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 330 million passengers per annum. It operates First Great Western, First Capital Connect, First TransPennine Express, First ScotRail, First Hull Trains and Tramlink on behalf of Transport for London. 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 services to long distance express trains.
The company has a strong track record of investment with more than 700 new vehicles introduced and punctuality and performance increasing across each of its franchises since FirstGroup commenced operations. The company is committed to maintaining a leading position in the market through the upcoming franchising competitions.
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 49,000 yellow school buses and operates the iconic Greyhound coach services.
Says Tom O’Connor, managing director of Rail Media Group, ‘I am delighted to welcome FirstGroup which has been a long and faithful supporter of the RailStaff Awards and the people who work in railways. The Lifetime Achievement Award is one of the most popular categories. For me it is entirely right that a company which grew from an employee-management buy-out to a successful international transport business should be backing this award. FirstGroup holds a light to the aspirations of so many in our industry.’
Vernon Barker, Head of FirstGroup’s Rail Division, said: ‘The Lifetime Achievement Award recognises people who put their careers and much of their lives in to delivering excellence in the rail industry.’
He continued: “Right across the industry we work with employees at all levels who work hard to deliver services, look after customers and keep the railway safe and successful.
I regularly travel on our trains to visit our stations, booking-on points, maintenance depots and offices – right across our operating companies – and see first-hand the great work being done by colleagues day and night, 24/7. It remains a privilege to witness the commitment and professionalism of employees.
‘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.
‘The Lifetime Achievement Award reflects the passion and commitment of men and women who 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.’