Merseyrail employee celebrates over half a century of serving the people of the city region

Merseyrail’s longest serving member of staff has been recognised at a special awards ceremony after clocking up an astonishing 53 years at the rail company.

David Hunter, now aged 77, began working on the local train network in 1970 just one year after steam trains were phased out of service.

And the on-board cleaner, who still works part-time on the network, heads a list of incredible long-serving staff on Merseyrail.

Four other colleagues have worked for the company for more than 45 years, while a further nine have worked for more than 40 years. Many roles are included in the long service list; drivers, station retailers, station assistants, HR support, control centre staff, train managers, and cleaners.

At an awards night honouring David and other Merseyrail colleagues, the company celebrated the dedication of 50 staff who collectively have an incredible 1682 years of service between them.

Throughout David’s 53 years of work he has been known as a real gentleman, popular with all colleagues and the management team.  He has a vibrant and infectious personality, always keeping his colleagues entertained with stories and anecdotes of his life.

David said: “I was 22 years old when I started on the railway. I started working at Meols Cop near Southport and became a porter guard. From there I progressed to become a station guard and worked at Liverpool Exchange until it closed in 1977 before moving up to Kirkdale station.

“I have been working as an on board cleaner now for about seven years. I really enjoy it and I’ve got no plans to retire anytime soon.

“I’m really happy in my work – when I started I thought I would only last six months!”

In his time at Merseyrail he has seen the network transformed with the huge remodelling of the underground system completed in the 1970s, the introduction of the Class 507 and 508 trains, and now the roll out of the brand-new Class 777 trains.

Neil Grabham, Managing Director of Merseyrail said: “I am so very proud to be able to acknowledge and recognise the service of these dedicated staff to not just Merseyrail but the rail industry as a whole.

“It’s staggering to think that 50 of our longest serving staff have a combined total of 1682 years of work in the rail industry – that’s definitely something that deserves recognition.

“David’s contribution to the success of Merseyrail cannot be understated. He is a Merseyrail legend and someone we consider lucky to have as a part of our team.

“I want to say thank you to David and also to all of the colleagues we recognised for their years of dedicated service.”