Great Western Railway and Network Rail ‘Light the Darkness’ to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day

Paddington station was bathed in purple light by Great Western Railway (GWR) and Network Rail (NR) today (Friday), in a moment of remembrance for Holocaust Memorial Day.

As part of Holocaust Memorial Day Trust’s (HMDT) campaign to ‘Light the Darkness’, the London station, along with those at Reading and Bristol Temple Meads, was illuminated at 1600 to allow rail travellers and colleagues the opportunity to share in the national moment of quiet reflection.

The illuminated stations will join dozens of other landmarks across the country, including The London Eye, Magdalen College Tower in Oxford, Exeter Guildhall and Cardiff Castle.

GWR also displayed the official Holocaust Memorial Day candle on the following station screens across the Great Western network:

  • Bristol Parkway
  • Didcot Parkway
  • Exeter St Davids
  • Gloucester
  • Maidenhead
  • Oxford
  • Plymouth
  • Reading
  • Slough
  • Swindon
  • Taunton
  • Westbury

Households were also encouraged to light candles and safely put them in their windows to remember those who were murdered for who they were and stand against prejudice and hatred today.

This year, the moment was marked at 1600 rather than 2000 to ensure the Jewish community can also observe Shabbat, the Jewish Day of Rest.

Holocaust Memorial Day is marked each year on January 27th. It is the international day to remember the six million Jewish people murdered during the Holocaust, alongside the millions of other people killed under Nazi persecution of other groups and during more recent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur.

People can become part of the conversation about ‘Light the Darkness’ online by sharing a photo of their candle and tagging HMDT on Twitter (@HMD_UK), Facebook (HMD.UK) or Instagram (@holocaustmemorialdaytrust), and by using the hashtags #HolocaustMemorialDay and #LightTheDarkness.

Holocast logos

GWR’s Head of Stations, James Adeshiyan said:

“GWR is proud to work with the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust and Network Rail to allow customers and colleagues across our network to take part in this national moment of reflection.

“We hope that by having our stations and screens illuminated in this way, it allows people travelling and working with us to have a quiet moment to remember those who have lost their lives and been impacted by prejudice and hatred.”

Network Rail’s head of passenger strategy, Susan Evans said:

“We’ve worked with GWR and the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust to support this year’s national day of reflection and hope that our purple lights will help people take a quiet moment to remember the millions of victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides around the world.

“It’s important to mark this day, which serves as both a memorial to those who lost their lives and a warning of where inaction in the face of persecution can lead.”

Holocaust Memorial Day Trust Chief Executive, Olivia Marks-Woldman OBE said:

“We are delighted that Great Western Railway and Network Rail are taking part in the national 'Light the Darkness' moment for Holocaust Memorial Day. They are joining tens of thousands of others - businesses, schools, places of worship, landmarks and ordinary households - across the UK to remember and to learn from genocide for a better future.”

Contact Information

John Carter

Media and Communications Manager

Great Western Railway

0845 410 4444


Notes to editors

About GWR

First Greater Western Limited, trading as “Great Western Railway” (GWR), operates trains across the Great Western franchise area, which includes South Wales, the West Country, the Cotswolds, across southern England and into London. GWR provides high speed, commuter, regional and branch line train services, and before the covid-19 pandemic helped over 100 million passengers reach their destinations every year. GWR has been awarded a National Rail Contract to continue operating the Great Western network, which shall run up to 21 June 2025, with the potential for a further three years at the Secretary of State’s discretion. Find out more here: https://www.gwr.com/about-us  

About Holocaust Memorial Day Trust

Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) is the charity established and funded by the UK Government to promote and support Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) in the UK.

Find out more here: www.hmd.org.uk

About Network Rail

We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.

Follow us on Twitter: @networkrail
Visit our online newsroom: www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk