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Another successful year for Great Western Railway at the National Rail Awards

Category: Awards, Infrastructure, construction, customer services, Great Western Railway, National Rail Awards


Great Western Railway celebrate hat trick of awards at National Rail Awards

Great Western Railway celebrate hat trick of awards at National Rail Awards


Great Western Railway (GWR) has had another successful year at the National Rail Awards, scooping a trio of accolades, giving the train company the most wins of the evening.

GWR’s new train care depot in Exeter took home the Infrastructure Achievement of the Year Award, while the Fleet Depot Cleaning team took home the Customer Service Excellence Award. A Special Merit for the Great Place to Work award rounded off the haul, allowing the recipients to celebrate in style at the Grosvenor Hotel in London on Thursday evening, which was hosted by National Rail Awards favourite Huw Edwards.

The award for the Exeter Train Care Depot sees the culmination of several years of hard work, design and construction alongside Network Rail to build an energy-efficient facility that benefits both the rail industry and the local community.

The impressive new site, which was opened in the spring of this year, is designed to house more trains which in turn brings more services to the people of Exeter. The depot also has new offices and facilities for around 450 colleagues, providing a central hub for train servicing and on-board crew in the area.

Rolling Stock and Depot Change Programme Director, Robin Kay, who received the award alongside his team said: “This award is the cherry on the cake for years of effort and dedication from this wonderful team, with thanks to our colleagues at Network Rail for their support. We are proud to have built a depot that not only improves the way our colleagues work but is also something that hugely benefits the people of Exeter.”

The award presented to the Fleet Depot Cleaning team saw their hard work throughout the Covid-19 pandemic rewarded. A high standard of cleaning was key in reassuring customers considering a return to train travel following the pandemic. The team’s focus on ensuring all trains that entered their depots were thoroughly cleaned before going into service meant that all customers could travel safely and comfortably with the high standards continuing to be maintained to this day.

Cleaning Development & Contracts Manager, Leonie Gaimster, said: “In these uncertain times when everyone was anxious and afraid, colleagues and customers alike, the cleaning teams acted boldly and bravely to do their job to the best of their ability. This award is thoroughly deserved by every single member of every team across our network”

Rounding off the accolades came the Special Merit Award for Great Place to Work, which saw GWR’s commitment to ensuring its colleagues all feel able to be their true authentic selves when at work. By working closely with colleagues from LGBTQ+ groups and conducting staff satisfaction surveys, the train operating company saw 82% of LGB colleagues saying that they feel valued.

Celebrating with his colleagues on Thursday night, Inclusion and Diversity Manager, Odis Palmer said: “GWR are dedicated to making not just our business, but the whole of the rail industry a more inclusive and supportive place for both our customers and colleagues. To receive this Special Merit Award shows that anyone considering a career in rail will be accepted no matter who they are”

GWR was also Highly Commended for Taunton Station in the Medium Station of the Year category along with David Eveleigh, Depot Engineering Manager, and Martin Davis, Driver Standards Manager, both being recognised for their Outstanding Personal Contribution at management level.

GWR Managing Director Mark Hopwood said: “It has been such a joy to be able to celebrate with the teams in person after so long spent apart. Their incredible achievements across all areas of the business from depot building to team building shows that no matter what the circumstances or challenges, they are all dedicated to bringing out the best of themselves for our colleagues, communities and customers.”

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