John Smith wins the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Golden Whistles


Rail freight UK

GB Railfreight’s CEO John Smith, was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Golden Whistles awards ceremony on Friday 9 March. He was given the award by one of his former colleagues and now Chief Executive of Network Rail, Andrew Haines.

At the awards night, John said:

“It only feels like yesterday that we started our first train from East London for Network Rail and now we are the fastest growing rail freight company in the country. If I am honest, I find it scary that I’ve spent a ‘lifetime’ in the railway, but this award is a testimony to the incredible people I’ve had the pleasure of working with and have been part of building GB Railfreight to what it is today. It wouldn’t have been possible without them.”

Paul Lemon, National Operations Development Manager, was also highly commended in the Outstanding Operating Team category for his work with the Future Rules Working Group. The judges said;

“The team has worked collaboratively to understand and reinvent many of the UK’s railway operational rules and procedures to get our railway fit for the future of the European Train Control System.”

The Golden Whistles event was founded in 2010 to promote best practices and celebrate excellence in railway operations. The annual event now incorporates a morning conference at which railway operators discuss developments aimed at improving operations, followed by a networking lunch and the handing out of the Golden Whistle awards for excellence in railway operations.