Train driver from Hull in the running for ‘rail industry Oscar’

A train driver called Gemma from Hull is in the running for a ‘rail industry Oscar’.

She has been nominated for a National Rail Award (Outstanding Personal Contribution category) for helping to save the life of a person in distress.

Whilst at the controls of a Northern service travelling from Scarborough to Sheffield, she noticed a car parked in a field next to the track and spotted a hose pipe running from the exhaust into the passenger compartment.

Given the alarming nature of what appeared to be taking place, she alerted the emergency services who were able to attend the scene and rescue the individual from the vehicle, undoubtedly saving their life.

Affectionately known as the ‘rail industry Oscars’, the National Rail Awards recognise and reward people, companies and initiatives that demonstrate innovation and excellence in the industry.

They also seek to promote the industry’s longer-term success and sustainability, which relies on a highly skilled, diverse, motivated and engaged workforce.

Gemma will find out if she has picked up the award at a ceremony in London on Thursday 12 September 2024.

For more information about the awards, visit

She is one of eight employees of the train operator Northern that have been shortlisted for an award.

The other nominees from Northern are:

  • Adam Mansbridge – a conductor from Leeds who demonstrated exceptional vigilance and quick-thinking that ensured the safe return of two missing children to their family
  • Andrew Williamson – a deputy station manager at Barrow-in-Furness who stepped-up to help customers affected by the storms that caused widespread disruption in Cumbria
  • Graham Blake – a customer service assistant at Holmes Chapel station who has worked with the local parish council to help ‘Stylers’ (fans of the singer Harry Styles) when visiting the musician’s hometown
  • Martin Rodger – a driver team manager from Newcastle who has been recognised for his 39-year service as the lead investigator for safety in the North East
  • Paul Wilkinson – a conductor from Blackpool who identified two schoolgirls as ‘at risk’ and was able to alert British Transport Police and reunite them with their parents
  • Darin Astbury and Stewart Hall have received a joint nomination for their work as customer service assistants at Brinnington station in Stockport, where they created a ‘Swap Shop’ that provides food, clothes, books and other household items for those in need in the local community.

Northern is the second largest train operator in the UK, with 2,500 services a day to more than 500 stations across the North of England.