The announcer now standing ...

COMMUTERS may have noticed an unfamiliar announcer at Newcastle Central Station as Widdrington woman Sue Brayfield took charge.

Ms Brayfield, who lives in Widdrington Station, became the voice of the station for a day on June 13 after winning the opportunity in a fund-raising raffle for Daft As A Brush Cancer Care Trust.

The lucky winner also got the chance to try her hand at train driving in operator East Coast’s simulator, covering the stretch between Newcastle and Alnmouth.

The simulator is an exact replica of the driver’s cab, with all the controls and gauges, while a large colour projector shows the track.

Ms Brayfield, who is a cancer patient at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital, was only too happy to buy a raffle ticket for Daft As A Brush, which provides free transport to and from hospital for cancer patients, and she was delighted to discover she had won.

“The charity raises funds for a very good cause and needs to raise £100,000 a year to keep going,” she said.

“I was delighted when I found out I’d won the chance to try out train announcing – I just hope nobody missed their train when I had a go.

“The train driving simulator is really realistic, right down to the landmarks alongside the track leaving Newcastle. I was amazed to find out how quickly the train driver has to think ahead and react to what’s happening up the line.”

East Coast Newcastle Station Manager Louise Rutherford said: “We like to support local charities whenever we can and we’re delighted to have been able to help by organising this fantastic opportunity for Sue.

“I’m sure Sue thoroughly enjoyed her day with us at Newcastle Station and the next time she hears the station PA system she’ll know what it takes to get those announcements right every time.”