Hero driver who stopped crash and Cambridge Station scoop awards at National Rail Awards
PUBLISHED: 12:57 22 September 2017 | UPDATED: 12:59 22 September 2017
Greater Anglia won two major awards in the rail industry’s National Rail Awards last night (September 21).
Hero driver Stuart Connell was named a life changer after he was short-listed in the Outstanding Personal Contribution category, and Cambridge Station beat off competition from Birmingham International, Derby and Ipswich stations to win Large Station of the Year.
Stuart put his passengers’ safety ahead of his own after his lightning reactions and selflessness prevented tragedy when a tractor pulled out onto a level crossing in front of his train on the Norwich to Cambridge line in April 2016.
Stuart put the safety of his passengers and the tractor driver above his own when he pulled the emergency brake, before warning passengers.
He then kept his hand down on the warning horn up to and including the point of impact, which resulted in him sustaining an injury to his hand. The trailer separated from the tractor and struck the side of the train several times.
Stuart helped prevent a derailment and undoubtedly reduced the number of injuries sustained by all on board the train and the tractor.
Although he was badly injured and in shock, he continued his duties, walking through the train to look after the 135 passengers.
Judges described Stuart’s actions as “truly exceptional” and felt he needed a special award to honour him for “going above and beyond in his everyday duties”.
Cambridge Station has recently undergone a multi-million pound redevelopment with a refurbishment of its ticket hall, open plan counter service, additional ticket vending machines and improvements to the customer information screens.
Judges said the station “now possesses the wow factor, something that hits passengers initially via the extensive environmental work that has been carried out outside the main entrance. This continues into a beautifully extended ticket hall”.
They also praised the station team, saying the “helpful staff that can be found going out of their way to help passengers find their trains”.
Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said: “I’m delighted that Greater Anglia has been recognised in these prestigious awards. We’re extremely proud of Stuart Connell and of Cambridge Station. They are both excellent examples of how we do all we can to put our customers.”