DRS Provide Award Winning Customer Care

Direct Rail Services have been awarded the Customer Care Award 2016 at the Rail Freight Group Awards for providing First Class Customer Care during the most challenging times.


David Patterson, DRS Train Driver & Chris Connelly, Commerical & Business Development Director accept the award on behalf of Direct Rail Services Ltd.

Customer Care Award   

DRS’ mission and the foundation on which it is built are to provide Safe, Secure and Reliable transport solutions.  Our commitment to deliver our services in line with this comes with a guarantee that our customers will receive first class customer care.

Safety & Security are paramount for DRS with all moves being planned and delivered to meet the exacting range of regulatory and licence conditions ensuring that all our transports can be effectively undertaken.

During the winter of 2015/16, severe weather disrupted not only the transport systems and primary routes which DRS use to deliver for our customers, severe flooding to homes and businesses throughout Cumbria affected staff and their families, shaking communities and threatening the overall delivery of the business.

In early December 2015, Cumbria was devastated by storm Desmond, causing utter devastation to homes, businesses and transport systems along with mass flooding across the county.  Some of the worst affected areas included Cumbria, home to DRS’ Kingmoor Depot and Headquarters in Carlisle.

The effect of the storm on DRS was considerable with trains and traincrew stranded on the West Coast Main Line with no immediate exit routes available, power outages reduced communication with our control room, and our largest loco maintenance facility was cut off from the rail network, the Cumbrian Coast northbound was closed due to several landslips and sea wall breaches further reducing diversionary options available to DRS.

Some DRS employees living in the county were affected too. Homes were flooded leading to them and their families being forced to move into rented accommodation leaving a wake of chaos behind.

The DRS emergency response plan was instigated and in true DRS fashion, the business pulled out all the stops with all functions working together to ensure our customers and workforce were supported and offered the first class customer care we pride ourselves on.

The award was presented by event sponsors Burges Salmon who announced Direct Rail Services won the Customer Care award for its team’s dedication to making sure goods were delivered and staff were safe during the floods in the north of England last winter. It was a “fantastic job” according to one client, Tesco.”

As a subsidiary of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) DRS are responsible for transporting nuclear materials around the UK. Commenting on the award NDA Chief Executive John Clarke said:

“Congratulations to Debbie and her team at DRS for winning this award. All of our staff are fully committed to the communities they live and work in, and therefore I’m delighted to see DRS being recognised for their tireless efforts in the most challenging of times.”

Following the awards Debbie Francis, Managing Director for DRS said  


“This award recognises all the hard work and commitment by all at DRS for the outstanding level of customer care demonstrated by our workforce. The dedication and sheer determination along with a ‘can do attitude’ ensured that the impact on our services was absolute minimal and in some cases no impact was seen at all. At a time when other suppliers would give up, stay home and simply cancel services the DRS workforce demonstrated a genuine commitment to our customers and put festive celebrations on hold, developed solutions and worked tirelessly to keep our services on track and on time.  The entire workforce pulled together with a genuine understanding that the customer comes first and successfully delivered a plan under extreme conditions, well done to everyone”.



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