FirstGroup is the proud sponsor of the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s RailStaff Awards.
The company is Britain’s largest rail operator carrying more than 290 million passengers per annum. It operates First Great Western, First Capital Connect, First TransPennine Express, First ScotRail, First Hull Trains and London Tramlink. It runs regional and commuter services, open access and light rail operations as well as high speed inter-city trains and overnight sleepers – everything from local branch line stopping services to long-distance express trains. The company has pre-qualified for the Inter City West Coast, Great Western, Thameslink and Essex Thameside franchises.
First is also one of Britain’s biggest bus operators running more than one in five of all local bus services. In North America it is the largest provider of student transportation with some 57,000 yellow school buses and operates the iconic Greyhound coach services.
Vernon Barker, head of FirstGroup’s Rail Division, said: “We are delighted to be sponsors of an award recognising the people who have invested so much of their own lives to delivering excellence in the rail industry.”
He continued: “At FirstGroup, we have the pleasure of working with excellent colleagues who recognize the strength of putting our customers at the centre of everything we do. As I visit depots, stations and HQs across our operating companies, every day I am reminded of the fantastic job my colleagues do. I am constantly overwhelmed by the dedication and commitment displayed and the willingness to go that extra mile.
“I hear of station colleagues turning up to work four hours early so they can shovel snow from the platform before the morning peak; engineers performing miracles to make our trains more sustainable; customer facing staff going to extraordinary lengths to satisfy our customers; and all colleagues working harder than ever before to make the railways as safe as possible.
“The railway, for many of us in the industry, is a way of life. Unlike most other sectors it is not uncommon to find colleagues with 30, 40 and 50 years service. There are thousands of people, including many at First, who have served the rail industry faithfully over many years.”
Vernon concluded: “The Lifetime Achievement Award reflects the passion and commitment of those men and women that have dedicated their careers and lives to manning our trains, selling tickets, operating signals and building and maintaining trains and track. They are the real heroes of the industry.”