Great Western Railway and Network Rail dream teams celebrate multiple wins at National Rail Awards

Monday 21st September 2020

Great Western Railway and Network Rail’s Western Route jointly scooped a double prize for their work together at this year’s National Rail Awards.

GWR and Network Rail were shortlisted for two entries in the Outstanding Teamwork category for introducing the region’s December 2019 Timetable Change– one of the biggest timetable changes in a generation, and their celebration of International Women’s Day, which saw the launch of the #railtorefuge scheme, which helps people escape domestic abuse, and delivering a train service operated entirely by female staff in March.

Judges were not able to separate the two entries and decided to award both entries the top spot. It’s the second time in two years the companies have been recognised for their work together after grabbing the gong for the Western Alliance Partnership at the Rail Business Awards last year.

The train operator also grabbed the Customer Service Excellence Award for its RoomMate®, which provides an audio description of station facilities for those with visual and other impairments. Its Platform Zoning project, which helped customers board train more safely and quickly across the network, was highly commended by judges.

Steve and Helen Holyer of Adi Access Ltd, the company which developed the RoomMate® technology said:

“We are thrilled to have supported GWR with their submission for Customer Service Excellence in the National Rail Awards. GWR have recognised the difficulties for those with sight loss, dementia and learning disabilities which hitherto have not been addressed in accessible toilets. RoomMate® a world first concept is installed in a diverse range of locations nationally.

Reading Station, which is staffed by Network Rail and GWR was named Major Station of the Year.

Speaking after the virtual awards ceremony, GWR Interim Managing Director, Matthew Golton said:

“After four years of building up our alliance with Network Rail, recognising what we can achieve and how best to work together to deliver for all of our customers across the route, I am delighted that this work has been acknowledged in this way. The December Timetable Change saw the first wholesale change to the timetable in 40 years and took teams from across Network Rail and GWR years of planning and preparation to make sure it went without a hitch.

“International Women’s Day was a clear opportunity to demonstrate the range of career opportunities on offer in rail and help drive an increase in the number of women in our businesses. Once again, it iso great to see our teams working together to showcase the industry. It was so difficult to separate these two achievements, and I’m delighted the judges were able to recognise them both equally."

Also responding to the award win, Route Managing Director for Network Rail’s Western Route, Mike Gallop said:

“I am delighted that our close working with GWR at all levels and at every opportunity has been recognised with these awards. Since we formed an alliance with GWR our relationship and collaborative working has gone from strength to strength and most importantly this has benefitted our passengers.

“The December Timetable Change is an excellent example of a joined-up approach having a huge positive impact for our everyone that travels on the railway. Together we were able to smoothly deliver the biggest timetable change since 1976 which has transformed journeys across our region with thousands more seats, faster trains, more frequent services and greener travel.

“That success would not be possible without our people, who across both Network Rail and GWR give their all every day to improve journeys for passengers. International Women’s Day was an opportunity for us to celebrate our staff and is part of our drive to increase the number of women working in the rail industry. We look forward to continuing to work with and alongside GWR with these awards showing that it is making a difference.”

IWD Team in Bristol
Photo taken on 06/03/2020 at Bristol Temple Meads station shows the women of GWR and Network Rail who worked on the International Women’s Day campaign.

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.