Great Western Railway honours railway legends from the North Cotswolds
Great Western Railway has named an Intercity Express Train after two Great Westerners who did so much for the North Cotswold railway route and the national rail system – Oliver Lovell and Sir Peter Parker.
Intercity Express Train 800028 was named in a ceremony at London Paddington on Thursday 30 November. ‘Great Westerners’ recognises past and present heroes from across the GWR network.
Oliver, pictured above, was the founding chairman of the Cotswold Line Promotion Group, formed in March 1978 with the original purpose of opposing the possible closure of the line. He sat on the committee continuously until his sudden death in the summer of 2013. The new waiting room at Moreton-in-Marsh was named in his honour in 2019.
The group has gone from strength to strength and helped with improvements along the line, including securing the reopening of Honeybourne station and financial contributions to Moreton-in-Marsh and Hanborough station improvements.
Oliver’s sister, Diana Barr, said:
“I am very much looking forward to this tribute to my brother, recognising his dedication and hard work in promoting the Cotswold Line which he was so fond of. It is an extremely proud moment for us and I know he would have been thrilled and honoured by this recognition.”
Sir Peter, pictured above, was chairman of the British Railways Board from 1976 to 1983 and a powerful friend of the Cotswold Line, regularly using Charlbury station. He is remembered with deep affection for an effective management style which helped transform the reputation of Britain’s railways in the eyes of the public.
Lucy Parker, Sir Peter’s daughter, said:
“To have this train carrying his name as it travels along the tracks would have thrilled my father. He loved the people of the railway community and to be honoured in this way would have made him more proud than words can say".
Lord Faulkner, President of the Cotswold Line Promotion Group, said:
“Today’s naming ceremony commemorates two very different individuals who contributed immensely to the well-being of the North Cotswold railway line, and I congratulate GWR for granting them this unique honour.”
GWR Business Development Portfolio Director, Tom Pierpoint, said:
“We at Great Western Railway have a long history of naming trains after Great Westerners, the past and present heroes from across our network.
“We’re incredibly proud that Intercity Express Train 800028 will carry the names of Oliver Lovell and Sir Peter Parker, two stalwarts who have done so much to ensure the preservation of the North Cotswold Line and the wellbeing of the railway in general.”
Media and Communications Manager
Great Western Railway
0845 410 4444
Notes to editors
Pictured, from top: Oliver Lovell's sister, Diana Barr, right, and Sir Peter Parker's daughter, Lucy Parker, alongside the newly-named train; archive pictures of Oliver and Sir Peter; and, bottom, members of the Cotswold Line Promotion Group
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