RAIL operator Northern has been nominated for three accolades at an upcoming business awards ceremony.

The company which employs more than 6,500 people, has been shortlisted for its efforts in improving diversity and inclusion in the workplace and for its commitment to environmental sustainability.

The Rail Business Awards, which are in their 24th year, celebrate achievements in every aspect of the industry, from daily operations, safety and customer service to technical innovation and major projects and recognises operators, suppliers and infrastructure providers from across the country in 16 hotly contested categories.

Speaking of the nominations, Northern’s Chief Operating Officer, Tricia Williams said: “We are absolutely delighted to be shortlisted in the upcoming Rail Business Awards.

“The awards recognise excellence across the UK rail industry and there is always intense competition for the much-wanted accolades.

“We are also really proud of the ongoing work we are doing to make Northern a great place to work for everyone and the efforts we are making to ensure our natural environment is looked after for the long term. We look forward to the winners being announced.”

Northern’s continued efforts have also been recognised in the Diversity and Inclusion category. In a traditionally male environment, Northern has made great efforts to reflect all the communities it serves and has particularly targeted attracting more women into the industry. Since 2017 the number of women working at Northern has increased by 30 per cent with its engineering function growing by 15 per cent.

Other inclusive initiatives have included BAME awareness training, blind recruitment sifting, introduction of menopause and domestic violence policies, transgender awareness and engagement and training for managers to support colleagues participating in Ramadan.

Northern is also committed to improving the environment in a sustainable manner and shortlisting judges were impressed with innovative schemes such as all in one waste trolleys at maintenance depots, hundreds of tonnes of paper recycling from on board trains leading to charity donations and uniquely designed bin sensors which can be remotely monitored to ensure wagon removals are only scheduled when bins are full and road journeys aren’t used un-necessarily.

Northern is the second largest train operator in the UK and runs regional and commuter services across the north of England.

It has retired its entire Pacer fleet and introduced 100 brand new trains, part of a £500 million investment in regional rail.

The winners of the awards will be announced in February.