Members from across the rail industry gathered at the Marriott on Grosvenor Square in London on Friday 26th January 2018 for the 2018 Golden Whistle Awards.  Now in its ninth year, these awards are dedicated to people who work in or interface with railway operations.

Designed to promote excellence and celebrate the best of railway operations, the Golden Whistle Awards are run by the Fourth Friday Club in association with Modern Railways and in conjunction with the IRO. At the awards the best performing passenger and freight operators and Network Rail Routes are celebrated, and special awards are also given to teams and individuals who have gone above and beyond expectations in order to deliver excellence in railway operations.

Hosted by Dick Fearn, formerly CEO, Irish Rail and Fellow of the IRO this year’s keynote speaker was Tim Shoveller, Managing Director, UK Rail, Stagecoach and IRO board member. Tim told the audience of nearly 300 professionals from across the industry, that the railway needs to go back to basics and concentrate on core competencies. Highlighting that the railway has much to be proud of, with an excellent safety record and massive investment in a range of projects across the country, Tim stressed the importance of people to the success of operating railways. Technology is important, but it is no substitute for human influence. Tim’s experience of running the South Western alliance revealed a huge amount about the interaction between operators and Network Rail and the need to see the railway as a system. Tim concluded that it is key to build partnerships with staff and employers and that the Golden Whistles are a fantastic opportunity to celebrate those who focus on the basics of railway operation.

The IRO South East Area council analyses a vast amount of industry data and ranks statistics which reflects the size of each reporting company and the importance of each section of the data.

The IRO is proud to join operators each year for this event and would like to congratulate all those who were nominated and this year’s winners: Golden Whistle awards are for best performance and Silver for most improved:

Operational Performance – Long distance
Gold – East Midlands Trains
Silver – Greater Anglia

Operational Performance – London & South East
Gold – c2c
Silver – Govia Thameslink Railway

Operational Performance – Regional
Gold – East Midlands Trains
Silver – Arriva Trains Wales

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

Operational Performance – Passenger or freight operator delay minutes on self
Gold – CrossCountry
Silver – Govia Thameslink Railway

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

London Underground Line Performance (both awards based on improvement in the Lost Customer Hours (LCH) measure)
Gold – Circle & Hammersmith
Silver – Metropolitan

Iarnród Éireann Performance – Right Time by route (both awards based on improvement)
Gold – Westport
Silver – Cork

Iarnród Éireann Performance – route delay minutes (both awards based on reduction in delay minutes)
Gold – Heuston Commuter
Silver – Waterford

Outstanding Operations – Team or Individual
These awards are decided by a panel of judges from the Institution of Railway Operators. Rather than separate awards for teams or individuals, this year there was one combined shortlist.
Gold – Waterloo Upgrade Team, South Western Railway
Silver – Old Oak Common Depot Team, Great Western Railway
Highly Commended – Newman Luke, Operation Vienna, Revenue Control, London Underground/Transport for London; Tommy Puncheon, Head of Control, c2c; Joint Performance Team, Southeastern and Network Rail

Special Award
Angela Hern, Head of Trains & Stations (Central Region), Northern
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. This year’s award went to Northern’s Angela Hern, who was the driving force behind the recovery of Manchester Victoria station after the devastating terrorist attack on 22 May 2017.