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An East Midlands Trains employee highlighted as an ‘unsung’ hero by his colleagues has won the award for ‘Outstanding Individual Operator’ at the industry’s Golden Whistle Awards held on 24 January.
Derby-based driver instructor, Paul Williams, was nominated by his colleagues for the award because of his commitment and dedication to delivering a safe and reliable railway. Paul has helped to successfully deliver a number of projects within East Midlands Trains, including supporting the development of new on-train software to help with fault-finding, as well as his work on the Nottingham re-signalling project and for his involvement over the past four years in assisting Network Rail in the development of the line-speed improvement scheme delivering faster journey times for passengers.
The Golden Whistle Awards, now in their fifth year, are organised by the Institute of Railway Operators (IRO) and Modern Railways magazine and are designed to recognise operational excellence.
Darren Ward, Head of Operations Strategy for East Midlands Trains and a previous winner of this award, said: “Paul is one of the unsung heroes within the railway industry. He is a proud driving instructor with a heritage dating back to the 1970s and somebody who consistently and continuously demonstrates a dedication and broad knowledge of railway operations.
“He goes above and beyond the duties of a driver instructor and where he truly stands out is his willingness to get involved. Anyone can identify a problem; Paul however offers solutions and plays a major part in delivering them. Paul is a passionate railwayman that has diesel running through his veins and this award is really well deserved.”
Commenting on his win, Paul Williams said: “It was a complete shock to win the award. I thought I was being invited along as a thank you for some of the projects I’d been working on but never expected to hear my name being read out as a winner! It really was a proud moment for me and I’m grateful to all my colleagues for all their support.”
The award was presented by Fiona Tordoff, Chief Executive of the IRO. Glen Merryman, South East Area Chairman for the IRO, said: “Paul was the stand out nomination in a very strong pool of candidates, representing members of the rail industry from the frontline all the way to the boardroom.
"It was clear from Paul's nomination that he is hugely valued, both within East Midlands Trains and the industry as a whole. Paul's Golden Whistle win represents a great achievement at an awards ceremony designed to recognise the professionalism and dedication displayed by Railway Operators."