Council holds ‘thank you’ reception for rail workers

Rail workers who went beyond the call of duty to keep services running after the worst flooding in decades have been given a formal thank you by the City Council.

The Lord Mayor Vivien Pengelly and Council Leader Tudor Evans hosted a ‘thank you’ reception for rail workers who kept services running after storms cut the main line in two at Dawlish earlier this year.

They included workers at the Laira depot who moved to Bristol or London in order to keep services running, as well as staff from Plymouth station and local on board crews who supported passengers.

During the disruption staff helped people on and off coaches, provided information and more than 30,000 complimentary teas and coffees.

Engineers from the Penzance and Exeter depots who came to Plymouth to help keep local services moving during the sea wall closure and flooding also attended the reception.

To keep trains running, Laira sent staff to depots at St Philips Marsh in Bristol and Old Oak Common in London, which meant that over two months hundreds of staff were away from home.

The Laira team also organised the moving by road of more than 100 items of rolling stock to Laira for heavy maintenance work and then moving them back to the East to maintain availability.

Carriage cleaning staff also went to Exeter and Newton Abbot to maintain cleaning schedules.

Staff who organised more than 1,900 coaches during the repair period also attended the Council’s thank you reception.

Council leader Tudor Evans said: “We wanted to do something to show the city’s appreciation for the phenomenal efforts of all the staff to keep services going in very difficult circumstances. The impact on the city would have been much worse had it now been for these efforts. Many workers went the extra mile and faced a lot of disruption to their personal lives to ensure there were good services running very quickly. Thanks to these efforts the damage to the city’s economy was reduced considerably. This was a great show of what can be achieved by pulling together in times of adversity.”

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Railway Workers Civic Reception