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Passengers and staff at East Midlands Trains will be saying goodbye to one of Leicester station’s best known faces on Friday 10 January as Eddie Isaacs hangs up his whistle and baton and retires after 53 years of service.
Edmond Isaac MBE aged 75, known as Eddie to friends and colleagues, first retired when he was 65 but wasn’t ready to give up the job he loved at Leicester station. Ten years on, he has now decided to take a well-earned break.
Eddie joined the railway in 1961 in London dealing with parcels, and then transferred to London Road in Leicester shortly afterwards. He dealt with the on and off loading and sorting of parcels at Leicester until the early 1980’s when he was promoted to the position of “leading railman” and has dealt with assisting passengers and dispatching trains ever since.
During his time on the railway, Eddie has received many awards and accolades. In 2003, he received a special commendation for his personal contribution to the railways at the National Rail Awards, then in 2004 he was awarded an MBE for his service to the rail industry.
In 2008, he became famous around the city when he was photographed for the “One Leicester” promotion with his photo appearing on posters dotted around the city with his thoughts on Leicester, which read:
"One thing I love about Leicester is the people. I've been here for over 60 years and the only time I've ever left the city was to collect my MBE from the Queen. I'm proud to say I've never missed a day's service in the 45 years I've worked on the station. It's my second home and my customers make me so happy. I've never had a bad day in Leicester, which is why I believe 'happiness within' is the secret to good health. Keep happy, keep smiling."
His most recent accolade in 2013 was an internal “00 Hero” award for his work in consistently ensuring that trains are dispatched on time.
David Horne, Managing Director for East Midlands Trains, said: “Even at the tender age of 75, Eddie is famous for dashing up and down the platforms, calling out to passengers and blowing his whistle as loudly as he can.
“All the passengers and staff at Leicester have a great deal of respect for Eddie and he will be a big loss to the station. We are hugely grateful for Eddie’s enthusiasm and his unswerving commitment to delivering the best possible service to our customers over many years at Leicester station. We wish Eddie all the very best for a long and happy retirement.”
A presentation will be made to Eddie Isaac MBE at 11.30 at Leicester station on Friday 10 January and media representatives are invited to see him dispatch his last train ever. For further information please contact Emma Knight at East Midlands Trains by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling on 07771 830995.