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CAF has been awarded Highly Commended in three categories at this year’s prestigious Global Light Rail Awards – two of the acknowledgements recognise and reward the workforce’s outstanding commitment to going above and beyond expectations.
The annual awards which celebrate and reward the industry’s most outstanding contributors and innovators, Highly Commended CAF in the Manufacturer of the Year, Team of the Year and Rising Star categories.
A Highly Commended in the Team of the Year category was awarded to the six-man CAF team who stepped up to complete the retrofit of 19 Urbos trams for West Midlands Metro with the award-winning Greentech On-board Energy Storage Solution (OESS).
With just five months remaining before the highly publicised in-service launch of the catenary-free trams, on a new extension of the line from Birmingham’s Grand Central to Centenary Square, seven still required retrofitting. To complete the extra workload the team agreed to increase their five-day working week to six and, breaking with normal methodology, employed a parallel working system to undertake the modifications on two trams simultaneously.
The team carried out the retrofit modifications on operational trams while ensuring vehicles were available to run as timetabled.
Despite the difficulties and thanks to the team’s efficiency and flexibility, the retrofit of the seven trams were completed by the due date.
CAF Rail UK Warranty Team Leader Paul Shwalbe’s exceptional team spirit and willingness to go above and beyond expectations earned him Highly Commended in the Rising Star category.
Paul has repeatedly demonstrated creative and flexible thinking, and this was evident during the West Midlands Metro OESS retrofit.
It was his idea for the team to work on a Sunday, rather than adding to their daily hours, so the small team could maintain a better work/life balance.
During the project’s critical start period Paul married his teacher fiancée. He was concerned that the small team could be negatively impacted by his absence by creating more work for his colleagues and so postponed his honeymoon until the project had been completed. He even returned to work for the Sunday shift, the day after the wedding!
CAF UK Director, Richard Garner commented: “We are delighted with our three Highly Commended awards for Team of the Year, Rising Star and Manufacturer of the Year.
“It is great to see the achievements of our people have been acknowledged by the judges.
“We are particularly proud of both the CAF Wednesbury team, and Paul in particular, who have been recognised for going above and beyond to meet the needs of our customers.
“The entire Wednesbury team showed remarkable dedication, self-motivation and enthusiasm to complete the OESS retrofit project.”
CAF is committed to investing in its workforce and seeking the highest calibre recruits and has signed the newly launched Railway Industry Association (RIA) and Women in Rail (WR) Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Charter.
Photo credit: CAF
This article first appeared on www.railbusinessdaily.com
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