FirstGroup is the proud sponsor of the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s RailStaff Awards.
The company is one of Britain’s most experienced rail operators and carried 280m passengers last year. It operates First Great Western, First TransPennine Express, 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. FirstGroup has a strong track record of investment with more than 700 new vehicles introduced and the company is committed to maintaining a leading position in the market.
FirstGroup 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, is one of the largest private sector providers of public transit management and operates the iconic Greyhound coach service, synonymous with affordable long-distance travel and a unique national network.
Says Tom O’Connor, managing director of Rail Media Group, ‘FirstGroup is a long and faithful supporter of the RailStaff Awards, mirroring the great emphasis it places on staff development, care and success. This dates back to its origins as a management and employee buy-out during the privatisation of the bus industry.
FirstGroup has grown to become one of the most successful transport businesses in the world and has helped many build enduring and successful careers in the industry. The Lifetime Achievement Award is one of the most popular categories. For me it is entirely right that a company which has inspired so many should be backing this award.’
Tim O’Toole, FirstGroup’s Chief Executive, said: ‘The Lifetime Achievement Award recognises people who put their lives and careers towards delivering excellence in the rail industry. Right across the industry we have employees at all levels who work hard to deliver services, look after customers and keep the railway safe and successful. When visiting stations, maintenance depots and offices across our operating companies, I see great work being done day and night and it remains a privilege to witness the commitment and professionalism of employees.
‘The railway, for many in the industry, is a way of life and 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 FirstGroup, 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 running our trains, delivering great customer service, operating signals and building and maintaining track and trains. They are the real heroes of the industry.’