A family price promise, commitment to employee development and involving customers in new train design has put the Tyne and Wear Metro in the running for a record five prizes at the UK Rail Business Awards next week.
Nexus, the public body which operates Metro, has been named a finalist for Education and Training Excellence, recognising the boost it gave driver recruitment and customer service training from opening a £9m new Learning Centre.
Meanwhile bold actions to bring customers back to Metro after lockdown – including a permanent new ‘take the kids for free’ price promise – have seen Nexus named finalist for Marketing and Communications Excellence.
Nexus, along with train builder Stadler, are also in the running for Innovation of the Year, as well as Marketing and Communications Excellence, for involving 23,000 people in consultation on the design of Metro’s £362m new train fleet through an interactive online and VR engagement campaign.
And engineering firm Buckingham Group is a finalist in the Infrastructure Project Excellence category after completing the construction of Metro’s £25m Howdon depot on time and within budget at the height of the pandemic.
Martin Kearney, Chief Operating Officer at Nexus, said: “The UK Rail Business Awards recognises the best there is, so to be named finalist in five categories is a tremendous achievement for Metro, Nexus and our suppliers.
“What all these nominations have in common is a determination by our employees and suppliers to give our customers the best despite the huge impact of the pandemic. We opened new facilities, trained a record number of drivers and found new ways to put local people at the heart of our new train design.
“Metro is emerging from the pandemic stronger than any other UK transport operator, and with bold customer offers including our Take The Kids For Free price promise. This has been team effort in difficult times of which we are all very proud.”
Markus Bernsteiner, Deputy Group CEO, Executive Vice President Division Switzerland, added: “As both the construction of the new depot at Gosforth and the production of the new trains are under way, Stadler is pleased to be named a joint finalist with Nexus in the Innovation of the Year category of the industry-acclaimed Rail Business Awards.”
The UK Rail Business Awards winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on 23 February 2022.
The annual awards attract scores of entries from right across the UK rail sector, including leading train companies, engineering and technology firms.