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Rail staff are Proud to be Northern

Northern has honoured its staff who have gone the extra mile this year to make a positive impact for customers and communities.

The Proud to be Northern awards (held virtually) celebrated the very best of the rail operator and highlighted outstanding work which, during 2020, has been carried out in challenging circumstances.

There were plaudits for those who have shown selflessness during the coronavirus pandemic, others who have worked tirelessly to keep customers on the move and a special award voted for by the travelling public.

Nick Donovan, Managing Director at Northern, said: “The past 12 months have been extraordinary and have presented challenges that we have never seen before.

“It makes me proud to say that Northern staff have risen to those challenges and have continued to provide a vital service for so many people in the north of England.

“The awards are a small way of giving those staff recognition and, through the Customers Choice Award, giving our customers the chance to say ‘thank you’.”

Selected award winners were:

Customers Choice Award – Saeed Mohamed and Rizwan Haider, Revenue Protection Officers at Glossop

Saeed and Rizwan were chosen by our customers to receive this award for the kindness they showed towards a woman and her daughter at Glossop at a time when they were feeling particularly fragile. The daughter was travelling to Glasgow but couldn’t produce the ticket she had purchased due to her mobile phone not working. Saeed lent the customer his own personal mobile phone to take with her to Glasgow so she could produce her ticket to rail staff on her journey – she returned the phone to Saeed when she arrived at Glasgow. Rizwan also took the mother for a coffee at the station café as she was feeling particularly low.

COVID-19 Outstanding Team Award – Salford Crescent platform staff

The Salford Crescent team received this award for pulling out all the stops to ensure they kept the station going when a member of the team fell severely ill after contracting COVID-19. With this being only a small team and in such a key location on the Northern network, the team pulled together for customers during an extremely challenging time.

COVID-19 Outstanding Individual Award – Tina Luff, Loss Prevention Officer (Sheffield), Timothy Carter, Gateline Operative (Blackburn) and Debby Lowther, Loss Prevention Officer (Newcastle)

This award recognised those who have gone above and beyond during the COVID-19 pandemic and all three colleagues received this award for volunteering to help Northern’s train presentation teams; cleaning cabs and touchpoints and doing so with enthusiasm to help keep colleagues and customers safe while travelling.

Special Recognition Award – Train Presentation team

This year, a special recognition award was presented to the entire Train Presentation team – Northern’s cleaners – for their work throughout the ongoing pandemic. The 450-strong team have worked on the frontline every day keeping trains clean and customers safe; giving everyone the confidence to continue to travel with Northern.

Nick added: “It has been a really tough year. Our people, though, have proven remarkably resilient and the Proud to be Northern awards deservedly recognise some of those who have gone above and beyond to get our customers – and, crucially, key workers – where they have needed to be.”

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said“I’d like to say a heartfelt thank you for the tireless and dedicated work that has kept clean and punctual services running, providing those passengers who have to travel with the confidence to do so safely.

“Northern passengers have seen long overdue improvements this year and these awards are recognition of the incredible support staff have given to passengers through an immensely challenging time.”

Contact Information

Glyn Hellam

Media Manager


01904 568652

07795 008693