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Award of a lifetime

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Most companies have their problem solvers; someone who seems to have been around forever and has accumulated an encyclopaedic knowledge to match.

The RailStaff Awards’ Lifetime Achievement category gives these men and women a stage to be celebrated – sometimes for the first time in their careers.

This year, the category is being sponsored by the multi- disciplinary rail contractor Costain – a company that understands the value of its experienced engineering team.

Costain is currently delivering the redevelopment of London Bridge station for Thameslink – a project which comes to fruition next year – and is a member of the SCS joint venture that was awarded two of the construction lots for Phase One of HS2 this summer.

The company is also part of the ABC Electrification joint venture and is delivering several contracts for Crossrail, including providing the track and power systems through the central section and delivering new stations at Paddington and Bond Street.

Employee assistance

The RailStaff Awards is just one way in which Costain is demonstrating its commitment to the wider industry workforce this year.

The company recently announced it would be extending its Employee Assistance Programme to its supply chain, as well as those working within the business. The programme provides a 24/7 helpline and face-to-face counselling to support those suffering from stress or anxiety either at work or at home.

Real privilege

Last year, the Lifetime Achievement award was won by Keltbray’s Les Blake (pictured). Les was presented with the trophy at the age of 73, having spent the previous 54 years working within the industry. The award wasn’t just recognition for past achievements. Over the previous 12 months or so, Les had been instrumental in the design and development of a new road/rail full tensioning wiring unit.

Says Paul O’Connor, Rail Media director, ‘Being able to recognise someone for their contribution to the industry over several decades is a real privilege. There are probably few problems that the combined experience of our nominees wouldn’t be able to solve.

‘It’s good that more emphasis is being put on celebrating the achievements of graduates and apprentices, but let’s not forget to mention those that mentor them, those that have been delivering for businesses consistently over a number of years.

‘Thank you to Costain for supporting this category and helping us to honour some of the railway industry’s most respected and most knowledgeable individuals.’

Read about this year’s nominees on the RailStaff Awards website: www.railstaffawards. com/event/2017/categories