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Autumn, 2013

EXCLUSIVE TO LONDON MIDLAND COLLEAGUES

The newspaper for everyone at London Midland CHECK IT OUT

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Ongoing training builds stronger foundations OUR FLEET AND engineering teams are among the latest people being trained and developed. And that’s good news for us and our customers, as we continue to build on our Strong Foundations. Over the past 18 months in fleet and engineering, we’ve: l had 479 training days – a huge 36% increase on the previous year l taken on four new Apprentices to add to the four already halfway through their four-year training, and we’re looking for an engineering graduate l strengthened our team of reliability technicians from 6 to 12 l upskilled 6 assistant technicians through a Technician Improvers Programme – eventually helping them to become fully qualified technicians l 10 colleagues starting an NVQ Level 2 l 30 fleet managers receiving management training. Engineering Director Neil Bamford says: “We rely on our depot teams, who day in, day out, sometimes in difficult conditions, carry out essential, routine, and arising work to ensure our trains are well maintained, fully operational and safe. “To ensure we’re best prepared for the future, technical training and competence is ongoing across fleet and engineering.

Teamwork... Ryan Fulwell, Ben Williams, Rob Sheffield and Adam Lee

GOT A STORY? CONTACT US AT btl@londonmidland.cOM

Turn to page 4 for more


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Autumn, 2013

INSIDE

THE NUMBERS NEW COLLEAGUES SPRING SURVEY READER OFFER YOUR PHOTOS THE SOCIAL THE LAST WORD

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LIVE Around the busi Zeroing in... Dyan Crowther, John Nixon, Andy Gripton and Patrick Verwer

4 5 6 8 9 10 12

WELCOME To this edition of Between the Lines. Thanks for your feedback on the new look, which many of you loved. You also told us you liked the training feature and to put faces to the names of so many colleagues. This edition is again packed with stories and information about you, your teams, and the business.

Huge thanks to everyone who sent in photos of themselves with their copy of BtL! We had loads of fantastic pics taken in the most unlikely of places! Find out who won the iPad Mini and check out the photos – p9. One of the most important things in this edition is our lead story – p1. It’s all about our ongoing training and development programme, the results of the Spring Survey, and how we’re building on our Strong Foundations programme to strengthen our business and make it a better place to work for all of us. We also bring you more reader offers p8. We hope you enjoy reading this edition – keep sending your photos, and get in touch if you have something you’d like including in the next paper.

GET IN TOUCH This is your paper. If you’d like something including, please get in touch. We’re looking to hear from individuals or teams with a story to tell. Are you working on something new, different or interesting? What do you do in your spare time? What matters to you at work? What do you want to know more or less about? Contact Between the Lines by...

@

EMAIL: btl@londonmidland.com

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CALL:

0121 654 1131

If you are emailing from home, do leave your name so we know who to get back in touch with.

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NEWS FLASH

Industry leading

We have the most active train company Twitter account in the world! Our award-winning @LondonMidland now has 53,000 followers – most of whom are London Midland customers – and we’ve ‘tweeted’ more than 202,000 times since 2010. Most of our tweets are providing updates on disruption and answering individual customer queries – plus we also receive a lot of praise for our colleagues.

3 Wanted: ‘Going Green(er)’ champions Environmental Manager Kathryn Jacques says: “Our environmental performance is great and we should be proud of that. So we’re looking for people to help us make some noise about our successes and champion them, because together we’ve achieved a great deal.” Reducing our impact on the environment is really important, so we’re looking for colleagues to become our Going Green Champions. They will be the voice of our ‘Going Green’ campaign. Become a Champion and you’ll receive training, support and information about all of the things we’re doing – and get to be involved – so that you can help spread the word to our colleagues. What’s to be proud of? We now recycle 90% of our waste, and separately collect paper, metals, glass and wood at our large depots; we’re making the West Midlands air cleaner by replacing

our Class 150 with the Class 172, which produce 75 per cent less air pollution; we’re the first TOC to fit energy meters on our electric trains; we’ve reduced electricity use by 20 per cent at our depots by fitting dimmable lighting; and we run two Cycle to Work schemes, to name but a few.

For more information on how to become a Going Green Champion, or to learn more about our CSR pledge, contact Diane Booth at diane.booth@londonmidland.com


Autumn, 2013

Crime stoppers

iness in five

2 WORKING the

Reports from the courts from our Security and Crime Reduction Coordinator Mary Mattey.

night shift

A team of engineers from Network Rail have achieved an 80% reduction in points failures! AS WELL AS spending time with our frontline colleagues, our MD Patrick has also spent a night shift with the Network Rail team at Birmingham New Street station to watch them in action. Network Rail’s Route Managing Director Dyan Crowther explains: “Two years ago we brought a specialist Project Zero engineering team into New Street to reduce the number of points failures. At the time failures were high, causing lots of delays, so our ambition is to achieve zero points fails at New Street.

“It was fascinating to see the team in action and learn more about New Street maintenance.”

Caution

“Each shift the team overhaul one set of points, checking screws, fittings, installations and block joints. They troubleshoot and fix things to keep the points in good working order and minimise the chances of a fail.” Patrick says: “It was fascinating to see the team in action and learn more about New Street maintenance. It’s a bit of a hidden world down there, but really amazing to see how the team find faults, or predict them, and correct them to prevent failures and subsequent delays. This helps us to keep our trains running. I really enjoyed it and was impressed with the team’s dedication to improving reliability of points.” Patrick is now organising a best practice exchange between the Project Zero team and our colleagues at King’s Heath depot so they can learn more about each other’s work.

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Following the series of incidents where train emergency door controls at Duddeston were interfered with and caused significant delays and costs, two men were arrested. They were cautioned, and one of the men has been ordered to pay compensation to London Midland.

Don’t do the crime

One prolific fare evader was arrested back in January and recently appeared before Worcester Magistrates for failing to appear at court previously. He was jailed for eight weeks. A second repeat offender was also arrested for travelling without paying in January and he was jailed for eight weeks.

CCTV 

Two men were arrested for burglary, including a cycle theft, in May, which we provided the police with CCTV footage of. One man was jailed for two years and four months, the other for two years.

5 ‘Think like

a passenger’

Saving lives New suicide prevention measures are being built at eight stations between Wolverton and Kings Langley. Mid-platform fencing will help prevent people from accessing fast line platforms at times when no trains are booked to call at the station. We’re also introducing movement activated security lighting, Samaritans signs to raise awareness of help available to people who feel suicidal, markings to warn people against getting too close to platform edges, and antitrespass panels at platform ends.

PROTECTION David Johnson, Duty Station Manager at Virgin Trains, who is seconded to Network Rail to lead this project explains: “We don’t want people to die on our railways. It’s awful

and has a significant impact on colleagues and customers. It also has a huge impact on train performance, causing delays, cancellations and inconvenience to customers. Research by the Samaritans has shown that while someone who is thinking of ending their life might have had those thoughts for some time, there’s a 30 minute ‘window’ where they’re most at risk of putting them into action. Any barrier we can put in their way to break that thought process may prevent them carrying their thoughts through, saving lives and our colleagues, customers and business from the repercussions too.”  The £800,000 project is being funded by Network Rail, with measures being built at Kings Langley, Apsley, Hemel Hempstead, Tring, Cheddington, Leighton Buzzard, Bletchley and Wolverton stations.

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In our Spring Survey some of you said that you don’t think customer service is a priority in our business. We’ve listened to your feedback and as a result we’re making some important company changes. As you know, our current organisation is very much focused around the different functional areas of Finance, IT, Procurement, Engineering, Commercial, Human Resources, Operations, Safety and Communications. One of the issues with organising things this way is sometimes we can focus on the needs of our own area, rather than working together to understand the needs of our customers. So, we’ve made one of the biggest changes to the way we work since our launch nearly six years ago. We’re creating four new senior management positions dedicated to looking at everything we do for our

customers and to be the ‘voice of our passengers’. They will focus on all areas of what customers experience when they travel with us. This includes train performance, customer service on board and at stations, information, and will also work closely with Network Rail and other important partners. Each person will take responsibility for specific services. The new senior positions are: l Head of Cross City service l Head of West Coast service l Head of Snow Hill service l Head of Regional services Once people are in these roles, one of the first tasks for them is to understand what the service is like for our customers at the moment. One of the most important ways of doing this will be to listen to your feedback – especially if you work at a station, in a depot or on board a train. For more information visit mylondonmidland.com


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Autumn, 2013

Strength in numbers (continued from page 1)

We’re training Apprentices so that we continue to enhance our performance, improve rolling stock reliability and work together to deliver a reliable and consistent service for our customers. It’s an exciting time to be in our team.” As well as bolstering our fleet and engineering teams, over

the past 18 months across London Midland we’ve now had:

l 22,275 training days l 1,441 people taking courses l 158 internal promotions l 207 new drivers l 51 new coaches, instructors

and trainers.

How we’re performing

DO YOU GET THIS? Does this business performance update work for you? Do you understand it? We'd like to hear your suggestions. Email us at btl@londonmidland.com

CHECK OUT PAGE 6...

For more and to find out why Carol and Anne rate our Live 2 Learn programme, and see our Apprentice technicians qualify!

Delay Minutes od

Peri

We’re also building on the expertise of our highly skilled teams at Tyseley, Soho, Worcester and Birmingham New Street depots.

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Get stuck in... learning on the job

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3 THE NUMBERS

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Cancellations Period 1

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EXTERNAL:

limit

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Passenger accidents Workforce accidents

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The target is 85, and we achieved

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Environmental We’re recycling 90.81% of our waste so far this year and the latest period recycling figure we’ve achieved is 94.68%.

Top of the ops We’re strengthening our Operations with three key appointments to the Traincrew leadership team. Terry Brissenden has joined us as Head of Drivers (read more on him on page 5), with three new Area Driver Manager roles. The new ADM for Bletchley is Simon Moran, an experienced manager. John Robson joins us from Virgin Trains as ADM Birmingham New Street, Coventry and Wolverhampton. As we went to press, we were recruiting the ADM for the West Midlands Regions, covering Birmingham Snow Hill, Leamington Spa, Worcester Shrub

new Super Off-Peak Return fare shown, Monday - Saturday off-peak train frequency

TRAINCREW:

STATIONS:

OTHER:

We’ve hit our Customer Satisfaction Scores (CSS) for Quarter 2 (April to June.)

return

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Customer SATISFACTION

£25

TRAINCREW:

limit

5,878,000▼ 5,693,000

from Lime Street

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4,738,000▲ 4,756,000

2 trains an hour

limit

10,291 11,685 106 109 126 10,649 11,172 0 2 9 0 0 0 11,287 11,217 0 1 2 1 0 1 actual

4,730,000▲ 4,797,000

from

FLEET:

164 87

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Customer journey growth

Birmingham

89

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Hill, Shrewsbury and Crewe. George Macandrew will hand over to the new ADM before taking up his permanent position in Operations Projects. Operations Director Tom Joyner says: “After talking with many people in our team, I understand the frustration of working in an interim and complex organisation for long periods. I made a commitment when I started here to place decision-making at the right level in our organisation and that’s what I’ve done. Our new Operations organisation is practical and sensible, with a great team to help us deliver the timetable, day in, day out.  We will make sure that our colleagues come first so that they can deliver a great service to our customers.”


Autumn, 2013

In this new section we give a warm welcome to our new colleagues and share a cup of tea with Terry Brissenden – our new Head of Drivers.

HIGH PERFORMANCE With 21 years’ rail industry experience, we’re pleased to welcome Terry Brissenden as our new Head of Drivers. Terry, who lives in Bletchley, joins us from First Capital Connect. He’s worked in several management roles there for the past seven years, most recently as Head of New Trains, where he was heavily involved in new rolling stock for the Thameslink Project. Before that, Terry was Traincrew Manager at Silverlink County, working from Bletchley. “I’d wanted to get back into line management for a while, and so when the opportunity came up to be Head of Drivers here I went for it,” says Terry. “I think of London Midland as my home train operating company, and this is a new challenge for me,” says Terry, who spent the summer visiting our depots and meeting driver managers

and drivers. He wanted to hear first hand how people are feeling and their priority issues ‘on the ground’. “My number one priority is to support our drivers and managers to deliver a safe and high performing train service for our customers. I also want to help bring stability to the teams, which our new Operations structure will do, and build morale across our teams.” Terry began his career as a Trainman in 1992. He’s been married to Lesley for 26 years and the couple have two sons who are both at college. The family has season tickets for Crystal Palace Football Club, and Terry and Lesley recently took a relaxing trip to Las Vegas.

"My number one priority is to support our drivers and managers to deliver a safe and high performing train service for our customers."

LATEST

APPOINTMENTS l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l

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Papped! Check out Satish Kakkad (AKA Scottie) snapped here attending a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. RTA Scottie was awarded Medallist of the Order of the British Empire (BEM) for services to the rail industry in The Queen’s Birthday Honours List last year. He was invited to the celebratory party in June, where he met The Queen.

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Ticket Office Caroline Cotton Qualified Driver, Bletchley Phillip Amies RTA Long Buckby James McCausland Operations & Simulator Trainer James Bennett Project Support Manager Malcolm John Trainee Train Driver Lee Baker Amrat Banga Technician, Tyseley Phil Atkins Resourcing Assistant Emily Dunphy Welcome Host Janelle Kusi Financial Accountant Cathy Powell Interim Systems and Benefits Manager Ryan O’Grady Driver Manager Mike McGill Qualified Driver, Crewe David Young Trainee Train Driver, Coventry David Wilkes Qualified Driver, Snowhill Alan Parkes HR Assistant Penny Ryan Facilities Artisan Paul Schuurink Communications Officer Becky Glover Depot Manager, Worcester Alex Crowe Ticket Checker, New Street David Stockwin Safina Farid Nazma Shabirt William Pears

L ik e this?

What do yo Betwe u think abou en the t your new Lines We’ve paper packe ? d to about you an ns more sto ries dy Londo n Mid our lives at land i Tell us nto it. what you th want in k , what mor you we’ll m e or less of and ake it Email happe btl@lo n or call ndonmidlan . d.com 0121 654 1 131

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Autumn, 2013

FOCUS ON... SPRING SURVEY

YOUR SAY

TRAINING UPDATES

Flex it!

“It’s hard to get by when you’re holidaying abroad if you don’t speak a word of the local language,” says RTA Carol Simmonds from Walsall. “I think deaf people must feel the same way when they’re trying to communicate with people who aren’t deaf or hard of hearing.”

everyone counts

As well as training and developing you, we’re listening to your views on the business through Strong Foundations ‘on the road’ where our directors are touring the network listening to teams. We’re also taking forward the results of our Spring Survey by developing local action plans with teams.

Spring Survey results Here are the headline results from the Spring Survey, and more on what happens next: l 85% of you are clear about your role l 78% understand how your work contributes to the success of London Midland l 77% of you know how you can help make our customers’ day go well and believe the people you work with have the capability to do the job well l 74% of you feel your line manager treats you with respect l 73% of you see yourself working for London Midland in 12 months time

Internal Communication and Engagement Manager Richard Baker says: “Thanks to everyone for taking part in the survey. Your feedback is being taken forward into our Strong Foundations programme as part of our drive to continually improve our business. What’s good to see is that many of you are happy in your role, with your colleagues, line managers and you’re living our company values. “But there’s a ‘disconnect’ between that and how you feel about London Midland. You feel passionate about helping customers, but not about working for London Midland. So there’s some work for us to do to turn that around. Fewer than *http://bit.ly/13v6uGx

However, there’s room for improvement: l 37% think it’s safe to speak up and challenge the way thing s are done in the company l 34% are satisfied wi th the recognition you receive for doing a good job l 29% believe the se nior management team has a clear vision for the future of London Midland l 26% believe that ac tion will be taken as a result of this survey l 23% believe senior management are open and honest in their communication

a quarter of people feel that senior management are open and honest in their communication, and we want to change this.” A recent survey conducted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development* found that only 36% of workers trust their senior leaders. Like many other companies we are working to address this. Plans are being drawn up based on the findings to make improvments. You will hear more from your line manager in the coming weeks. But you don’t have to wait until then. Email Richard Baker, Internal Communication and Engagement Manager, with any questions at richard.baker@londonmidland.com

It’s one of the reasons she and Smethwick Galton Bridge RTA Anne Andrews took up learning British Sign Language, through Live 2 Learn. After finding learning a new language “daunting at first” they’re now at Level 2 BSL. Training takes place at Birmingham New Street station every Friday afternoon.

Good signs... Carol Simmonds

“It’s great,” says Anne who’s also on the course. “After learning the basics, such as the alphabet and key words, you progress through different modules in the classroom and have an exam to get to the next level. It takes practice and patience, but it’s worth it.” Carol agrees: “It’s good to be able to break a communication barrier with deaf or hard of hearing customers – now I can speak to them in their language, and better understand what they want. It makes me feel confident I can do my job with all of my customers and it puts our deaf customers at ease too. I’d recommend anyone who’s in direct contact with customers to learn it because it’s so useful.” Anne adds: “I can now help customers with buying tickets, information on where to go to catch their train and information on train times. I used to be embarrassed that I wasn’t able to speak to deaf customers in a language they understand. Now I’m happy to be able to communicate with more of my customers.”

Would you like to get some new qualifications and skills? Our Live2Learn programme is available to everyone. To find out more about the courses on offer please contact our Academy team. Visit The Academy at 102 New Street, Birmingham or call 0121 054 1273, 0121 654 1273 or email trainingenquiries@londonmidland.com

They're hired

WELL DONE TO our crop of year two Technicians, who received their Engineering Apprenticeship completion certificates. Technician Aidan Morland, who is based at Tyseley, and currently on secondment at Stourbridge where he’s working with colleagues to improve Class 139 reliability, says: “Bringing everything I’ve learned so far into this project is a great experience. We’re sharing knowledge and expertise to improve reliability and performance.”


Autumn, 2013

AMBASSADOR AWARDS

OUTSTANDING

Congratulations to our latest Ambassador Award winners and nominees. Mark Haslam, Project Manager, was nominated by Ian Taylor

This time we’ve awarded accolades to Ian Clee, Sarah Hollies, Chris Thompson, Mark Haslam, Adrian Whitington and Arnoldas Markulis.

Ian Clee, Customer Service Assistant, was nominated by a London Midland customer “On my way back from work I stupidly left my bag, including my work laptop, in the luggage rack on the train. When I went back to the station upset and in a ‘tiz’, Ian was incredibly polite and supportive, and kept me calm. He and his colleague worked out which train I was on, and arranged for the bag to be brought back to the station. Ian truly went above and beyond. Although we have never directly spoken, he even recognised me from ten years commuting from the station. I feel lucky to have Ian at our station, serving local people.”

Sarah Hollies, Customer Service Assistant, was nominated by Andy Merrell “Sarah completed a five-day trek across the Sahara, in aid of Breakthrough Breast Cancer. Having been touched by this condition, what initially started as a dare between friends suddenly became real. The trek was far from plain sailing and there were times when Sarah was ill and worried she couldn’t go on. But her determination brought her through and she successfully completed it, raising £4,100. Sarah had also been coordinating

ambassadorawards a charity golf day, a 60s & 70s disco with Senior Conductor Steve Davies and holding raffle draws with donations from local companies. Sarah got herself into Between the Lines, promoting this, and applied for a contribution from London Midland Giving. Sarah’s action and efforts were truly remarkable and she is more than worthy of an Ambassador Award.”

Chris Thompson, Driver Instructor, was nominated by James Walker Chris was travelling as a passenger when his train came to an emergency stop just south of Milton Keynes station. He went to the driving cab where he found a distressed driver on the phone to the British Transport Police. After learning the train had hit someone on the line, Chris took control of the situation, contacting with the controlling signaller and emergency services. Later, Chris drove the train to Bletchley station where the customers continued their journeys by other means. Chris is an example to others. He displayed ALL of London Midland’s Values without gain to himself and truly deserves the Ambassador Award.”

“Mark has done exceptionally well managing the changeover at Birmingham New Street. He has worked to very tight deadlines and with numerous internal and external stakeholders. Credit to Mark for looking after London Midland’s interests.”

Adrian Whitington, Customer Service Assistant, was nominated by John Phillips “Adrian remained with a man at Nuneaton station whom he knew had a machete. He distracted him for 20 minutes to keep the man calm and away from customers. Adrian put the welfare of his customers before his own and assisted in ensuring a dangerous situation did not escalate.”

Arnoldas Markulis, Senior Conductor, was nominated by a London Midland customer “My family and I inadvertently got on a London Midland train at Euston instead of a Virgin Trains service and we were advised to get off at Milton Keynes. Arnoldas got off the train with us and explained the situation to a Virgin Trains operator. They were very understanding and gave us a permit to travel on the next train through to Chester. I can’t tell you how grateful myself and my family are for his kindness and understanding.”

Workmate done a top job? Tell us about it! Make someone’s day by nominating a colleague who’s gone ‘above and beyond’ for a London Midland Ambassador Award at mylondonmidland.com We’ve also improved the nomination process so you just fill in an online form and – hey presto!

Congratulations to all of our Ambassador Award winners who were shortlisted for a national RailStaff Award. Good luck to our finalists: Sarah Hollies, Alex Pinfold, Dave Birch, Kay Hamson, Ian Clee, John Hockenhull, Mark Haslam and Adrian Whitington. The awards are announced at a dinner at the ICC in Birmingham on 5 October.

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Looking good... our Euston colleagues

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Autumn, 2013

InBOX Got something to say? Contact us at btl@londonmidland.com Subject: SNAPS

Stretch yourself not your budget! Gym clas & ses from

£15 .99 per mo nth

Union of South Africa at London Euston

Temp footbridge at Northampton

Special joining offer for London Midland employees! Join online & pay NO Enrolment Fee. Plus, we’re opening new clubs all the time. Simply enter the voucher code for the club you wish to join at stage 3 online.

Hello, I saw the article on page 8 of Between the Lines Summer 2013 and I usually carry a camera with me. I thought I would send in a few pictures that people might find interesting. From: Julian Sutton, Senior Conductor, Bletchley

Subject: THANKS

Birmingham Watford Cheltenham Chesham Northampton New Malden Brierley Hill

BIRMILDNMID WATFOLDNMID CHELTLDNMID CHESHLDNMID NORTHLDNMID NEWMALDNMID BRIERLDNMID

Win a free 1 year membership!

We had around 200 visitors and collected £600 at a visit to the Bletchley Railway Power Signal Box hosted by London Midland in partnership with Network Rail, of which I have applied for London Midland to 50% match fund through the London Midland Giving scheme. Thank you on behalf of the Railway Children who will benefit greatly from your attendance donations. From: Bernie Burnett, Revenue Protection, Milton Keynes

Subject: SIGNAL BOX Thank you for taking the time to organise this event. For me personally, it brought back many memories for it was 33 years ago when I moved from Bletchley Power Box to Euston Power Box after starting my career as a Train Recorder (1977-1980) and I never thought I’d be in a position where I could go back. But 33 years on and it was as if I’d been on holiday and returned – the sights and smells are as real now as they were then – it’s like I’d never been away. Without your time and efforts this would not have been possible and for that I thank you. From: Andrew Buchanan

for London Midland employees For your chance to win one years’ free gym membership at your local Fitness4less club, simply send the word ‘Gym’ to btl@londonmidland.com. Two winners will be randomly selected after the closing date of Friday 25 October 2013. * Conditions apply. This offer is not valid at London Southwark, Cambridge Heath or Canning Town.

fitness4less.co.uk


Autumn, 2013

▲ Scream! “Here I am at Alton Towers, on the Air ride. Hard to read when people are screaming around you!” says Leon James, Senior Conductor, Birmingham New Street.

▲ I do! Congratulations to Zoe Parker, Retail Assistant at Great Malvern station, Worcester who wed her hubby Simon in July. They were ‘papped’ reading BtL on their big day by her colleague Lisa Clay, also a Retail Assistant at Great Malvern.

YOUR PHOTOS

▲ Good games “I was at a Commonwealth Games volunteer interview. The photo is of the Volunteer Commonwealth Games team and the Commonwealth Games mascot ‘Clyde’.” Carl Barratt, CSA, Nuneaton.

Where do you read yours? Between the Lines has been at The Ashes, to Diggerland, said ‘I do’…

▲ Mr Men – Lil Rosser, Customer Service Supervisor, from Telford is pictured at Shifnal Carnival dressed as Mr Strong. She and daughter Josie (Mr Muddle) came first in their class in a fancy dress competition and picked up a trophy!

▲ Baa! “Hi there, my flock of sheep appear to have gathered round for a good read, not letting me get my mitts on it at all.” #sheepwatch. Penny Allen,
Advertising & Campaigns Manager, 102 New Street, Birmingham.

WOW: we’re blown away by how well travelled Between the Lines is!

▲ Dig this! Taking a break from digging at Diggerland, Yorkshire! With Tamarin Giez, Delivery Manager, Nuneaton.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to send in their photos, and enter our competition to win an iPad Mini. And the winner is Mike Austin, IT Technical Analyst, who took his Between the Lines for a deep dive! Congratulations Mike – enjoy your iPad Mini. Plus, because of the amazing effort you all went to for the

competition, we’re giving all of the entries pictured here £30 in Capital Bonds. Internal Communication and Engagement Manager Richard Baker says: “What an amazing response to our new newspaper and competition. Thank you. Keep sending us your photos and we will give you £30 in Capital Bonds if we publish your pic in a future issue of the paper.”

▲ Woof! George George, keeping up with his Master’s great read, Between the Lines. From Coventry Driver Chris George.

THIS ISSUE’S WINNER!

▲ Green fingerS – At work in the garden… with Nigel Austin-Weeks, Senior Conductor at Northampton.

Where do you read your BtL?

▲ Howzat! “Here I am at Trent Bridge Cricket Ground on day three of the first Ashes Test between England and Australia. Check out former England cricketer Chris Broad and his daughter Gemma,” says Emma Longdon (centre), Operations & Commercial Trainer, London Midland Academy, Birmingham.

▲ Deep dive – Taken while practising my scuba diving skills! From Mike Austin, IT Technical Analyst.

Send your pictures to btl@londonmidland.com and you could win an iPad Mini next time. And we’ll give you £30 in capital bonds if we publish your photo in a future issue of Between the Lines.

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Autumn, 2013

THE SOCIAL

Abseil Away! The nerves are setting in as four London Midland friends are roped in for their first group abseil together. Sarah Garner, Simon Aldridge, Kathryn Jacques and Diane Edge-Robinson are out to raise money for Mountain Rescue, by abseiling the height of Derby Cathedral. Diane says: “I’ve never done anything like this before. As the date looms, it’s starting to feel real!” The rest of team may feel daunted, but for Sarah, who is on track to becoming a Mountain Rescue volunteer, it’s all part of the training. “There are a series of skills I need to obtain including abseiling”, says Sarah. “And also lots of different rope work, stretcher work, navigation, advanced first aid and team management. Abseiling is the most difficult though, I think!” Dizzy heights... Derby Cathedral looms large

Safer stations give children a better chance

You’ve heard how Railway Children helps vulnerable children in the UK. Now we hear about the work they’re doing in India. More than 12 million children live on the streets, with an estimated 120,000 more living on station platforms every year. That’s one child arriving alone on a railway platform every five minutes. They are running away from abuse, violence and poverty at home using India’s extensive railway network to get to the cities. As a result, thousands of children who arrive at stations dreaming of adventure and a better life instead end up living on the railway platforms. Stations are busy and chaotic, perfect for abusers looking to prey on vulnerable children. Many children resort to drugs and substance abuse to get through each day.

Help DON’T LOOK DOWN Derby Cathedral is the second highest cathedral in the country, standing at 212 feet. Some members of the Procurement team have undertaken this venture before, but this year’s volunteers are all new to the challenge. Diane, who’s hoping to impress her seven-year-old son by completing the challenge, admits: “I’ll definitely be celebrating with a stiff drink afterwards!” The team hope to raise around £500, and have London Midland Giving 50 per cent match funding for.

The challenge is to reach these children early, before an abuser can get to them, and help them in the short term and beyond. Having spent the past 17 years specialising in working with children living alone or at risk on the streets, the international charity Railway Children, which is our London Midland chosen charity, has found gaining a child’s trust and providing someone to talk to as the crucial first step towards making a real and lasting difference to their lives.

In the past, government officials have found handling runaway children tricky, with many struggling to distinguish between criminals and children and young people in genuine distress. Railway Children’s India unit is working closely with police, platform vendors, railway staff and older street children to teach them how to help vulnerable children arriving alone. The charity’s staff are also training more than 50 Railway Protection Force (RPF) officers to improve their methods of interacting with and supporting distressed runaway children. With support from India’s Southern Railway Board, Charbagh station (the main railway station in Lucknow) is also being piloted as a pioneering ‘child-friendly’ station to promote proactive care and protection for children. The assistance available to children is publicised by station announcements and displays. A ‘Child Protection Booth’, manned by project staff and members of the RPF, ensures that no unaccompanied child is left alone and that all children have access to a safe place.

You can find out more about this work, and how we’re supporting the charity at railwaychildren.org.uk and mylondonmidland.com

! up oll r , up Roll

ging and

ctions, sin shoes – raffles, au dancing your Get ent takes place as dancing. This ev tm ris Ch ur yo d on an Lourdes Social as at Our Lady of y, ad re e th at ch ee r in gh am fro m ’s Ce nt re in Bi rm ar ye is th r fo December. tic ke ts 7.30pm on Friday 20 t en Ev as tm ris d in getting Tyseley Ch If you are intereste ail Sa ra em are now on sale. tic ke ts, pl ea se

rmingham eived Organised in aid of Bi Bob Glover (who rec lowing the Burd, fol , ice sp his Ho ’s for ry d ar Ma St bassador Aw d Mahon, an Am Ge e gu lea se . col Bo of n ng passi ng ) or Si mo spice, the fu nd ra isi ho the at d ht ate nig tre s tic who wa be a fantas ht out. It’s sure to nig t ea gr a is t en ev annual for a fantastic cause! for everyone out There’s something

Now that’s what we call art Check out this painting sent in by fine art student Julia Louise Bloomfield. She’s titled it ‘Waiting’ and painted it from an original photograph taken at Milton Keynes Central. Julia says: “I have used the end of a London Midland train to add a splash of colour to a very monochromatic setting, and to suggest there may be other ‘shoes’ doing a similar commute to myself. Train journeys also remind me of my grandfather, who was an avid train enthusiast.”


Wow ! YOU’VE NOW RAISED more than £15,000 for your chosen charities – since London Midland Giving was launched last year.

S TO P P R E S S You've helped us to

£2,226

raise

for the charity – just by takin g part in our Spring Survey.

THANK YOU!

everyone counts

Starting at Holyrood Park in Edinburgh and ending five days later at London’s Tower Bridge, the gruelling challenge was worth every bit of pain, says Claire Cooper, HR Business Partner Fleet & HQ. Raising money for domestic violence charity Refuge, Claire admits it was a personal ambition for her to finish the ride which she’s hoping will raise around £2,000. With the longest stint surpassing 100 miles in one day, Claire says she couldn’t have done it without the support of her friends and family. “My mum was brilliant,” she adds: “When the weather got really bad or I was tired, she was the first one to message me with words of encouragement.” Although it was incredibly hard, Claire would recommend it to anyone. “You get such a sense of achievement,” she beams. “I burst into tears when I crossed the finishing line. It was a mixture of emotions, but I mainly felt proud of myself. I’m still on a high from it now!” Claire adds that if she can inspire just one person to take on a similar challenge, then it was definitely worthwhile. You can still sponsor Claire at www.justgiving.com/claire-cooper4

a charity If you’re planning ta or king part fundraising event, u can apply in one this year, yo ch funding up for up to 50% mat on Midland to £500 from Lond nd Giving. with London Midla

ple to do. You’ll It’s quick and sim a donation before need to apply for event so that our you complete your pa ne l ca n ve rif y cro ss -fu nc tio na l You can read all yo ur ap pli ca tio n. t your application the criteria and ge on mi dl an d. co m for m at my lo nd with a copy of and then email it, p for m/ let ter yo ur sp on so rs hi idland.com to giving@londonm dland Giving, or post it to London Mi or, 102 New The Academy, 6th Flo B2 4JB. Street, Birmingham,

10K

5K

2K

Didn’t they do well!

Margaret Wilson, “absolutely loved” doing her tandem skydive and says she’d definitely do it again.

Shenstone the Sheep joined Production Manager, Sally Prior, on her Nightrider biking challenge through London.

Margaret undertook her skydiving challenge to mark 40 years in the rail industry and her 56th birthday! She’s still collecting her fundraising money for Railway Children, and hopes to reach £2,250.

There were over 4,000 cyclists taking part in the ride, which covered 100km of moonlit London. Raising money for both Marie Curie Cancer Care and Hounds for Heroes, she reached an amazing £2,500.

A massive thank you to all those who played ‘Pints Make Prizes’ in aid of Friends of Cynthia Spencer Hospice in Northampton. Organiser Roy Quennell is over the moon with the

number of donations, which come to £2,878, surpassing last year’s total.

Well done all of you LAST ISSUE’S WINNERS CONGRATULATIONS to... PA Rafet Jan and Driver Instructor Chris George who both won a ticket to Alton Towers Resort theme park in last issue’s competition (page 8, Summer 2013)

BACK PAGE ANSWERS CROSSWORD Across 6. Treacle, 7. Farah, 9. Aches, 10.Website, 12. Threatening, 14.Cumberbatch, 18. Pacific, 19.Venus, 21. Jones, 22. Nigella Down 1. Grace, 2. Gareth, 3. Old, 4. Lawson, 5. Martini, 8. Central, 11. Georgia, 13. Curator, 15. Bailey, 16. Clever, 17. Buble, 20. Rim

Nine months of training, 26 competitors and 470 miles. That’s a charity bike ride from Edinburgh to London – done!

11

20K

APPLY NOW

A Tyring challenge

Autumn, 2013


12

Autumn, 2013

The last word:

Mick Hill

Meet Mick Hill, who is Fleet Manager AC Traction for Siemens plc, from Siemens Kings Heath Traincare Facility. Mick was part of the Siemens team that bid for the London Midland franchise, and one of our colleagues to mobilise our first fleet in 2005. He started his career on the Sheffield Supertram, and now manages 94 people at Kings Heath, Crewe and the Mailbox in Birmingham. He also manages a team at Ilford depot maintaining a Class 360 fleet for Greater Anglia. Tell us about what you do every day… I manage our technicians, supervisors, managers and engineers who work here maintaining, repairing and cleaning London Midland’s Class 350/1, Class 350/2 and Class 321 fleets. What does this work involve? Routine maintenance and repairs, which can be varied and complex. We also do the heavy maintenance overhauls. We’re currently undertaking 1.28 million mile overhauls in the Class 350/1 fleet and mobilising for the heavier 1.5 million overhaul that will need, among other things, raising

trains on jacks, removing the bogies, and conducting the overhaul, then testing the units before they go back into service. What common technical issues do you find? Our trains are among the most reliable and modern in the UK, so we don’t find many technical problems. But, when we do, we look for the root causes and find a solution. Every fleet is different with its own ‘quirks’. So, we jointly produce an aide-memoir and a DVD for traincrew so they get the best performance from them. What kind of differences? Trains have different driver reminder appliances (DRAs) – a button drivers use when waiting for a signal to leave a station. Some you twist, others you push – and if used in the wrong way they break. So, you can imagine the delays that would cause! To help, we’ve modified them all to be twist DRAs, which are safer and hopefully less breakable! How does the partnership between Siemens and London Midland work at the depot?

JUST FOR A LAUGH

Dave was determined to win the next BtL “Where do you read yours?” competition!

Team talk... great results

Very well. Our team works as one and we have excellent working relationships with the London Midland Engineering, Operations and Planning teams, with regular joint meetings and action planning so timetables and maintenance and operations work together. We also receive real time reports from drivers, and driver manager updates to help deal with issues immediately and avoid or reduce delays. Tell us about Project 110… We worked on the modifications to upgrade 30 of our Class 350/1s to travel at 110mph. It was significant, at times stressful, and involved colleagues here in the UK and in Germany for many hours, but look at the result – faster trains and reduced journey times for our customers – it was very worthwhile.

What a pro... Mick Hill

You’re clearly proud… Yes. We have a great, hardworking, professional, and fun team, and we’ve picked up many awards, including a coveted Modern Railway’s Golden Spanner for the most reliable new Electric Multiple Unit in the UK for our Class 350/2. What makes your day? We all push ourselves and we get great results.

What do you do when you’re not working? My wife and I love cruising. We’ve cruised many places, most recently the Amazon and Panama Canal, and enjoy waking up in a different place every day. What’s your favourite holiday destination? Puerto Pollensa in Mallorca. It’s picturesque and relaxing.

Across

Down

6. Golden syrup (7) 7. British runner who has challenged Usain Bolt to a race over 600 metres (5) 9. Minor pains (5) 10. Companies have one to sell their products on the Internet (7) 12. Frightening (11) 14. Benedict, the actor who plays Sherlock Holmes in the television series ‘Sherlock’ (11) 18. And 20 Down. 2013 science fiction movie about the Earth under attack (7,3) 19. Second planet from the sun in the solar system (5) 21. See 1 Down 22. And 4 Down. Television cook who divorced recently (7,6)

1. And 21 Across. Singer who used a hula hoop at the Queen’s Jubilee concert in 2012 (5,5) 2. Bale, the footballer who was in the news throughout the summer (6) 3. And 15 Down. Central criminal court in London (3,6) 4. See 22 Across 5. James Bond’s cocktail (7) 8. _____ Park, the large public park of Manhattan in New York City (7) 11. Golf’s US Masters is held in this state (7) 13. Person in charge of a museum (7) 15. See 3 Down 16. Intelligent (6) 17. Canadian singer who’s most recent album is ‘To Be Loved’ (5) 20. See 18 Across

GOT A STORY? CONTACT US AT btl@londonmidland.cOM

SEE PAGE 11 FOR THE ANSWERS!


1205 btl issue12 online