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Stagecoach Group’s two rail franchises, East Midlands Trains and South West Trains, have received awards for safety, improved levels of performance and passenger satisfaction. In total, the two train operators picked up three awards at the newly launched Golden Whistles Awards, an award scheme managed jointly by the Institution of Railway Operators and Modern Railwaysmagazine, created to recognise best practice in the industry.
South West Trains, the largest passenger rail company in the UK, picked up the Golden Whistle award for Best Operational Delivery. Based on scores taken from the latest National Passenger Survey (an independent survey representing the views of passengers), this award recognises the achievements of South West Trains in delivering a high quality train service and looks at factors such as punctuality and reliability as well as helpfulness of staff, upkeep and repair of trains and how well any delays are handled.
Jan Chaudhry, Operations Director, who collected the award for South West Trains, said: “We are extremely proud to have picked up the very first Golden Whistle award, based directly on levels of passenger satisfaction. It recognises the continuous improvement we have made in the delivery of punctual, reliable and good quality train services. It is also a real tribute to the professionalism and dedication of all our staff involved in train service delivery”.
East Midlands Trains, currently running seventh in the national league table for performance, demonstrating significantly improved punctuality and reliability, were successful in two of the awards. Most importantly, the company collected a Golden Whistle award for Most Improved Operational Safety, demonstrating East Midlands Trains' commitment to safety. East Midlands Trains also came a very close second out of the 19 passenger train operators in the category of Most Improved Operational Performance, collecting a Silver Whistle.
Mark Steward, Operations Director for East Midlands Trains, commented: “Our top priority is to run safe and reliable trains, so it’s a fantastic achievement to have collected these two important industry awards. Our franchise is still relatively new, having only started in late 2007, and it’s great to see that the dedication and drive of our staff in making such significant improvements have been recognised in this way. We would like to thank everybody who works hard to deliver safe, punctual and reliable train services day in, day out.”
The Golden Whistles Awards have been launched following the success of the annual Golden Spanner Awards (also managed by Modern Railways magazine), which recognise excellence in train maintenance. The awards were presented at a ceremony in London on 22 January