Just track down John to adopt a railway station

John Yellowlees' service to the rail industry has been recognised
John Yellowlees' service to the rail industry has been recognised
Have your say

A CAPITAL man has scooped an Outstanding Contribution to the Railway Award at a recent Scotrail staff awards night.

John Yellowlees, external relations manager for the train operator, received his accolade at the company’s first ever Your Recognition Awards Ball.

The event, held at the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow and hosted by Real Radio breakfast presenter Ewen Cameron, was held to celebrate the achievements of staff throughout the year.

John, 61, who lives in Roseburn Cliff, was among the 150 members of staff who attended the special evening.

During his 21 years’ service within the rail industry, he has almost single-handedly built up Scotrail’s Adopt-a-Station scheme – an initiative which aims to put stations at the heart of local communities – from scratch.

As a result, more than 150 stations have now been “adopted” by local groups or individuals.

Floral displays adorn many of the stations, and surplus accomodation on numerous railway premises are now home to model railway clubs, artists’ studios, bookshops, spectacular murals and even a toy library.

For example, Linlithgow, the first ever railway station to be photographed in 1845, now displays a variety of barrels, a garden and an historical plaque, and Newcraighall, since spring of this year, has had a sculpture in place of the famous Scottish film director, Bill Douglas.

Award-winner John said: “The purpose of the Adopt-a-Station scheme is to put the station at the heart of the community, leaving a good impression with the people who pass through on their journeys.

“It might even make people get off and see what it is like.

“Stations around the country are inspected by Transport Scotland every 28 days and we want to make them a proud place for people to visit.”

The accolade did, however, come as a big surprise to John, who added: “I had no idea that I was going to be receiving an award, it really was a wonderful end to a fantastic evening.

“My work wouldn’t be possible without the help of many other colleagues, and I would like to thank them.”

Steve Montgomery, Scotrail’s managing director, said: “As a business, recognising our people and developing strong engagement levels are some of our top priorities.

“John is a true ambassador for Scotrail, spending a great deal of time out in the local communities that we serve.

“He is a deserving winner and I’m pleased that we have had the chance to say thank you.”

The evening, however, was not just about a celebration of staff achievements – fundraising for Scotrail’s charity partner, the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland, also took place bringing in a total of £2000.