Having already gone up on stage to collect the Station Staff of the Year award with his London Bridge colleagues, Arron Raimbault was surprised to hear his name called out again for one of the most prestigious awards of the night.
Colleagues praised the ‘fantastic’ operational support he provided to staff on the ground at London Bridge on the night of the terrorist attack this summer.
‘I’ve always sort of been at the back cheering people on, but to win something like this is just amazing,’ said Arron. He said the entire team had been surprised and touched by the number of customers who came up to them in the days after the attack to thank them.
Rail Person of the Year was sponsored by infrastructure group Balfour Beatty.
Satnam Thiara, business development manager for Balfour Beatty Rail, said, ‘Arron showed an immense level of bravery at a time where the threat to life was at its highest level at London Bridge station. He showed great initiative to help deal with that situation in the best way possible and helped to safeguard the travelling public. This deserved the accolade on the night.
‘The RailStaff Awards is a great opportunity to thank everybody who works in the industry, especially people like Arron. It was a fantastic evening and allowed us to meet and talk to fellow industry professionals in a more relaxed way.’
Arron and the London Bridge team were personally thanked on the night by Network Rail’s managing director, Phil Hufton, who opened the awards evening.
In his welcoming address, Hufton reminded everyone about the various terrorism related incidents that railway staff have had to contend with over the past few months. ‘I think what I’d like to do is firstly pay tribute to everybody in the room but especially to those members of staff that were involved in the atrocities that happened in Manchester, in London Bridge and, of course, Parsons Green.
‘I was extremely fortunate to meet a number of the people that were involved on those dreadful evenings and I know there’s a number of people here tonight. The work that they did, they put their own lives in front of some of the most difficult and challenging times that some people will ever experience in their lives and for them to do that is just remarkable.’
Highly commended: Pete Donnelly, CrossCountry and Octavia Neeves, Network Rail.