Direct Rail Services employee wins the Young Rail Professional honour at glittering awards ceremony.

The prestigious Rail Freight Group awards, held on Thursday 9 September at the De Vere Latimer Hotel near Chesham in Buckinghamshire, showcases excellence in all aspects of rail freight and the benefits it brings to the country.

This year, 22-year-old Andrew Burton, who is a Train Planner for Direct Rail Services (DRS), won the Young Rail Professional award. The award recognises the importance to the rail industry of encouraging and helping to develop its newest staff. Andrew won for his enthusiasm, determination, hard work and knowledge of the rail network to ensure trains run efficiently and on time.

Moving from Northern Ireland to Crewe in pursuit of a job within his desired career, rail freight, Andrew arrived at DRS’s depot for an interview where he convinced one of the planning managers he was perfect for a role in train planning.

Andrew’s aptitude and receptiveness meant he soon became an integral member of the team and has never looked back.

Andrew said: “I took a chance travelling from my home in Northern Ireland to Crewe to work for DRS and it’s certainly paid off. I couldn’t believe it when they started reading out the winning entry, I thought, that’s me! It is a great honour just to be nominated but to win was a huge surprise.

“I’m so pleased to have won this award and am looking forward to my future with the company.”

DRS, which is part of Nuclear Transport Solutions (NTS), was also named runner up in the Customer Care category for its work with supermarkets over the pandemic. The award recognised the effort and collaboration in running longer and faster services over the pandemic to ensure vital food and goods could reach shelves quickly and efficiently.

Chris Connelly, NTS Deputy CEO and Rail Director, said: “I am absolutely thrilled to have had such success at the awards this year. I’m especially proud of Andrew Burton who has shown real initiative in his time with DRS and is a shining example to all colleagues. Andrew is an absolute asset to DRS and the rail freight industry, he has a fantastic future with the company.”

“The work which went into delivering for our customers day after day during some really challenging periods is a testament to the commitment and resilience of all of my colleagues, and I’m delighted that has been recognised in the Customer Care category.”

Maggie Simpson OBE, RFG Director General, said: “Despite the huge challenges over the past 18 months, the rail freight sector has done what it does best – get on with delivering to meet our customers’ needs. Our awards are the opportunity to highlight those successes and the individuals and companies going the extra mile to drive growth and excellence. We have been delighted with the record number of entries this year, and many congratulations to all the brilliant winners and runners up.”


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