Golden Whistles2019-01-18T12:52:41+00:00
Golden Whistle Award


The brainchild of Institution of Railway Operators luminary Chris Loder, the Golden Whistles event was founded in 2010 to promote best practice and celebrate excellence in railway operations. The annual event now incorporates a morning conference at which railway operators discuss developments aimed at improving operations, followed by a networking lunch and the handing out of the Golden Whistle awards for excellence in railway operating.

NEXT EVENT: Friday 25 January 2019

VENUE: The Marriott Grosvenor Square in Duke Street, London W1 (nearest Underground station: Bond Street)

2016-11-25 12:00:00 2016-11-25 16:00:00 Europe/London Golden Spanner Awards and Morning Conference The Golden Spanner Awards Grand Connaught Rooms, 61 – 65 Great Queen Street, London, WC2B 5DA Fourth Friday Club Add to Calendar


Dick Fearn


Dick Fearn

Formerly CEO, Irish Rail

Dick Fearn has 40 years’ senior management experience in the rail industry in Britain and Ireland. Now Chairman of the Bluebell Railway, he served for 10 years as COO and then CEO of Iarnród Éireann (Irish Railways). With British Rail from 1973 to 1996, he had a number of rail operations roles, culminating in senior executive posts as the Divisional Director of the Thames & Chiltern Division and later the South Eastern Division of BR’s Network SouthEast. At the time of rail privatisation in the UK, Dick was appointed tothe post of Managing Director of The South Eastern Train Company, subsequently moving to Railtrack plc as Zone Director of North West and later Midlands Zones.

Dyan Crowther


Dyan Crowther


Prior to joining HS1, Dyan was the Chief Operating Officer at Govia Thameslink Railway.
Dyan has worked in a number of Senior Director roles at Network Rail including Director of Operations and being accountable for the West Coast Main Line. She has over 30 years’ experience in the rail industry.
Dyan, 53, has a Masters in Transport and Logistics from Salford University and is a member of the Chartered Institute for Marketing and Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management.
Dyan has extensive experience in the Boardroom having sat on the Board of an NHS Trust for 5 years, she is also a Trustee for the Railway Children registered charity and a member of the British Transport Police Authority where she has accountability for Strategy.
Originally from Wiltshire, Dyan is married and has three children and enjoys running, extreme walking and travel.


Morning conference

09.15 Welcome from the Chair, Glen Merryman

09.20 The central importance of the operating function

Andrew Haines, Chief Executive, Network Rail

09.40 A strategy for passengers who fall ill while travelling

Dan Tall, Head of Performance, Southeastern Railway

10.00 Reducing violence against staff

Mark Newton, Team Manager – Safety, Security & Standards, Rail Delivery Group  

10.20 Discussion

10.30 Coffee break

10.50 Short term opportunities for closer working between Network Rail and train operating companies

Chris Rowley, Capacity Planning Director, Network Rail

 11.10 Managing the customer interface when timetables change

Kerri Ricketts, Head of Customer Experience, GTR

 11.30 Improving operations with greater use of technology

Wendy McCristal and Jon Owen, Tracsis  

11.50 Discussion

12 noon Pre-lunch drinks

12.45 guests enter the dining room for lunch

14.30 After-lunch speech from Dyan Crowther, Chief Executive Officer, High Speed 1

14.50 Dick Fearn presents the Golden Whistles awards

16.00 close

VIPs attending the 2019 Golden Whistles include:

Kevin Tribley, MD, Angel Trains

Will Rogers, MD, Arriva Rail London

Julian Drury, MD, c2c

Sir Michael Holden, MD, Coledale Consulting

Howard Smith, Chief Operations Officer, Crossrail

Debbie Francis, MD, Direct Rail Services

John Smith, MD, GBRf

Richard McClean, MD, Grand Central Rail

Dyan Crowther, CEO, HS1

Nigel Holness, MD, London Underground

Zoe Hands, Operations Director, Merseyrail

Andrew Haines, CEO, Network Rail

Meli Duymaz, Anglia Route Director, Network Rail

John Halsall, South East Route Director, Network Rail

Mark Langman, Western Route Director, Network Rail

Andy Thomas, Wessex Route Director, Network Rail

Andy Mellors, MD, South Western Railway

David Simpson, Operations Director, ScotRail

Tim Shoveller, Managing Director, Stagecoach

Bill Reeve, Rail Director, Transport Scotland


The Golden Whistle awards – in which the trophies feature that archetypal element of efficient railway operating, the Acme Thunderer whistle – celebrate the best of railway operating and are handed out to those companies making the greatest strides in punctuality and other key indicators.


Every year Golden Whistles are awarded to outstanding operators. Why not nominate your outstanding operator, or operating team for the next awards?

To nominate an individual or team for the 2019 awards click here.


• Right time arrivals – Inter-city TOCs. Golden Whistle for best in class, Silver Whistle for most improved. Based on Network Rail moving annual average right time data to end of Period 9.

• Right time arrivals – London and South East TOCs. Golden Whistle for best in class, Silver Whistle for most improved. Based on Network Rail moving annual average right time data to end of Period 9.

• Right time arrivals – Regional TOCs. Golden Whistle for best in class, Silver Whistle for most improved. Based on Network Rail moving annual average right time data to end of Period 9.

• Freight performance – FOCs. Golden Whistle for best in class, Silver Whistle for most improved. Based on ‘A2F’ (Arrival to Fifteen) moving annual average scores of freight operating companies.

• Minimising delay minutes – operators. Golden Whistle for best in class, Silver Whistle for most improved. All TOCs and FOCs assessed for reduction in ‘TOC/FOC on self’ delays, moving annual average to end of Period 9.

• Minimising delay minutes – Network Rail Routes. Golden Whistle for best in class, Silver Whistle for most improved. All Routes assessed for delay minutes caused to all operators, moving annual average to end of Period 9.

• London Underground Line performance. All Lines assessed for reduction in lost customer hours to end of Period 9. Golden Whistle for most improved, Silver Whistle for second most improved.

• Outstanding Operator/Operating Team. Golden Whistle for an individual / operating team that has gone above and beyond in making a contribution.

• Special Award. Each year the IRO judging panel chooses an individual or team and awards a Golden Whistle for special acts of courage, selflessness or quick thinking.


Most of the Golden Whistle awards are made on the basis of statistical information compiled by the industry and do not require companies to enter. There is one category for which the winners are selected by a panel of IRO judges and for which entries are invited:

The Golden Whistle for the Best Individual Operator / Operating Team – awarded each year to an individual or team that has gone above and beyond in its contribution.


Tables of 10 at this event cost £1350 +VAT, sponsorship details available on request. Contact Chris Shilling on 07736 635916


Toggle Sliding Bar Area