Melanie Aworer wins Depot Staff of the Year

Melanie Aworer

Melanie Aworer

Melanie Aworer has won this year’s Depot Staff of the Year Award. The prize was presented by Pete Waterman and Phil Bearpark, production director of Virgin Trains, which sponsored Depot Staff of the Year at the RailStaff Awards.

Says Tom O’Connor, Rail Media Group, which organises the awards, ‘Hard work and going the extra mile for colleagues and customers is what gives so much of the railway industry the edge. Melanie Aworer really demonstrates this and is highly valued by her colleagues. This award is very much deserved and all of us here wish Melanie well in her career.’

Melanie Aworer works in admin support for First Capital Connect at Hornsey TSC in London. Often working alone she had shown initiative and commitment in coping with the everyday problems that come up in a busy traction depot. Friends say Melanie Aworer will contact HR or payroll on behalf of an employee, instead of giving them the contact details and asking them to go direct. Colleagues describe her as showing immense kindness, perseverance, tolerance and patience.

First Capital Connect runs cross-London services between Brighton and Bedford as well as from London Kings Cross and Moorgate to Cambridge, Peterborough and King’s Lynn. Capacity expansion work on the Thameslink line will allow the company to operate more frequent services and longer, 12 car trains.

Virgin Trains which sponsors the Depot Staff of the Year award, operates high speed inter city services on the West Coast Main Line. In December 2008, Virgin Trains introduced a new timetable offering more trains and faster journey times. Train services overall increased by 30 percent following Network Rail’s £9bn upgrade of the West Coast Main Line. The routes from Manchester and Birmingham to London saw train frequencies increased to every 20 minutes, comparable with many local commuter routes, and the most frequent long-distance train services in Europe. Average journey times in the case of Manchester were slashed to as little as 2 hours 05 minutes.

The RailStaff Awards, now in its fourth year, celebrates the courage and heroism of the thousands of working people who make up Britain’s fast expanding rail industry. The RailStaff Awards is organised by the Rail Media Group, publishers of RailStaff, the leading industry newspaper specialising in good news stories about the railways and the people who work on them. RMG also publishes the rail engineer magazine taking an in-depth look at railway engineering developments. is a specialist rail recruitment web site also run by RMG. The next RailStaff Awards will be on 8th October 2011 at the International Convention Centre, Birmingham.

Over 500 railway staff and their families attended the RailStaff Awards at the International Convention Centre, Birmingham. Pete Waterman hosted the evening which opened with brief speeches of welcome by Edward Welsh, director of corporate affairs at the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC), and Iain Coucher, chief executive of Network Rail. ATOC and Network Rail are Associate Sponsors of the RailStaff Awards. After dinner comedian Alun Cochrane delighted the proceedings. Then, after the actual awards, railway staff danced the night away to live band, Fully FunKtional. ‘It was a great night out, a family get together and a celebration as well as a brilliant party,’ says Gemma King, organiser of the evening and manager of the RailStaff Awards.

Big hearted party goers at the RailStaff Awards managed to raise over £2,000 for the Railway Children – official charity of the RailStaff Awards.

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