On Friday 4 June, SRS Rail System road rail lorry specialists welcomed local Bolsover MP, Mark Fletcher, highlighting the vital products they have continued to supply throughout the pandemic and to meet the team at its Bolsover site.
The visit showcased the people and work that had been undertaken over the past year, during which the rail industry has kept services running. It also served as an opportunity for the Derbyshire rail supply chain to demonstrate its importance for local communities and the country as a whole.
Mark Fletcher was given a tour of the purpose-built depot, where SRS convert a range of vehicles to travel on both road and rail. The specialist vehicles make it faster and more efficient to transport goods to rail projects, helping to build and maintain the UK’s railways. He had the chance to meet with workers on site, and even to drive a vehicle himself on SRS’ test track, under the supervision of site experts.
The visit was conducted as part of the Railway Industry Association’s (RIA) Rail Fellowship Programme, which encourages Parliamentarians and policy influencers to gain hands-on experience in the rail industry, and has been extremely successful, with politicians continuing to take part, throughout the pandemic, and with more visits planned in future.
Over the last three years a large number of influential and cross-party politicians have taken part, including the Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris MP, Home Secretary Priti Patel MP, Nicky Morgan MP, former Secretary of State for Education and Florence Eshalomi MP, whilst she was Labour’s transport spokesperson at City Hall and Chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee.
Mark Fletcher MP said: “SRS Rail Systems are the Rolls Royce of railway maintenance and I’m incredibly proud to have an innovative and exciting company in Bolsover. Their efficiency and safety record is second to none globally. I look forward to seeing them go from strength to strength.
“I was also incredibly pleased to hear that they had managed to reduce their carbon emissions by 90% by switching to a different fuel source.”
Gethin Thomas, General and Technical Manager at SRS Rail said: “It was an absolute pleasure today to welcome Mark Fletcher MP to SRS Rail System Ltd as part of the Railway Industry Association’s Rail Fellowship Programme, giving us the opportunity to demonstrate our road rail vehicles, services and capabilities and to give Mark a hands-on experience of on tracking a vehicle. It also gave us the platform to highlight several industry challenges faced by rail plant suppliers.”
Max Sugarman, Public Affairs & PR Director at the Railway Industry Association (RIA), said: “It was a pleasure to welcome Mark Fletcher to SRS Rail System in Bolsover, and it was great for him to experience first-hand the work that goes on at one of his local rail depots.
“We are delighted that the RIA Rail Fellowship Class of 2021 is growing, as new MPs sign up to take part and show their support. It is vital that MPs continue to see the hard work and innovation of one of Britain’s oldest and most resilient industries.”