The RailStaff Awards 2020

Nominations for Rail Manager of the Year

Anthony Aldred

Said the following about Craig Simmonds:

“I would like to nominate Craig Simmonds, Network Rail Local Operations Manager, Carmarthen for his total commitment to staff and dedication to delivering the job with enthusiasm and positivity. As my line manager I can see how tough a role his job is, but he faces a challenging environment with an energy that I, and many others in his team, find inspiring.

Craig’s passion for recruiting the right people has reaped rewards already in terms of attracting some very promising new talent to the area at a time when vacancy reduction is a priority to the business to keep the Railway running and reduce fatigue amongst the staff. Craig’s commitment to staff doesn’t end at recruiting new talent but he is very strong in developing the talent amongst his current pool. This has directly led to members of staff gaining promotion and adding value to the business in other areas. He has worked tirelessly in my own personal development, ensuring I get on the job training, courses and exposure to management situations and meetings so that I have the tools for a future career in management. All this he does with his own time over and above the time needed to deliver the day job.

We have a leader and manager who is very much a 24/7 role model. He is available to all his staff at any time, whether a work-related issue, health issue or, on many occasions, for personal support for numerous challenges we face outside of work. This has been very evident this year when issues with team family members have impacted on the staff, Craig has offered great support and advice. He will always answer including night times and weekends, and he always follows up. Craig has taken the time to get to know all his staff personally as well as professionally and truly cares about their welfare. It is very much appreciated when he takes the time to ask how we are which promotes confidence in his behaviour and attitude towards us.

Craig values our ideas and contributions, whether delivering the day to day activities or feeding back on some of our more in-depth enquiries. He also likes to give credit to us for our work, ideas and initiatives such as the work I have recently done in supporting the local re signalling project which he has encouraged me to get involved in. Craig likes to promote a wider team ethos by encouraging staff to communicate with each other in different signal boxes where they wouldn’t normally interface. He also promotes collaboration with the customer, especially drivers and driver managers, all of this helps us to better understand the roles, people and operations in our area and has greatly helped me in my management development.

Craig is very self-effacing, often preferring to see that others in the team get recognition before himself. It was nice to see recently that his efforts were appreciated by the team delivering the Carmarthenshire Level Crossings Renewals Project, that recognised his contribution to their success, which has led to them being nominated for an award. It would, however, be nice to see him get recognition, at last, in his own right for being a great leader and manager. Craig has been a strong, popular manager not only for us, but in other areas before he arrived with us and we all wish him luck with this nomination. We enjoy working for and are proud to be a part of Network Rail and it is Craig that we thank for that. I believe, in my opinion, that there is no one more deserving of this award than Craig.“

Rebecca Deane

Said the following about Craig Simmonds:

“Craig is a great manager showing support and guidance but equally allowing individuals to grow and develop naturally in the best way for them. He is always there when needed and has a great wealth and depth of knowledge. He is well respected by all members of the team and an inspirational dedicated manager with a wealth and depth of experience. Well respected by the whole team. I look forward to continue working with Craig as my manager.“

Lee Davies

Said the following about Craig Simmonds:

“When I first joined Network Rail, I was an external recruit without any previous railway background. Immediately from my initial interview with Craig and his deputy Anthony, I was filled with confidence that I had applied to work under a professional, knowledgeable and personable management team. Although a change of career direction can be challenging, I believe Craig's guidance and support have helped me significantly, and continue to do so on a regular basis.

Craig's attitude towards the development of his employee's is second to none. He always promotes learning opportunities, and has gone the extra mile to facilitate requests regarding my professional development. Craig has also taken the time to get to know me on a personal level. I feel this has helped to create a positive working environment, in which I can confidently raise any issues or concerns. When concerns are raised, Craig ensures they are dealt with as efficiently and effectively as possible. Craig also brings significant knowledge and experience, which again has allowed me to feel confident in asking for advice when required.“

Jordon Davies

Said the following about Craig Simmonds:

“I’ve nominated Craig Simmonds (Local Operations Manager) for this prestigious award as he definitely deserves some kind of recognition that everyone should see.

Everyone within Signalling knows how underappreciated their job role entails and most work goes on without notice.

So here’s my thanks to not only all your constant hard work, but personally thanks for looking out for my wellbeing and empathy with recent events at Port Talbot.

Thanks and Best of luck!“