National Transport Awards 2023

Success for Avanti West Coast at the National Transport Awards 2023

Avanti West Coast's Pulling in the Right Direction wins Campaign of the Year. 

  • West Coast operator awarded Campaign of the Year for 2023
  • Campaign led to record numbers of applicants from women for train driver roles
  • Awards showcase those who have made a significant contribution to enhancing transport networks in the UK


Avanti West Coast has been honoured at the prestigious UK National Transport Awards for its initiative to recruit more women train drivers.

Pulling in the Right Direction, the West Coast operator’s recruitment drive was awarded Campaign of the Year.

At the heart of the campaign to encourage women to apply was a mural, depicting Karen Harrison, one of the UK’s first female train drivers.

The 8 x 5 metre mural at London Euston station was designed by renowned street artist Akse and was intended to tackle the stereotype that driving a train is a job for men. Such was its impact, the impressive artwork is now on permanent display.

As a result of the campaign, a record number of applications, over 1500, were received from women with successful applicants due to start their training next year.

“Karen Harrison fought for women’s rights and the rights of other minorities in rail. So it’s fitting that her legacy lives on, and this award is for Karen and all those who have, and hope to, follow in her footsteps,” said Daisy Hawker Wallace, Head of PR at Avanti West Coast.

Celebrating their 20th anniversary, the UK National Transport Awards looks to shine the spotlight on the dedication, expertise, success and innovation of those working to continually enhance the transport networks across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Main image: The Avanti West Coast team pictured with event host Jeremy Vine. 

Contact Information

Richard Stanton

Avanti West Coast


Notes to editors

About Avanti West Coast

Avanti West Coast, operator of intercity rail services on the West Coast Main Line, is a joint venture between FirstGroup and Trenitalia, delivering a cleaner, greener railway that drives the West Coast forward.

We’re on a mission to revolutionise train travel. Our refurbed Pendolinos are returning to the rails, with a £117m investment that’s delivering best in class comfort. Rebuilt using sustainable materials wherever possible, including tables made from recycled plastic bottles, our upgraded fleet offers 25,000 brand new seats, free Wi-Fi, onboard recycling and much more.

New Hitachi trains are set to replace our Voyager trains from 2023, leading to a 61% cut in carbon emissions. Quieter and roomier, with more reliable Wi-Fi, wireless charging for electrical devices and a real-time customer information system, the new 23-strong fleet is the result of a £350m investment in sustainable travel.

We’re tackling climate change wherever we can, from reducing energy and water use to training drivers in eco-driving techniques and sourcing food and drink from local suppliers. Our goal is to be net zero carbon by 2031. We’re on track.

For the latest news, visit the Avanti West Coast Media Centre: https://newsdesk.avantiwestcoast.co.uk/

Press Office: 0845 000 3333