Rail industry colleagues gathered in London on 25 January to celebrate operational excellence at the 2019 Golden Whistle Awards.

Designed to promote excellence and celebrate the best of railway operations, these awards are run by the Fourth Friday Club in association with Modern Railways and in conjunction with the IRO.

Now in its 10th year, these awards recognise the work of the best performing passenger and freight operators and Network Rail Routes, highlighting the importance of railway operations and recognising those individuals and teams who are striving to deliver the best of railway operations.

The IRO SE area council analyses the vast amount of industry data, ranking statistics to reflect the size of each reporting company and the importance of each section of the data.

An audience of nearly 300 professionals from across the industry attended this event at the Marriott on Grosvenor Square which was hosted by Dick Fearn, formerly CEO, Irish Rail and Fellow of the IRO. This year’s keynote speaker was Dyan Crowther, CEO of HS1 Ltd, while earlier in the day a morning conference on operating issues was opened by Network Rail Chief Executive Andrew Haines.

Andrew Haines delivered an inspiring speech on The Central Importance of the Operating Function and how to deliver a better service for passengers and freight by improving the everyday running of the railway.

A full copy of Andrew Haines’ speech is available on the Network Rail Website  or can be accessed via the IRO LinkedIn page and search for Institution of Railway Operators.

The IRO would like to congratulate all of those who were nominated and the winners, with the Golden Whistles awarded for best performance and the Silver awarded for most improved. For the second time, the awards for the best performing passenger operators used a new measure of on-time performance which looks at arrivals at every station en-route, not just a train’s destination:

Operational Performance – Long distance
Gold – Greater Anglia
Silver – CrossCountry

Operational Performance – London & South East
Gold – c2c
Silver – Great Western Railway

Operational Performance – Regional
Gold – Merseyrail
Silver – Transport for Wales/Arriva Trains Wales

Operational Performance – Freight (based on the Arrivals to Fifteen (A2F) measure)
Gold – Direct Rail Services
Silver – Colas Rail

Operational Performance – Passenger or freight operator delay minutes on self
Gold – CrossCountry
Silver – Colas Rail

Operational Performance – Network Rail Route (based on fewest delay minutes to operators)
Gold – Wales
Silver – South East

London Underground Line Performance (both awards based on improvement in the Lost Customer Hours (LCH) measure)
Gold – Bakerloo Line
Silver – Northern Line

Iarnród Éireann Performance – Right Time by route
Gold – Western Rail Corridor

Iarnród Éireann Performance – route delay minutes
Gold – Maynooth

Outstanding Operations – Team or Individual
These awards are decided by a panel of judges from the Institution of Railway Operators.
Gold – James Webb, RSSB
Silver – Paul Griffin, East Midlands Trains

Highly commendedSam Woolley, Northern

Special Award
The special award is presented at the discretion of the judges to an operator or operating team who has gone above and beyond the call of duty and deserves special recognition for an outstanding act.
Royal Wedding, SWR, GWR and NR

This year’s award went to the teams from operators and Network Rail who planned and led the intensive operational effort to transport visitors to Windsor for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Lifetime Achievement Award
Chris Green