John Matheson, a team leader at Bridgeway Consulting, has won this year’s Rail Person of the Year.
The award caps a successful career for the quietly spoken railwayman from Nottingham. John has been with Bridgeway for the last five years, during which time he has increased his skills by studying civil engineering and construction at New College Nottingham.
Says Mark Lindahl, an associate director at Bridgeway Consulting Ltd, ‘John joined Bridgeway in March 2010 as a contract for services labourer having already had significant experience of working on track with his previous employer in many roles but recently as an assistant track welder and controller of site safety.’
Bridgeway bosses were quick to spot John Matheson’s ability to go beyond the job description and earmarked him to take a lead in the company’s burgeoning works portfolio.
‘John was quickly identified as having exceptional potential,’ says Lindahl. ‘His manner on site with his ability to learn new tasks whilst all the time conducting the works in the safest manner set him apart from other new intakes we had seen. This led us to fund John’s further studies by enrolling him on an ONC in civil engineering course. Despite being a very busy man work- wise, John stuck it out and graduated with a distinction which when working shift work is no mean feat.’
John went on to study a Higher National Diploma in construction and civil engineering, which he completed this summer. The daunting syllabus covers construction projects, computer-aided design, estimating, advanced mathematics, structural mechanics and land surveying. Multi- tasking is second nature to John.
Says Mark Lindahl, ‘John has the ability to focus on several things at once and complete them all outstandingly. This skill when working on rail is one of the best if not the best skill to have.
‘John often acts in a safety critical role up to and including engineering supervisor/Safe Work Leader Level 2 whilst at the same time organising site teams to conduct drilling/coring/ trenching/pitting activities to completion in line with his safe system of work. His ability to
adapt has meant that he has now taken on, in conjunction with other duties, that of lead cable percussive driller, operating our new bespoke Dando LHR D1500 tracked Cable Percussive Rig which, to date, has been a resounding success.’
Says John Matheson, ‘I’d like to thank the company and all at Bridgeway; without them I wouldn’t be here. Winning this award is really overwhelming. I didn’t think I’d win.’
At Bridgeway, John Matheson is held up as role model. ‘His careful and meticulous nature in the safety critical role, combined with his calm manner, has meant he has helped the company create some exceptional safety staff in his mould with excellent knowledge – not only of the rule book but, just as importantly, how to apply it practically on site,’ says Mark. ‘John is the consummate rail professional and one all others in our field of work would do well to emulate.’
Rail Person of the Year was sponsored by TXM Plant – a leading supplier of plant solutions to the UK rail industry.
Says TXM Plant business development manager Rob Killen, who presented the award, ‘John started as a trackman and then he had the initiative to go to college to learn civil engineering, while working full time as a trackman, and that’s how he’s built himself up through the rail industry to the position he has now.
‘That is exactly the type of person we want within the industry.’
- Tomasz Leski,Abellio Greater Anglia
- Lee Clinton, telent Technology Limited