In 2017 we were happy to tell iHeartDogs readers about Jake, Virgin Trains’ “Platform Pawtroller” at the Stafford Rail Station in Staffordshire, England. Jake was a big fan of trains, and for 11 years his dad, Neil McNamera would walk him to the station to greet guests with a wagging tail and happy face!
In September of 2017, Virgin Trains rolled out new uniforms for railway employees. The staff was all very fond of Jake, and Virgin Trains presented him with a uniform of his own. He looked dapper in his red and blue suit, and wore it proudly for promotional photos.
The pictures brought smiles to faces all over the world, and we all fell head-over-heels in love with Jake. Who doesn’t love a pup in uniform?
iHeartDogs likes to update our readers when we can, and we recently revisited Jake’s story. When we checked in, we were sorry to see that Jake had passed just one year after we shared Virgin Trains’ photos. He was two months away from celebrating his 16th birthday.
Jake had been with his family for over 14 years. He was a rescue who, at 18 months old, had already endured abuse and abandonment before finding his place in a loving family with McNamera. They were well-known in the area for Jake’s love of trains, and as Jake aged and walks became too much, McNamera would faithfully drive him to the station to make him happy.
Through his pain, McNamera kept Jake’s fans updated on Facebook. He shared photos of his goodbye with Jake, as well as personal thoughts and memories of his pup.
Jake We plucked you from the rescue At just 18 months old You were mistreated and then abandoned How can people be…
As the news spread of Jake’s passing McNamera shared news of Jake when he found it, including these touching words of condolance that were sent in to a local newspaper by a reader who had met Jake several times on his way to the railway station.
Beautiful homage paid to Jake in the "YOUR SAY" section of the Staffordshire newsletter last week. ❤❤❤.
Virgin Trains, who considered Jake one of their own, felt the loss as well. They posted a goodbye on their Facebook page to let followers know that he had crossed the Rainbow Bridge, and that he would be missed.
“‘Seeing Jake always brought a smile to the faces of those around him. I have never seen a dog barking so enthusiastically at the passing trains’
We are so sad that Jake the Trainspotting Dog has passed away. You’ll always have a special place in our hearts♥️”
Virgin commissioned a drawing of Jake that now hangs in the ticket office of the Stafford Rail Station. They also installed a drink station in his honor, with two little paw prints and the words:
“In loving memory of Jake, our trainspotting dog.
“He loved this station, and we loved him.”
By the bowl is a personal message from Jake,
“Have a drink on me, Jake x”
This little dog made such a big impression on the people who met him. Jake lives on in the hearts of those who loved him. Rest easy, Jake.
It is with huge great sadness that we have to announce that our beautiful, intelligent, handsome and beloved boy Jake…
Featured Photo: Virgin Trains & Neil McNamera
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