Pop mogul Pete's love of trains brings him to the home of Greater Anglia
PUBLISHED: 13:26 11 July 2019 | UPDATED: 13:26 11 July 2019
Pop mogul Pete Waterman has visited staff at Greater Anglia - but not because he's bringing The Locomotion back to the music scene!
The former Pop Idol judge is one of Britain's best-known rail enthusiasts who owns six steam locomotives - and at one stage owned a number of diesels as well.
Now he is president of the Railway Benefit Fund which was set up to provide support for rail staff and their families across the country if they run into problems.
In this role he has visited rail companies across the country, meeting staff and discussing their work.
This week he visited Greater Anglia to open the Colchester Customer Services centre - and also visited Network Rail's signal box in the town before travelling on to Greater Anglia's control centre at Romford and Liverpool Street station.
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Mr Waterman said: "I'm president of the RBF and every now and then we do these walkabouts in which we go round and talk to all the staff, because it is a railway staff fund, and it's only available to rail staff. We're here to help the staff and their dependants.
"Without the railways I'd not be in music, because when the railway brought the electrics into my home town of Coventry, it meant that I didn't have to live in London, so I commuted every day for 15 years.
"I now live in Cheshire, commute every week by train to London and so trains are as important to me as music. I'm involved with five different railway companies now in some way or other and I love every minute."
Katy Bucknell, Greater Anglia HR director said: "The railway is a great industry and people who work in it become a 'railway family'. The Railway Benefit Fund is a fantastic charity which is able to provide additional support to staff in need.
"We were delighted to host Pete Waterman. He was brilliant with our staff and most entertaining at our senior management meeting."
Jason Tetley, Railway Benefit Fund chief executive officer, said: "We would thank Greater Anglia for arranging Pete's visit. This reflects Greater Anglia's commitment to supporting their staff at a time of change across their network.
"We look forward to working them over the coming months to ensure staff can access the charitable services we provide that Pete was promoting in his own inimitable style!"