First Great Western was voted Train Operator of the Year award at the 12th Eversholt Rail Business Awards, held at the London Hilton, Park Lane, last night.

The firm, previously slated by customers for overcrowding, late services and high fares, says it has worked hard in the last 18 months to improve the service it offers which has seen it move from the bottom of the industry performance league table to seventh out of 19 train operators.

A FGW spokesman said: "The rise has been achieved by a £4 million investment in its Putting Customers First development programme which, attended by all staff, was designed to re-focus employees on raising customer satisfaction levels.

"This has resulted in a 30.5 per cent reduction in the number of complaints received.

"FGW has also invested in a £40 million station improvement programme, refreshed trains and recruited a further 250 staff."

Category judge Alan Marshall, said: “First Great Western provides an extensive network of commuter, regional, local and intercity trains. The systems they have put into place other the last two years have made a significant improvement to the service they now provide.”

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