Preston Driver overcomes trials to triumph

Published on : Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Virgin-TrainsPreston Driver, Tony Barrett, has won the ASLEF Learner of the Year Award 2014. The presentation took place at the annual ASLEF Union Learner Representative (ULR) Development Seminar which, this year, was held in Bristol. Tony was nominated for the award by his ULR, Preston Driver Paul Harnett, who put his name forward because of the learning journey he had been through.
Tony joined the railway as a train driver in March 2003, from the Prison Service, and felt exceptionally lucky to have been entrusted with the job. However, after five years as a Virgin Trains Driver, Tony’s journey almost came to an end following a freak accident at home which resulted in serious damage to his left arm.  A previously diligent Virgin Trains employee, Tony ended up spending four days in hospital and another four months away from the railway while he recovered. The extent of his injuries meant he could no longer drive trains and instead assumed a new role as Booking Office Clerk.
Refusing to accept his fate, Tony continued with physiotherapy privately and, having passed a series of stringent medicals, returned to his previous post as driver in May 2013. He didn’t stop there! Tony enrolled in an IT course (the result of a partnership between the Trade Unions and Virgin Trains), aimed at lifelong learning in the workplace. His successful completion of the Level 1 IT course with Wigan and Leigh College tutor Andrew Leyland earned him the ASLEF Learner of the Year Award 2014, which was presented at the annual ASLEF Union Learner Representative (ULR) Development Seminar. His quest for knowledge and personal development is ongoing and Tony has since progressed to the Level 2 course.
Tony credits his wife and Virgin Trains for their support during his hiatus from the driving seat which, by Tony’s calculations, lasted “six years, one month and eleven days.  But who’s counting?”


The resilient Virgin Trains employee asserts that while his injuries weren’t work-related, he was accommodated throughout the transition, with various colleagues keeping track of his progress while based at Preston Station’s Booking Office. “Virgin was absolutely phenomenal. I consider myself fortunate to work for a company like that,” Tony enthuses.


Tony has defied the odds and triumphed over adversity but he cautions, “Don’t take things for granted. You never know what’s around the corner.”


Source:- Virgin Trains


Comments are closed.

arrow2Follow Us
facebook-logo  twitter-logo  LinkedIn_logo  stumbleupon-logo   rss_logo 





    More Events...