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Darren Ward, Head of Operations Strategy & Implementation for East Midlands Trains has picked this year’s award for ‘Outstanding Individual Operator’ at the industry’s Golden Whistle Awards.
Darren, based in Derby, was selected as winner as a result of his involvement in driving operational initiatives from concept through to completion and helping East Midlands Trains to surpass all of its internal operational targets. He was particularly credited for his work in an industry-leading initiative to help to reduce level crossing incidents.
Mark Steward, Safety & Operations Director for East Midlands Trains, said: “Darren's role is one that ensures he is at the heart of many of our safety and operations initiatives, several of which have been ground breaking industry firsts, such as our work to improve level crossing safety.
“What is especially noteworthy is Darren's appetite to enthuse and engage with staff at all levels and bring passion to make things happen. His work is one of constant attention to detail and regularly keeping many others in the industry updated and he is best described as 'the engine' that drives initiatives from thought and concept and turns them into reality.
“He has become well known throughout our business for being ‘the man that can’ and this award is really well deserved."
Commenting on his win, Darren Ward added: “It makes me very proud to receive this award, however I see it more of a recognition of the success of East Midlands Trains as a whole. As a company we have achieved a lot to be proud of over the last four years, and I feel very fortunate to be a part of such a high performing organisation".
The Golden Whistle Awards, which are organised by the Institution of Railway Operators and Modern Railways magazine, are now in their third year. They are designed to recognise best practice in the rail industry.
The award was presented by Chris Loder, South East Area Chairman of the Institute of Railway Operators, who credited Darren with ‘leading innovation in operations, being a catalyst for improvement in operational safety and achieving exceptional industry influence on level crossing safety’.
East Midlands Trains – part of Stagecoach Group - has been the most punctual long distance train operator in the UK for over three years. Customer satisfaction is higher than the UK national average, with the most recent independent National Passenger Survey published on 26 January, showing that 87% of passengers are satisfied with their train service.
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