One of the most loosely defined categories at the RailStaff Awards, Rail Team of the Year gives nominators broad scope. A team can be any number between two and infinity, and there is no restriction on what role that team has in ‘real’ life. So, nominating a pair of recruiters, five drainage specialists, ten train cleaners or twenty timetable planners – all are equally valid entries.
That permissible variety was evident in the nominations in 2019. A total entry of 64 teams included train operator apprentices, community ambassadors, a graduate outreach programme, a performance and planning team, train care, customer service, revenue protection, a station team (including the station cat!) and even a team of drivers testing new trains in the Czech Republic!
What will the RailStaff Awards attract in 2022?
More about the community
As it happened, the 2019 winner was the ‘Scotrail in the Community’ team, which had successfully delivered a number of community rail, regeneration, transport integration, accessibility and charitable schemes over the previous year.
This included high-profile events such as hosting the Association of Community Rail Awards in October 2018, which was attended by close to 500 people – an event record.
There have also been smaller changes that have had a big impact on people’s lives. Grace’s Signs, a more-inclusive toilet door sign for people with invisible disabilities, has been introduced to all stations. It is named after 13-year-old Grace Warnock, who has Crohn’s Disease and who came up with the idea after facing criticism from strangers when she used accessible toilets.
In a nomination bursting with success stories, there were also mentions of: a comprehensive programme of cycling initiatives, reducing the notice for passenger assist times to only two hours from April 2019 and increasing ScotRail’s ‘Adopt a Station’ programme to 75 per cent of its stations, while still reducing overall costs by 20 per cent.
James Ledgerwood, head of economic development and communities at ScotRail, said: “I’m so pleased for the team, because that’s the key thing. I work with a wonderful team – they’ve worked so hard since Abellio won the franchise to really change what the railway’s about.
“They’ve changed it from being just about getting from A to B to being much more about the community and this is just a small reward for the work the boys and girls have done.
“Community rail is at the forefront of what the franchise is all about. Railways are going to be so important in the future, they’re going to be at the heart of communities, whether it be for getting people to education, work or for tourism, it’s about connecting people to opportunities.”
The Rail Team of the Year Award was sponsored by on-track plant hire specialists Total Rail Solutions (TRS). Paul Bateman, chief executive officer at TRS, said: “What can I say? Another fantastic evening showcasing the rail industry and the people who make it happen.
Total Rail Solutions is both pleased and proud to sponsor the Rail Team of the Year category at the 2022 RailStaff awards. The Rail Team of the Year category is of special importance to all at TRS as it represents the core value of teamwork, a value the business and the industry rightly places at the epicentre of all it does and achieves.
TRS CEO Paul Bateman said “These last couple of years have clearly presented many additional and unimaginable challenges. Those challenges have been firmly met by an industry that is recognised for its planning, organisation and teamwork. I am particularly pleased to see the wealth of applications outlining the great work and results the various teams have achieved, from across the sector”.
Based in Newbury the company has recently announced the opening of a new facility in the Northwest of England.
Located in Warrington, Cheshire, the new location expands the company’s reach and coverage to four locations, complementing the existing locations in Newbury, Berkshire, Cwmbran, South Wales and Goole in the Northeast of England.
Speaking about the announcement, Total Rail Solutions CEO Paul Bateman said “This is the logical next step location for the business, the site is ideally suited for our operation and team. In addition the new facility offers easy access to both the M56 and M6, expanding our reach and service to customers in North Wales, Merseyside, Cheshire and the North of England”.
Speaking about the ongoing company support for the event and key category sponsorship, Paul Bateman continued, “Earlier this year TRS launched 5 to focus, 5 areas of the business where a dedicated member of my senior leadership team was given, based on their skill set and accountability, responsibility to grow and prosper in a particular area”.
In the critical area of Team, the business came together via focus groups and feedback sessions to agree on a statement that would shape behaviour, create a vision and enable a mechanism to grow and prosper.
Team joins the other 4 groups to create the TRS 5 to Focus:
- Team: We’re accountable for our actions and belong to a team of which we’re proud.
- Health, Safety & Environment: Safety first, everyone goes home safely every night.
- Finance: Commercially minded, we always act with fairness and integrity.
- Engagement: Collaborating to succeed, we are empowered to act and respectful to all.
Innovation: Passionate to be the best, customers recognise and respond to what we do.
Total Rail Solutions is delighted therefore to continue its support of this key category. Interest from the industry has been incredibly high with numerous, quality nominations submitted. The judges face a tough task for sure.
TRS look forward to participating, enjoying and celebrating the 2022 RailStaff Awards and ultimately recognising the Rail Team of the Year.