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Congratulations to Phil Kirkland, Vice President PWI!!

Congratulations to Phil Kirkland, Vice President PWI!!

31 October 2016

2016 Employee Engagement Maintenance Delivery scoop a major national award

The staff who keep the Metro on track through winter have been honoured at a prestigious rail industry award ceremony.

The award was presented to Phil Kirkland, Head of Maintenance Delivery at Nexus (and also PWI Vice President – North) by Transport Minister Paul Maynard recently.

The Maintenance Delivery Department at Nexus Rail were named Team of the Year at the Global Light Rail Awards.

The prize recognises the efforts the staff make to protect Metro’s track and infrastructure from the worst of winter’s storms, snow and frozen conditions.

When Storm Desmond hit the UK in December 2015 a whole factory roof was blown on to the Metro line at Bede in South Tyneside. The Maintenance Delivery team worked in gale force winds to cut it up and remove the debris and restore 500 metres of damaged power lines.

Raymond Johnstone, our Director of Rail and Infrastructure at Nexus said: “The maintenance staff who work on Metro are a team dedicated to keeping trains on the move whatever the weather throws at us, and we are delighted and humbled to get this recognition from the global rail industry.

“Dealing with winter weather comes down to meticulous planning, but also sometimes to the skill and experience of the staff on the ground as the temperature drops or the wind rises.”

And Cllr Nick Forbes, lead member for Transport at the North East Combined Authority, was also fulsome in his praise for Nexus staff.

He said: “This is a well-deserved honour for the men and women who work in sometimes awful weather to keep Metro passengers on the move.

“The efforts Nexus staff make behind the scenes are a big part of ensuring that Metro is a reliable public service for the North East, and one we are striving to improve all the time.”

Metro lines were kept open throughout last winter, a season which saw severe and unprecedented disruption affecting most rail lines across the North, including the shared route between Sunderland and Newcastle.

Judges at the Global Light Rail Awards, held in London, singled out Nexus for praise in its planning for winter. Attention to detail includes regular patrols at points where snow is likely to drift or ice builds up, having staff on standby at key junctions to respond quickly to faults, implementation of ultra-reliable Swedish point heating equipment – and sending out regular supplies of hot coffee and food to support staff on site.

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