The RailStaff Awards 2017

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The RailStaff Awards Hall of Fame

Listed below are a list of all the winners, both past and present, that have been awarded a RailStaff Award.

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Billy Welch

Apprentice of the Year

Winner: Billy Welch, Costain

Billy works as an apprentice civil engineer for Costain at London Bridge. During his time on the project, Billy has gained the respect of senior colleagues on what is a complex project, producing reports that have contributed to the Start of Shift (SoS) briefings and helping to ensure works are completed safely.

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Jessica Andrews, who nominated Billy, said: “It is doubtless to say that one day Billy will walk through London Bridge station and be proud of what he has achieved.”


1st Runner-up: Annais Siddall, Linbrooke Services Ltd

2nd Runner-up: Ramiro Aldana, Amey Sersa North Alliance

Bill Cooke

Charitable Person or Team of the Year

Winner: Bill Cooke, Network Rail

Bill Cooke has raised over £460,000 for a number of charities. Bill’s Annual Charity Partners Golf Day is hugely supported across the rail industry. He puts other people’s needs above his own and this nomination is made in recognition of the huge commitment he has made in changing the lives of others. 

1st Runner-up: Crystal Danbury, Chiltern Railways

2nd Runner-up: Luke Gardner, Trans Pennine Express

MTR Crossrail Maintenance Team

Depot Team of the Year

Winner: MTR Crossrail Maintenance Team, MTR Crossrail

Within just three months of being established, the maintenance team implemented new maintenance management software and developed new procedures to prepare for mobilisation in May 2015.

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Shortly after that, the team completed a full fleet refreshment programme. 

These are just a couple of examples of the efforts which have led to a huge improvement in passenger satisfaction.


1st Runner-up: Bristol Traincrew Depot, Great Western Railway

2nd Runner-up: Fatality Cleaning Team Streatham Hill, Southern

Lucy Hoyle

Graduate of the Year

Winner: Lucy Hoyle, Network Rail

Lucy started at Network Rail in September 2015 and joined the newly formed Transformation team. The team is spread across the country, travels a significant amount and works in a very proactive way. A lot of the team’s projects are about engagement and implementing new ways of working which requires exceptional stakeholder management and networking skills. 

1st Runner-up: Emma Taylor, SNC-Lavalin Rail & Transit

2nd Runner-up: Chris Kelly, Alstom Transport UK

Les Blake

Lifetime Achievement

Winner: Les Blake, Keltbray Aspire

Now 73 years old, Les began his career in the freight department of British Rail before moving over to rail electrification. He has worked on virtually every major electrification project since the early 1960s.

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During his time at Keltbray, Les has been dedicated to promoting and teaching safe and efficient working practices, playing a key role in the development of apprentices and junior linemen. Most recently he has helped develop a brand new road/rail full tensioning wiring unit for the industry.


1st Runner-up: John Skinner, AECOM

2nd Runner-up: Nigel Stockdale, Bridgeway Consulting Limited

Danny Roberts

Outstanding Customer Service Award

Winner: Danny Roberts, Transpennine Express (Grimsby)

Danny goes above and beyond in his role as a customer service assistant at Grimsby station. He regularly works alongside the local police service to keep his passengers safe and often goes out of his way to help passengers he encounters.

1st Runner-up: Siobhan Maloney, Pro Rail Services Ltd

2nd Runner-up: Zoe Hemes, Southern Railway

Craig Young

Project Manager of the Year

Winner: Craig Young, Network Certification Body

Craig joined the Network Certification Body (NCB) as a senior rail vehicle conformance engineer in 2013. In 2015, Craig wanted a career change and was appointed project, planning and resource manager. He has risen to the challenge of the role - his first project management position within the business - which has involved overseeing a portfolio of up to 600 projects.

1st Runner-up: Kristine Harris, Network Rail

2nd Runner-up: Hannah Jones, Young Rail Professionals

Natalie Dickinson

Rail Engineer of the Year

Winner: Natalie Dickinson, ISS Labour

Natalie is an engineer working in ISS Labour’s OLE Division. Committed and single-minded, Natalie managed the company’s Christmas 2015 OLE work programme, which involved reviewing OLE designs and ordering all OLE materials, often in challenging circumstances due to the tight deadlines.

1st Runner-up: Abdul Rehman Savant IEng MIET, Alstom Transport UK Limited

2nd Runner-up: Steve Butt, Bridgeway Consulting Limited

The Bridgeway Access Services team

Rail Infrastructure / Possessions Team of the Year

Winner: The Bridgeway Access Services team, Bridgeway Consulting

Since 1995, the Bridgeway Access Services team has been providing a 24/7 service for possessions, line blockages, AC and DC Isolations for a variety of projects and clients throughout the UK. Ensuring that all work is optimised during possessions and line blockages, the Bridgeway Access Services team always have the right person, in the right place, doing the right thing, safely.

1st Runner-up: PPS Rail, PPS Rail Ltd

2nd Runner-up: Dover Sea Wall, costain

Ian Taylor

Rail Manager of the Year

Winner: Ian Taylor, Merseyrail

Passionate and enthusiastic about ensuring the fleet performs to its best, Ian has boundless reserves of enthusiasm, even when the going gets tough, and provides inspirational leadership to his team. Ian is always actively seeking out better ways to do things, and ensures that mistakes are understood and lessons learnt to prevent recurrence.

1st Runner-up: Kissore Kher, Heathrow Express

2nd Runner-up: Andrew Fawkes, VolkerRail

Adam Stead

Rail Person of the Year

Winner: Adam Stead, Young Rail Professionals

Adam has not only excelled in his day job, establishing his own consulting company; but has also sought to better the industry through his leadership roles within various professional organisations, including the Railway Study Association, INCOSE and most prominently with Young Rail Professionals.

1st Runner-up: Lee Clinton, telent

2nd Runner-up: Ajmal Akram, Great Western Railway

VolkerRail Kirow Team

Rail Plant and Equipment Person or Team of the Year

Winner: VolkerRail Kirow Team, VolkerRail

With over 1,500 days without a RIDDOR, the team has become one of the most reputable plant teams in the business. Since acquiring the first Kirow crane in the UK at the turn of the century, VolkerRail’s fleet of Kirow cranes has expanded rapidly. The company now employs 30 delivery staff for its fleet of five cranes.

1st Runner-up: Van Elle Rail --, Van Elle Rail

2nd Runner-up: Keltbray Electrification Plant Wiring Team, Keltbray Rail

John Abbott, RSSB & Roan Willmore, Network Rail

Rail Safety Person or Team of the Year

Winner: John Abbott, RSSB & Roan Willmore, Network Rail, Network Rail

John and Roan collaborated on the recent publication ‘Leading Health and Safety on Britain’s Railways: A strategy for working together’. The publication throws a new light on rail safety management. “I think they both deserve to be recognised for doing a fantastic job in getting this publication out for the industry and the wider Safety industry,” said John Orungbamila.

1st Runner-up: Bill Cooke, Network Rail

2nd Runner-up: Stobart Rail Safety Department, Stobart Rail

Team Blackpool

Rail Team of the Year

Winner: Team Blackpool, Northern

When driver John Burrows suffered a life-changing stroke, the team at Blackpool stepped up to help. While John was in hospital, a leak at his house had ruined his kitchen. Determined for John not to return to such devastation, the team of 18 repaired and renovated his house, installing a new kitchen, fitting new carpets and buying new furniture.

1st Runner-up: Marylebone Station Team, Chiltern Railways

2nd Runner-up: East Midlands South 'Flying Scotsman' team, British Transport Police

Adam Razzell

Recruiter/ HR Person or Team of the Year

Winner: Adam Razzell, Advanced Resource Managers

Adam has propelled himself from junior consultant to head of the rail division for ARM, all within four years. He has developed a substantial influence on his department which has seen significant advancements to client and contractor success.

1st Runner-up: Chris Stupack, Mane Contract Services

2nd Runner-up: IP Track HR Team, Network Rail

Scott Paton

Samaritans Lifesaver Award

Winner: Scott Paton, Abellio Greater Anglia

Whilst attending a meeting with Network Rail regarding trespass, a man walked on to the track with the intention of ending his life. Scott acted quickly, leading the gentleman off the track to the platform. As well as liaising with emergency services, Scott both counselled and diffused the situation, acting with empathy while remaining professional.

1st Runner-up: Andrew Reid, Great Western Railway

2nd Runner-up: Lee Klingenspor, Land Sheriffs

Jai Smart

Signalling & Telecommunications Person or Team of the Year

Winner: Jai Smart, Alstom Transport UK Limited

Since joining Alstom Transport UK, Jai has demonstrated a common-sense practicality when developing and evolving bespoke power applications for the railway environment. He has been described as a great manager and a great role model.

1st Runner-up: Christopher Wilson, Siemens Mobility UK

2nd Runner-up: RETB, telent

Suzanne Nicholls

Station Staff of the Year

Winner: Suzanne Nicholls, Virgin Trains

Suzanne is Preston’s community champion, working tirelessly to keep the station engaged with the wider community. She has recently won an award for her charity work and she also works with various schools and community rail groups to help spread safety and railway knowledge.

1st Runner-up: George Heffernan, Chiltern Railways

2nd Runner-up: Esther Hayward, Southeastern

Steve Copley

Train Driver of the Year

Winner: Steve Copley, Southern Trains

A “commuter’s hero”, Steve lifts the spirits of grey-faced Londoners by hosting a guess the year quiz over the intercom to distract passengers from their dull morning commute. He has his own hashtag on Twitter, #timetunneltrain, and has driven changes in customer information within the business. 

1st Runner-up: Davinder Shanker, East Midlands Trains

2nd Runner-up: Ian Palmer, Northern

NTRS Training Team

Trainer/ Training Team of the Year

Winner: NTRS Training Team, NTRS (Network Training and Resource Solutions)

NTRS’s National Training Academy is unusual in its widespread offering of signalling, telecoms and power knowledge. It ensures that trainees can recognise and properly operate all related systems nationwide and enables the company to produce multi-skilled individuals with an all-encompassing knowledge of the rail trade.

1st Runner-up: Steve Tollerton, Jason Alexandre and Rob Christopher, Samaritans' Managing Suicidal Contacts and Trauma Support Training Team

2nd Runner-up: Nigel Roberts, VolkerWessels UK