Great Western Railway honours Plymouth fundraiser as one of their 100 Great Westerners

Monday 19th October 2020

Great Western Railway (GWR) has honoured local Plymouth fundraiser Steve Whiteway BCAc by naming a train in honour of him for his services to the community.

Steve was voted by the public as one of GWR’s 100 Great Westerners and finds himself in the company of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Paddington Bear creator Michael Bond, and D-Day veteran Harry Billinge, by having an Intercity Express Train (IET) bear his name.

Steve’s fundraising career has spanned more than 50 years, starting with playing Christmas Carols at a care home at the age of eight, and continued throughout his adult life. He received the British Citizen Award (BCA) for services to the community in January of this year.

His efforts have seen him raise more that £750,000 for more than 160 charities including Devon & Cornwall Food Action, Fair Trade Plymouth and Plymouth Climate Change Commission.

GWR Head of External Communications Dan Panes said:

“The 100 Great Westerners celebrate remarkable people from across our network and Steve is a brilliant example of this. We are proud to name one of our IETs after someone who has dedicated his life to supporting so many within his community.”

Steve was joined at a very sunny Plymouth station yesterday [Thursday 15 October] by a small group of friends and family to watch 802002 depart for Paddington at 1314.

Steve Whiteway next to the train named after him.

He said:

“This is tremendous, I’m honoured and humbled. I feel very good that this has happened to me and it’s also for the causes I have supported.

“I’ve been lucky, I had the opportunity to make other people’s lives better, and I’m gobsmacked to see that the little things I do can be a big thing in people’s lives."

With more people starting to use trains again operators are reminding passengers to:

plan ahead – travel at quieter times where they can, buy a ticket online and in advance, and book ahead if you need travel assistance
consider others – wear a face covering unless you’re exempt, not travelling if you have Covid symptoms and consider others, not all disabilities can be seen
stay safe – maintaining your distance wherever possible; wash your hands and carry hand sanitiser, paying contactless where you can.

GWR has been providing rail services throughout the pandemic and has worked to ensure that these are as safe as possible.

This includes increased cleaning regimes and the use of a virucidal spray; extra staff at key stations to offer help and guidance; and processes in place to help customers maintain a safe distance where possible such as restricting the number of reservations available.

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.

Photo taken on 15/10/2020 at Plymouth station shows Steve Whiteway BCAc in front of his train. Steve is exempt from wearing a face covering.