Network Rail staff receive Queen’s birthday Honours

The former head of the Thameslink Programme and a Network Rail incident officer have today been honoured in the Queen’s birthday honours list:

  • Ian Harris (right), an incident officer from the Wales route, for his work with HMP Cardiff to create a track worker training programme.
  • Simon Blanchflower (left) receives a CBE for his work on the Thameslink project and his voluntary work in the wake of the Grenfell fire.

Winners:

  • Ian Harris MBE: Ian set up a joint project with Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) Cardiff to create a track worker training programme, giving attendees training to lead towards the Personal Track Safety (PTS) qualification. The project doesn’t guarantee a job on completion but gives attendees the ability and opportunity to break out of the cycle of re-offending. Over 200 attendees have now completed this training, and the re-offending rate for those who pass the course is 11 per cent, compared with a local average of 63 per cent.
  • Simon Blanchflower CBE: Simon was recognised for his work on the Thameslink programme and his voluntary work in the wake of the Grenfell fire. Simon immediately took volunteer leave after the fire to coordinate his church’s response to the tragedy, providing community support and raising money.

Commenting on the awards, Andrew Haines, chief executive said: “I am delighted that Ian and Simon have been recognised in the Queen’s birthday honours.

“Ian set up a joint project with HMP Cardiff, creating a track worker programme which has so far given more than 200 people the ability and opportunity to break the cycle of reoffending. His huge commitment to this project has helped significantly reduce the re-offending rate and prepare prisoners to secure employment.

“Simon’s work on the Thameslink programme and his commitment to passengers has been transformational, as he led a team of thousands to deliver our largest ever programme of investment. In addition, his extensive voluntary work has been recognised, particularly in the wake of the Grenfell fire. He coordinated his church’s response to the tragedy and continues to provide community support and raise money. Simon and Ian are inspirational role models and a reminder of the real difference we can make to our communities. I congratulate them on their honours.”