Railway managers face a unique set of challenges as passenger loadings increase, freight volumes grow, and more capital is invested in expanding capacity. Making it all happen is everyone’s responsibility, but the onus of meeting budgets and deadlines falls on their shoulders. It is a hard task, and the RailStaff Awards recognises these hard-working heroes.
This year, the Rail Manager of the Year award was sponsored by D2 Rail, the programme management solutions provider for mainline and mass transit rail projects. D2 Rail is expert in delivering fully integrated project planning, from early-stage constructability advice and activity programming, to specialist railway access, capacity and timetable planning and stakeholder communication.
“The Rail Manager of the Year Award highlights the great work and achievements of those who have taken on very demanding leadership roles,” said David Diesbergen, the company’s CEO and founder
“People who understand what the rail industry needs – where and when in terms of staff – add real value to the ever-increasing portfolio of projects and organisations taking forward an expanded, better performing network.”
Southeastern Railway’s Lauren Heap was honoured with this year’s prize. Lauren was praised by colleagues for always leading by example, always being visible during times of disruption, and for always backing her staff.
Lauren has gained the respect of all her staff since taking on the role as Station Manager in 2019. In this time, she has worked hard to help staff develop within their roles and expand their training and knowledge. In the early days of her role, she took the lead in managing the station team through Covid, putting the welfare of staff and passengers at the forefront. Lauren has been a true inspiration.
One of Lauren’s nominating colleagues commented: “Lauren supports colleagues up and down the line, encourages us to further our learning, and inspires us to do a great job. She has a genuine interest in our lives and always asks how our colleagues and their families are. She sets high standards by utilising the strengths of the team and helps colleagues to achieve goals.”
Zack Jenkin, Great Western Railway
Michael Trippitt, Merseyrail