London Northwestern Railway has been recognised for contributing to life saving work across the rail network.
The train operator is part of the Milton Keynes Escalation Team, who won ‘Rail Safety Team of the Year’ at the 2018 Railstaff Awards.
The team is made up of representatives from London Northwestern Railway, Virgin Trains, Network Rail, Samaritans, British Transport Police and Thames Valley Police.
Between July and November 2017, a series of suspected suicides on the rail network in the Milton Keynes area raised cause for concern. The incidents were having a huge impact on the local communities and on the rail industry.
In response to the incidents, a multi-agency group was formed, which has worked together to pursue a range of different actions, including information sharing, community engagement, improving human intervention and promoting help-seeking.
Annamaria Izzard, station manager at Milton Keynes, said: “For every life lost of the railway, six are saved by those around them. These incidents impact many people, so it is vital that we address these issues as an industry, along with our partners. The escalation team at Milton Keynes have made such a difference at the station, so it is fantastic that they have been recognised at the Railstaff awards this year. However, there is still much more to be done. We are committed to driving life saving initiatives forward and to supporting our staff and partners in delivering these.”
Two further members of London Northwestern Railway staff received Highly Commended Awards in other categories.
London Euston dispatcher, Scott Nickels, was awarded Highly Commended in the ‘Rail Person of the Year’ category. Scott has been involved in a number of life-saving interventions, including assisting a passenger who suffered a serious fall down an escalator at the station.
Samantha Wood, station customer service assistant, was awarded Highly Commended in the ‘Samaritans Lifesaver Award’ category. Samantha was recognised for her actions in engaging with a suicidal customer at her station, preventing a potential incident.