Hats off to young train managers for their winning GWR announcements

Tuesday 18th August 2020

Great Western Railway has revealed the winners of its competition to unearth potential train managers of the future.

Gloucester schoolboy Herbie Simpson, 10, Ben Badcock, 11, from Southampton, and nine-year-old Tristan Fielding, from Littlehampton, won through from the judges’ shortlist.

To view a video of the winning entries click here.

Future train managers of GWR
Winners, left to right, Tristan Fielding, Herbie Simpson and Ben Badcock

Herbie donned an old-fashioned kipper tie and used a 1970s-style telephone to perfectly recite a journey from Gloucester to Weymouth via Bristol Temple Meads.

BBC South West radio presenter David Sheppard, who featured on the panel of judges, praised Herbie for a “friendly and spirited” announcement with “faultless information”.

Ben wore his best train manager uniform to announce a journey from Bristol Temple Meads to Portsmouth Harbour. He was praised for showing “a great mastery of his material” and having “a great demeanour as a train manager”.

Tristan perfectly recited a GWR journey from London Paddington to Hereford. He was praised for being “smart and fully on-brand”, and “while he took the job seriously, he certainly enjoyed it too”.

All three receive a special #GWREnterTrainment pack including a set of GWR Top Trumps, a jigsaw and an adventure pack.

David, the voice behind some of GWR’s station safety messages including ‘Mind the gap’ when boarding and leaving a train, said:

“For the judges and I, it has been a timely reminder that in a moment in our lives where there’s so much competition for the attention of young people, they are still inspired by the things they see and hear around them.

“And what can be more inspiring than a trip out on the train? So, to all our entrants, and to all the grown-up train managers who have inspired them to speak so clearly and with such authority, a great, big thank-you.”

With more people starting to use the train again GWR is reminding customers to:
  • Plan ahead – travel at quieter times where they can, buy a ticket online and in advance, and book ahead if you need travel assistance;
  • Consider others – wear a face covering unless you’re exempt, not travelling if you have Covid symptoms and consider others, not all disabilities can be seen; and
  • Stay safe – maintaining your distance wherever possible; wash your hands and carry hand sanitiser, paying contactless where you can.
The train operator, and the wider rail industry, has launched a ‘Let’s travel safely this summer’ pledge which highlights the extra steps taken to make journeys safe from coronavirus, including running more trains and carriages to make room; boosting trains and stations cleaning; help with hygiene by making it easier to keep hands clean and increasing staff and information to help people travel safely.

GWR’s Head of Communications Dan Panes said:

“We have been working hard to help make sure customers feel safe when travelling on the railway this summer, including significantly enhanced cleaning and sanitisation of our trains.

“Please do, however, remember to wear a face covering, check your journey before travelling and travel at quieter times where that is possible.

“It is also important to remember that not everyone is able to wear a face covering for health or other reasons, and those reasons aren’t always visible, so please be considerate to others travelling.”

For more information on GWR’s timetable please visit: https://www.gwr.com/plan-journey/train-times

Notes to editors
Great Western Railway (GWR) provides high speed, commuter, regional and branch line train services. We help over 100 million passengers reach their destinations every year - across South Wales, the West Country, the Cotswolds, and large parts of Southern England.

We’re currently seeing the biggest investment in the network since Brunel so we can offer more trains, more seats, and shorter, more frequent journeys and continue the network’s heritage of helping connect more businesses to new and prosperous markets. Through a series of initiatives we aim to be a good neighbour to the communities we serve and are committed to making a positive social impact in those regions. Learn how we're Building a Greater West at GWR.com. GWR is a FirstGroup company.