A Hull Trains employee who has been instrumental in rolling out the £60 million Paragon fleet has been recognised as the best rail project manager in the country at a national award ceremony.
Richard Vernon, fleet project engineer for Hull Trains, scooped the Project Manager of the Year award at the annual RailStaff Awards in Birmingham NEC on November, 28 which recognises excellence and extraordinary achievements.
After joining the smallest rail operator in the country almost four years ago as part of a graduate scheme, he was chosen above fifteen other finalists for his commitment, efficiency and project management expertise to support the rollout of five brand-new, bi-mode trains.
After receiving the award, he said: “It means a lot to receive this award and I’m really grateful to have been given the opportunity to work on such a key project for Hull Trains.
“Managing this project gave me the opportunity to travel to Japan and Italy, as well as improving my understanding of design reviews, contract specifications and the train production and manufacturing process. I enjoyed learning about the train’s design, refining the train interiors and working with Hitachi Rail and Angel Trains to bring the vision to life for our staff and customers.
“It was a compliment to be given such a big project but it’s one I’m really pleased to have led. We will carry on working with Angel Trains and Hitachi Rail as we work to roll out all five trains into service by early 2020.”
Louise Cheeseman, managing director for Hull Trains also commented. “Richard’s skill and ability to problem solve and build relationships with suppliers and rail partners to introduce these five new trains into service is no mean feat for a small operator like us.
“I speak on behalf of the whole business when I say we are all incredibly proud of Richard’s achievements and growth within the business. He has spent years managing the roll out of this brand-new fleet and this award is testament to the hard work and commitment that Richard has shown to bring the new bi-mode trains into service, which will shape the future of Hull Trains for years to come.”
The Paragon fleet is expected to be rolled into passenger service by early 2020.
The RailStaff Awards has been recognising the extraordinary achievements of rail industry employees since 2007.
[Sarah Howells – CWA]