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Ops manager awarded MBE

A former Northern Rail manager, who dedicated fifty years to the railway industry, has received an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.

Phil Thickett, 65 of Darlington, was recognised for services to the railway industry. He began his career as an apprentice in 1961 and worked his way up to become Northern’s Area Operations Manager, where he managed more than 700 staff and more than 1,200 trains every day across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, until his retirement last May.

Phil was recognised for his long term commitment to the railway and his willingness to help others, both inside and outside the industry.

He has mentored many school children, on a voluntary basis, on work experience schemes. In addition he has been involved with many projects and charity events.

Says Phil, ‘I couldn’t believe it when I was told the news about the MBE. I have seen many changes to the railway industry over the last fifty years and for me it was about embracing those changes and providing a service for thousands of people every day.’

Phil was praised for encouraging staff. Says Ian Bevan, Managing Director of Northern Rail, ‘We are proud of Phil and delighted he has received this fantastic honour. He has helped develop so many of our employees, in both their daily duties and further education aspirations and is a true ambassador for Northern Rail and the whole rail industry.

‘Phil’s kind and unassuming nature has a positive effect on everyone he comes into contact with and makes him a pleasure to work alongside.’ Phil is married with two children.

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