The Transport Benevolent Fund is backing the Station Staff of the Year Award at this year’s RailStaff Awards. With a membership at over 43,000, the TBF enjoys a unique and central place in the railway community.
Says Andy Milne, editor, RailStaff, ‘The rail industry is a public service like no other. Railway staff are in daily contact with passengers on trains and on stations in a safety critical environment. Passengers can see the driver and talk to the guard but before they get on the train their journey effectively starts at a ticket office, on a railway concourse or platform.
Station staff handle a variety of situations with competency and kindness. Their professionalism underpins the continuing good fortune of the railway industry. It is highly appropriate that the TBF which has helped so many railway staff since its foundation in 1923 should be backing this award.’
The Transport Benevolent Fund (TBF) is a registered charity (in England and Wales no. 1058032 and in Scotland no. SC040013) and offers a wide range of benefits including health, legal advice, convalescence and cash help to its members and their dependants. The TBF is run by Trustees who understand the industry and the needs of staff.
TBF is here to support those who work in the public transport industry when they are in need, hardship or distress. Almost anyone who works in the industry may join TBF. If you are a member of the TBF, you may choose to continue your membership in retirement. It is not possible to join once you have retired.
Contributions to the TBF are just £1 a week. Please contact TBF for more details. If you pass away while in service, and have 5 years’ worth of TBF contributions, your family will normally continue to be treated as dependants in accordance with TBF rules.
Says Rupert Brennan Brown, Rail Network Development lead at TBF ‘I have heard stations described as the cathedrals of the new railway which sounds wonderful but the real heroes are the thousands of frontline men and women who work on our stations, looking after the public, expediting journeys and helping out when assistance is required.’
The Transport Benevolent Fund was originally established to help families of London public transport workers serving in the First World War. A permanent trust was set up in 1923. TBF has been helping public transport workers for over 90 years. In recent years TBF has shown extensive growth nationally and now has over 43,000 members throughout England, Scotland and Wales.
Post-Beeching railway stations often became depressed, grimy places with their buildings boarded up. Many staff were withdrawn. Much of this is changing now as the rail industry powers up to answer the upsurge of passenger volume. Stations are being modernised and expanded. Major stations are being re-defined as light, friendly places full of shops, cafés and restaurants.
The rail industry has worked out that the huge footfall through its stations presents a real commercial opportunity. The essential element in making stations work are the staff from every quarter of the station, from barista to dispatcher. Thanks to railway staff, stations are once more becoming inspired statements of faith in the future.