A number of railway industry people have been recognised in the New Year’s Honours list, published on 30 December 2020.
Amongst them were GWR managing director Mark Hopwood CBE and three Network Rail employees – group safety and engineering director Martin Frobisher OBE, director of diversity and inclusion Loraine Martins OBE and project operations interface specialist Shane Andrews MBE. Andy Savage of the Railway Heritage Trust was also awarded an MBE, two London Underground employees, Sharon Sear and Mat Sullivan, received British Empire Medals and Deputy Chief Constable Adrian Hanstock of the British Transport Police was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal.
Mark Hopwood CBE was, during 2020, seconded to South Western Railway as interim managing director. He spent the year working to improve services for customers at SWR against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, he will resume his previous role as managing director of Great Western Railway in January.
He began his career in the railway at the age of 17, answering calls in a British Rail Telephone Enquiry Bureau in Reading. Spotting his talent, BR allowed him to take unpaid leave to complete a degree and he also undertook a variety of further posts during vacations.
He has since held numerous positions in the railway industry, including a spell with track and signalling operator Railtrack, before becoming operations director at First North Western at the age of 29, taking on a leadership role at the company which had 2,500 employees and managed 307 stations. Six years later, he became managing director of three rail companies (C2C, Silverlink and Gatwick Express), and then, in 2008, he took on the managing director role at First Great Western, now Great Western Railway.
Mark has also held a number of high-profile external positions within the industry, including chairman of the National Rail Taskforce, where he helped to improve performance across all UK rail services and chairman of the National Rail Adhesion Group, looking at new ways to prevent delays from autumn leaf fall. He is a past president of the Railway Study Association and served for seven years on the board of the Institute of Railway Operators, which helps support and develop young talent in the railway. He remains a Fellow of that institution and of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport.
He has previously been named Rail Business Leader of the Year at the Rail Business Awards and won the Outstanding Personal Contribution Award at the National Rail Awards. He was also awarded an honorary doctorate (PhD) from the University of Plymouth for services to business.
Commenting on his award, Mark Hopwood said: “This is an honour that reflects the efforts of thousands of railway colleagues I have worked with throughout my 31-year career. The railway plays a part in the daily lives of millions, and I am very proud and delighted that my small contribution has been recognised in this way.”
Martin Frobisher OBE received his honour for his work supporting the railway response to the coronavirus, the construction of the Nightingale hospitals and supporting the army reserves, in which he is a Major. Having attended a meeting with the NHS concerning the Nightingale Hospital in Manchester, he identified gaps in logistics and operations, and subsequently mobilised Network Rail colleagues to help with organising external logistics into the hospital, as well as providing a warehouse for secure off-site storage.
He also managed the development of emergency engineering standards and risk assessments, which were needed to keep the rail network moving during the crisis, and worked with a supplier on an app – Mind the Gap – which helped get Network Rail colleagues back into offices safely to help ensure the continued safe and reliable operation of the railway for those who needed it.
Martin said: “This is completely unexpected – I am so surprised and extremely grateful to be included in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list. This was a real team effort and there were many people throughout Network Rail who helped to deliver this, so I want to say a massive thank you to them. This award belongs to the whole team. I am humbled to have worked alongside so many incredible people this year who did amazing work to help the NHS and keep the country moving.”
Loraine Martins OBE has, over the last seven years, presided over improvements in diversity and inclusion at Network Rail that have led to a 30 per cent increase in the number of women at the organisation and a 40 per cent increase of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) employees. She led the development of six employee networks, representing gender diversity, faith, race, LGBT+, carers and disability, which now have a combined membership of over 6,000.
As a result of Loraine’s focus on disability issues, Network Rail was recognised as a Disability Confident employer in 2017, and she has also volunteered with the National Mentoring Scheme for over 10 years, providing mentorship and guidance to ethnic minority undergraduates.
Loraine said: “I’m tremendously humbled to be included in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list, so a big thank you to those involved in nominating me. I didn’t see this coming at all. I’m immensely grateful to my teams, past and present, and to all those who work with me at Network Rail and in our extended railway family.”
Shane Andrews MBE is chairman of one of Loraine Martins’ employee networks – Archway, the network for LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and others) issues. His leadership has helped to increase membership from 22 to 898, and his commitment led Network Rail to be ranked in fourth place in the Vercida group list of LGBT+ inclusive employers. Outside of Network Rail, Shane has volunteered in a number of roles in his community, including as a Scout Leader, an independent police custody inspector and a school governor. He is also a trustee of the Cardiff East district of the Scout Association and is an active member of the district executive committee.
Shane said: “I am delighted to be recognised in the New Year’s Honours list. It’s fair to say that many people in the LGBT+ community haven’t always viewed the railway as an attractive place to work, and so I am pleased to have played my part in improving diversity and inclusivity in this industry. Through my leadership of the Archway network, we will continue to ensure Network Rail is a great place to work for all and a place where everyone matters.”
Andy Savage MBE is the executive director of the Railway Heritage Trust, which he joined at the start of 2010. Prior to that, he was deputy chief inspector of the Rail Accident Investigation Branch of the Department for Transport, following a long career in railway civil engineering and, more recently, contractor safety.
Andy has a long involvement in railway heritage, and in the building aspects of it, with a particular involvement in the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, the Institution of Railway Operators and the Permanent Way Institution (of which he was President from 2006 to 2008). He is also a Chartered Member of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.
Andy commented on receiving an MBE for services to the rail industry and heritage: “I am delighted and honoured that Her Majesty has recognised my 52 years work on Britain’s railways, and my input to both main line and heritage sectors.
“I recognise that primarily the grant refers to my work in the last eleven years with the Railway Heritage Trust, and I would not have managed so much without the small team that has worked alongside me – I am immensely grateful to all four of my colleagues, as well as my fellow Directors and advisers, for what they have done for the RHT.”
Sharon Sear BEM was awarded the British Empire Medal for her work protecting transport staff and customers from the pandemic. As commercial manager, she realised early on that teams essential to the day-to-day running of the Tube were going through their personal protective equipment (PPE) quicker than stocks could be replenished, as calls for PPE increased worldwide. Staff working in London Underground’s Asset Operations team, which maintains the network, needed to wear PPE before the pandemic began due to the nature of the roles. When Sharon noticed that they had used a year’s supply in just three months, and stocks of other safety equipment was also being quickly used up, she realised that this was only going to get worse.
Although TfL’s usual suppliers started redirecting much of their stock to the NHS, she worked diligently to find other companies who could continue to provide the level of protective equipment needed to keep colleagues safe. Her tireless work included obtaining millions of face coverings for staff and thousands of hand sanitisers, as well as helping implement new procurement control methods for ordering stock during the pandemic.
Sharon said: “I am thrilled to be given this honour, and I see it not just an award for myself but in recognition of the collaborative effort between my team, colleagues in Safety, Health and Environment and our supply chain. It’s great to know that our work helped keep my colleagues and our customers safe. It’s been a tough year but I’m proud to have helped TfL respond to the pandemic and I know my former colleagues will continue to keep this work going.”
Mat Sullivan BEM usually manages material for London Underground’s Railway Engineering Works, Train Modification Unit and Uniform Services. However, when the world was faced with the coronavirus pandemic, he made sure that vital PPE quickly reached colleagues who required it for their roles and ensured face coverings and other protective equipment were made available for frontline staff. He put himself at the forefront of TfL’s response and used his knowledge and experience to repurpose his Uniform Services team from a uniform supplies facility to managing huge quantities of critical stock for delivery across London.
Mat personally stepped up to lead on receiving the vastly increased levels of equipment, including millions of face masks, hundreds of thousands of hand sanitisers, as well as thousands of response kits, which then had to be sorted, packed and distributed from the London Resilience stockpile to TfL staff across London. At the peak of the first wave, during the summer, Mat stored and distributed 1.5 million face coverings across 48 hours, as well as creating more than 1,000 rapid response kits in three days to help keep colleagues safe.
Mat commented on his honour: “The success we experienced in getting the essential safety equipment such as face coverings and hand sanitiser out to our colleagues across London Underground wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work and collaboration of our Warehouse teams in Acton and Uniform Services. To be recognised by my peers and colleagues for doing my job is a humbling experience and one I find quite overwhelming.”
Deputy Chief Constable Adrian Hanstock QPM, who joined the British Transport Police (BTP) in 2014, has provided outstanding operational leadership, whether tackling serious crimes, safeguarding vulnerable people or in response to major incidents. DCC Hanstock has also overseen the transformation of BTP and its investment in modern digital capabilities, enhanced approach to crime investigation and has embedded improvements in force standards. He has been active in strengthening the diversity of the force and has driven improvements in wellbeing services available for frontline officers and staff.
Before joining BTP, DCC Hanstock had a distinguished career at the Metropolitan Police Service in which he led highly sensitive operations to combat gun crime and organised drug trafficking, as well as taking operational control on each day of the 2012 London Olympic Games, ensuring international competitors, dignitaries and spectators could travel safety between Olympic venues and around London.
For eight years he has been the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for the use of stop and search powers and provides guidance to police leaders across the country, setting operational direction that has delivered better operational outcomes and enhanced community confidence. He has influenced policy at government level and introduced national guidelines to support the effective and fair use of this police power.
DCC Hanstock is also a founder trustee of the Railway Dogs Benevolent Fund, a charity established to provide welfare support for retired police dogs.
Adrian said: “I am thrilled to receive this honour. The announcement is a wonderful surprise and to be awarded a QPM is an incredible privilege.
“The past year has presented some unimagined challenges however I am fortunate to work with some talented individuals and teams who every day dedicate their lives to protecting the public and seeking justice for those targeted by offenders, let alone tackle the extraordinary issues that 2020 presented.
“I would particularly like to acknowledge their exceptional professionalism and dedication to public service in accepting this award, as well as express my gratitude for the outstanding support of family and friends over the years.”
Unsurprisingly, railway bosses were pleased at the honours bestowed on their staff. First Rail managing director Steve Montgomery said of Mark Hopwood’s CBE: “Mark has held a number of senior roles in his long and successful career, including more than a decade as GWR’s managing director.
“His dedication to serving passengers, using his extensive knowledge and experience, is demonstrated every day and has contributed to a greatly transformed experience for customers. We are proud that these efforts have been recognised in this award of a CBE for Mark.”
Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines commented: “I am incredibly proud of Martin, Loraine and Shane for being recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.
“Their commitment and dedication to improving the lives of colleagues and local communities is commendable and I am honoured to call them colleagues.
“This year has been incredibly difficult for everyone, so I am thrilled to be ending the year on such a positive note. Congratulations to all those recognised this year.”
Andy Byford, London’s Transport Commissioner, said: “Both Sharon and Mat are examples of the tireless work that has gone on behind the scenes to make sure Londoners could still make the journeys they needed during this difficult year. They, like many across the company, have gone above and beyond to help keep staff and customers safe.
“Those behind the scenes are often the unsung heroes of the operation, so it’s fantastic to see them recognised at this level. Their work has kept our frontline teams as safe as possible and we are all extremely thankful for their efforts.”
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, added: “Our heroic transport workers – both those on the frontline and those working behind the scenes – have gone above and beyond throughout the pandemic to keep the network running.
“I’m delighted that Sharon and Mat have been recognised for their tireless work. Sourcing and distributing vast quantities of face coverings, hand sanitiser and other protective equipment was, and continues to be, essential to ensure public transport is as safe as it can possibly be.”
BTP Chief Constable Paul Crowther CBE said: “I’m very proud to see Adrian’s commitment recognised by Her Majesty in her New Year Honours awards.
“Adrian has made a substantial impact to UK policing and is an inspirational role model who consistently delivers beyond what is expected. His dedication to policing for more than 35 years, with a clear focus on protecting the public, is of the highest order and I am pleased to see this recognised in the Honours List.”