National Rail Awards 2017: Outstanding Personal Contribution Life-changer: Steve Read & Sam Lawrence Train Managers, GB Railfreight

This year, there were five individuals nominated for an Oustanding Personal Contribution award that did truly something exceptional, either by saving a life or preventing a serious incident on the railway. The judges felt that to properly recognise this would take a special award to honour those that have gone above and beyond in their everyday duties to change someone’s life.

Steve Read & Sam Lawrence
Train Managers, GB Railfreight

Steve and Sam were supervising a trainee driver in March 2017. As the trio approached Milton Keynes Central, a Virgin Voyager train sat on the Down Fast line on a signal caution alerted the two senior drivers that something wasn’t right.
It became clear soon enough: Steve spotted a distressed individual sitting on a wall, ready to jump onto the tracks. He immediately called Rugby Control and the train was brought to a controlled stop at the platform.
Now the individual was on the tracks. Steve immediately contacted the signalbox to request an all-lines block. When it was safe, Sam made his way to the individual, who was highly distressed and expressing suicidal intent. Sam kept the individual talking calmly.
The arrival of a British Transport Police officer may have spooked the individual further so Steve managed contact with the BTP as Sam continued to talk to the individual. Both Train Managers successfully coaxed the individual on to the platform and into the care of the BTP.
Steve Rhymes, Network Rail’s Head of Freight Network Management, said, “Steve and Sam looked after the individual until the British Transport Police arrived and then called the signaller to reopen the railway once safe to do so. A shining example of going the extra mile.”

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