Train drivers nab eco-friendly awards


Two ScotRail train drivers have made their colleagues “green” with envy by winning the train operator’s annual eco-driving awards.


Scott Watson, from Edinburgh, and John Whyte, who lives in Paisley, collected their trophies in recognition of their eco-driving skills on ScotRail’s diesel and electric trains.


Scott, 36, who picked up the award for best diesel driver, is based at Edinburgh Waverley station. He was a sheet metal worker before joining the company in 2011.


John and Scot with their awards
John and Scot with their awards


The father of two said: “I’m very proud of myself for winning as I’ve only worked for ScotRail for a few years, which makes this an even greater
achievement. It feels good to be recognised for my hard work and to do my bit for the environment at the same time.”


John, 51, who collected the award for best electric driver, is based at Yoker and has worked for the train operator since 1991.


The father of three said: “I was happy with how I did in the assessment, but never expected to win. I’m proud to win this award, not only for
myself, but also for my team at Yoker – drivers there have earned this title for the past three years.”


ScotRail teaches eco-driving skills to all its train drivers as a way of reducing CO2 emissions and improving sustainability. The techniques include
using natural gradients to ‘coast’ the train where possible.


Launched in 2007, the eco-driving initiative is delivering significant benefits. Since its conception, drivers have achieved a 5% reduction in CO2
emissions across the fleet.


The introduction of new Driver Advisory System (DAS) technology in 2014 delivered an additional 2% reduction in diesel emissions and a 4% reduction
in electric emissions.


Drivers hone their techniques at ScotRail’s Simulator Centre underneath Glasgow Central station.


The centre houses two exact replicas of train cabs, which offer scenarios ranging from a Scottish winter to a train rounding a bend where a potential
problem could lie ahead.


ScotRail has focused on several areas to reduce CO2 emissions, including; eco driving, simulator training, coasting techniques, DAS, reducing engine
idling, automatic sleep modes for electric trains, and energy metering for electric trains.


George McBride, ScotRail’s simulator manager, who started with the train operator in 1980 as a driver’s assistant, said: “We are committed to
reducing CO2 emissions, and the eco-driving awards, which have proven very popular over the years, mean our drivers apply techniques that can go a long way towards improving our environment.”