GWR open day scoops prestigious industry award and raises over £50,000 for charity

Monday 29th January 2018

GWR’s Legends of the Great Western open day at Old Oak Common depot has today scooped a prestigious silver Golden Whistle award for Outstanding Team.

See the amazing footage of the open day here.  

Over 7,000 attended the open day held in September 2017, helping to raise over £50,000 for children’s charity Place2Be, and today [Friday 26 January] earning silver in the Institute of Railway Operators Golden Whistle awards in the Outstanding Team category. The gold award was won by South Western Railway for the Waterloo Upgrade Team.

GWR Managing Director Mark Hopwood said:

“The depot at Old Oak has been a central feature of the Great Western network for generations, helping to maintain a host of different train fleets throughout its long history.

“It is fitting that we pay a tribute to the people who work there, and the contribution they have made, and I am delighted to see them recognised in this way winning this silver award.” 

The Golden Whistle Awards are dedicated to people who work in or interface with railway operations, recognising those who have gone above and beyond expectations to deliver excellence in railway operations.

The open day saw a unique collection of trains and locomotives, both old and new with a centrepiece line-up of traction spanning all 111 years of the depot and made the Great Western ‘God’s Wonderful Railway’.  

The line-up comprised of:

• King Edward II – King Class locomotive 6023

• Formarke Hall – Hall Class locomotive 7903

• Greyhound – Warship Class locomotive D821

• Western Champion – Western Class locomotive D1015

• Ark Royal – Class 50 locomotive 50 035

• Sir Kenneth Grange – Class 43 locomotive 43 002

• Class 180 train 180 XXX

• Queen Elizabeth II/Queen Victoria – Class 800 Intercity Express Train 800 003  

The open day celebrated the 111 years since Old Oak Common depot opened in 1906, and its contribution to maintaining the Legends of the Great Western.  

During its 111-year history, the depot and its dedicated, highly skilled staff have maintained everything from the Kings and Castles of the steam era, to the diesel-powered Westerns and Warships.  

In 1976 the depot was the maintenance hub in the Western region for the newly introduced High Speeds Trains, the iconic trains which changed the face of Intercity travel in the UK.  

While the HST fleet still operates today it is soon to be replaced after over 40 years of service by the new Hitachi Intercity Express Train, which will provide another step change in passenger experience when they begin passenger services later this year.  

In total £50,366 was raised for the depot’s chosen charity Place2Be, which provides mental health support for children in schools and whose patron is HRH The Duchess of Cambridge.  

In May 2016 GWR’s St Philips Marsh depot raised over £20,000 for charity with a celebration of 40 years of the High Speed Train.  

Notes to editors

Great Western Railway (GWR) provides high speed, commuter, regional and branch line train services. We help over 100 million passengers reach their destinations every year - across South Wales, the West Country, the Cotswolds, and large parts of Southern England.

We’re currently seeing the biggest investment in the network since Brunel so we can offer more trains, more seats, and shorter, more frequent journeys and continue the network’s heritage of helping connect more businesses to new and prosperous markets. Through a series of initiatives we aim to be a good neighbour to the communities we serve and are committed to making a positive social impact in those regions. Learn how we're Building a Greater West at GWR.com. GWR is a FirstGroup company.