• Pete Waterman, GWSR Plc President, visits Summer Heritage Diesel Gala • Waterman Railways Type 2 locomotive top performer at Gala • Pete Waterman lends support to GWR Trust’s Stanway Viaduct appeal
President of the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWSR) Pete Waterman OBE, DL, the record producer, songwriter and trustee of Waterman Heritage Railway Trust, visited the 14-mile GWSR on Saturday 8th July – the second day of the railway’s hugely successful Summer Heritage Diesel Gala.
While at the railway, he lent his weight to the £1.5million appeal to carry out essential repairs to the line’s Stanway Viaduct, at a time when Mr Waterman had sent his 56-year-old Sulzer Type 2 locomotive no. D7659 to the railway for the Gala. The locomotive, subject to a long and complex overhaul, re-entered service last year and proved to be a huge attraction with the trains it was hauling being full to standing.
After crossing the viaduct, a striking 15-arch, 50ft-high structure between Toddington and Broadway, Mr Waterman said: “Running a heritage railway is much more than just restoring steam and diesel locomotives and rolling stock. There are the buildings, bridges and infrastructure to maintain too – including huge structures such as Stanway Viaduct.
“The viaduct was built in 1903 and it is showing its age. I fully support the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway Trust’s (GWR Trust) appeal to fund, firstly: replacement of the waterproof membrane on the deck which has failed and, secondly, repair water-damaged brickwork in the structure itself.
“This is a significant project that will ensure the long-term future of the viaduct for future generations to enjoy and it underlines the kind of challenges faced by heritage railways, which make a huge contribution to the UK’s tourist economy.”
The charitable GWR Trust has already received support from its own President Sir Timothy Laurence KCVO, CB, ADC, CSM.
Phillip Young, Chairman of GWRT said: “Pete Waterman has lent his support to past successful appeals on the railway including for work to repair landslips and the effort to extend the railway to Broadway.
“His enthusiasm for our railway and support for the appeal to fund repairs to Stanway Viaduct is timely and very welcome as the GWRT is just over halfway to its first funding goal to replace the waterproofing this winter. We are very fortunate to enjoy the support of both Pete and Sir Timothy.”
The GWRT Stanway Viaduct appeal video can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/HrhPBYJpwn8
The charitable GWR Trust supports the living museum of the railway, which is operated by GWSR Plc.