Good News Friday: Your weekly round-up of positive rail news!

Posted: 21 June 2024 | | No comments yet

In this week’s ‘Good News Friday’, we cover Hull Trains’ special VIP experience day for a young railway enthusiast, TransPennine Express’ biodiversity enhancement with new station planter upgrades and The Big Rail Diversity Challenge 2024.

Good News Friday: Your weekly round-up of positive rail news!

Hull Trains hosts special VIP experience day for young railway enthusiast

Hull Trains

Credit: Hull Trains

Hull Trains recently organised a memorable VIP experience day for six-year-old Tyler Grannon from Hull, recognising his passion for trains and overcoming challenges in his young life. The initiative was part of Hull Children’s University’s Tim’s Surprise Programme, which aims to bring joy to children facing difficulties.

Tyler’s day-long adventure included an exclusive tour of the train, starting with a hands-on visit to the driver’s cab. This unique opportunity provided him with insights into rail operations and customer service, experiences that left a lasting impression.

Rose James, CEO of Hull & EY Children’s University, said: “We received Tyler’s nomination from his school for our Tim’s Surprise Programme, a scheme where we do something extra special for children who have experienced a difficult time in their lives. We found out that Tyler really liked trains and we knew that our friends at Hull Trains would go above and beyond to give Tyler a great experience.”

During the journey, Tyler received his own miniature Hull Trains uniform and enjoyed a First Class experience from Grantham back to Hull. He also tried his hand at making announcements onboard, adding to his excitement.

Tyler himself described the day as “awesome,” expressing his gratitude for the friendly reception and the chance to explore his dream job. The event not only provided Tyler with cherished memories but also highlighted Hull Trains‘ commitment to fostering local talent through initiatives like its new Learning and Development Academy. This effort aims to encourage more young people to explore career opportunities within the rail sector.

TransPennine express enhances biodiversity with station planter upgrades

TransPennine express enhances biodiversity with station planter upgrades

Credit: TransPennine Express

TransPennine Express (TPE) has recently enhanced planters at 13 of its stations across its network in a bid to promote biodiversity and enhance green spaces for commuters. This initiative is part of TPE’s broader strategy to increase biodiversity at its stations, tailored to local environments to support wildlife such as bees and butterflies.

Different plant species have been carefully selected to bloom in their respective locations, adding vibrant colours and creating new habitats for local fauna. The initiative not only aims to support pollinators but also seeks to provide commuters with tranquil green spaces, offering a refreshing break from daily routines.

Nicola Martin, Head of Sustainability at TPE, said: “The new planters are designed to attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies and will help us achieve our aim of increasing biodiversity at stations. And, of course, the green spaces can also provide a moment of tranquillity and can help to brighten-up daily commutes.”

The upgraded planters are now in place at stations including Brough, Cleethorpes, Dewsbury, Grimsby Town, Hull Paragon, Manchester Airport, Middlesbrough, Northallerton, Scarborough, Scunthorpe, Selby, Stalybridge and Thirsk. The surplus plants from these installations have been donated to Greenhead Park in Huddersfield, where volunteers have replanted them to continue benefiting the local community.

UK rail industry unites for diversity: The Big Rail Diversity Challenge 2024

The Big Rail Diversity Challenge 2024

Credit: The Big Rail Diversity Challenge 2024

On 19 June 2024, companies from across the UK’s rail industry converged at Newark Showground for the annual Big Rail Diversity Challenge. This event, initiated in 2016, has grown substantially, reflecting the industry’s commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion. Hosted by Women in Rail, a prominent charity advocating for gender equality in the sector, the challenge aims to highlight the benefits of diverse teams working together.

Participants engaged in a series of team-based challenges designed to test their physical, mental and collaborative skills. Activities ranged from the Catwalk Challenge to Human Table Football, each crafted to emphasise the importance of effective communication and teamwork across diverse backgrounds and roles within the railway industry.

Marie Daly, Chair of Women in Rail, said: “The Big Rail Diversity Challenge continues to grow as a must-attend event for the industry. As one of our flagship events, BRDC highlights the key values of Women in Rail – and provides a frontline platform to raise the profile of EDI and the sector’s commitment to improving diversity across its workforce at all levels. Our strapline – Better for People, Better for Business, Better for Rail – perfectly describes the event.”

Highlighting achievements, awards were presented to standout teams, recognising their exceptional teamwork and performance across various challenges. The ceremony culminated in the presentation of the coveted ‘Team of the Year Award’ to ‘3Squared RailSmarties’ from 3Squared Ltd, celebrating their outstanding overall score and collaborative spirit throughout the day.

Beyond the competitive spirit, the event also featured charitable initiatives, including a Charity Tuck Shop and Hamper Raffle, aimed at supporting Women in Rail’s ongoing efforts.

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