and mum, Lisa, at Luton Airport Parkway station. Gifted a high-visibility vest and whistle, Alfie joined station assistants on platform 2 and announced the arrival of trains. 

The party then boarded the 11:23 to Bedford and on arrival, Dad lifted Alfie into the rear end driver’s seat of another service for the return trip.


Alfie’s excitement was palpable as he sat at the rear of the train, looking down the line from the driver’s perspective. Under the watchful eye of Barry, he made announcements to delighted passengers on board.

Alfie said: “It was great. It was text book! It really has made my dream come true."

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