First TransPennine Express is today celebrating after winning the prestigious title of 'Passenger Train Operator of the Year' at a national awards ceremony.

The train company walked home with the main award at the National Rail Awards in London last night (Tuesday 16th September) and was highly commended in four other categories.

The National Rail Awards celebrate excellence and achievement and are seen as one of the most prestigious awards in the rail industry.

First TransPennine Express has seen record growth with the numbers of passengers travelling on their services increasing from 13 million, when the company started in 2004, to 23m to date. Impressive performance, high customer satisfaction scores and a proven commitment to developing and investing in rail travel in the North also contributed towards the judges' decision to award them the top accolade.

Vernon Barker, Managing Director of First TransPennine Express, said: "This is a great achievement for everyone at First TransPennine Express, and the organisations who work with us, who have all helped to make the company the success it is. It is a prestigious award and we will continue to work hard to ensure we keep on delivering great service and always strive to improve for our customers."

The company was also highly commended for:

- The fuel efficiency programme, EcoDrive, in the category of 'Environmental Excellence Award'

- Manchester Piccadilly Train Conductor, Tara O'Toole, for 'Outstanding Personal Contribution'

- Hull Paragon Railway Station for 'Best Medium Station', and,

- Barrow-in-Furness for 'Best Small Station'

The awards ceremony was held at The Grosvenor House Hotel, London, and was attended by more than 1200 people from across the rail industry.

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