Representatives of the Wales and Borders operator joined others from across the UK rail industry at the awards ceremony in London at the end of January.
Arriva Trains Wales’ "Silver Whistle" award was for a 3.2% improvement in On time performance, which was the biggest improvement in the Regional sector in the UK. This year the performance measure was based on performance at every station along a route as opposed to at the final destination.
"It’s a fantastic achievement to be recognised for improving our on time performance year on year," said Gregg Evans, Head of Performance at Arriva Trains Wales.
"This is a result of us working extremely closely with our business partners at Network Rail and a real drive to make a difference for our customers.
"Our performance really matters to our customers as does it us, as the communities in Wales and the Borders rely on us to provide a reliable service for their journeys. 2017 was certainly not without its challenges with Champions League, large scale infrastructure enhancements and some very challenging weather to say the least.
"It’s through the dedicated people on the railway however that have achieved an outstanding result which we are continuing to build upon for 2018 and future years."
In 2017, Arriva Trains Wales saw an increase on weekday services to more than 1,000 trains per day, more than at any point since the 1960s.
ATW were also the best train operator for right time performance at the final destination according to figures compiled by Network Rail.
The Golden Whistles event was founded in 2010 to promote best practice and celebrate excellence in railway operations. It is run by Modern Railways magazine in conjunction with the Institution of Railway Operators.
Glen Merryman, chairman of the Institution of Railway Operators South East Area, which organises the awards, said: ‘‘The 2018 Golden Whistles threw up some surprising winners. All those who won have had their own challenges and have turned around their performance to end up deserved winners. The move to 'On Time' measurement shows Modern Railways & the Institution of Railway Operators commitment to Operating excellence.”
And Andy Thomas, route managing director for Network Rail in Wales and Borders, said: "We are delighted to have supported Arriva Trains Wales in being the best ‘Right Time’ train operator in 2017, and it is great that they have been recognised for this improvement.
“Enhancements completed last year as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan –such as the major improvement to signalling equipment in Cardiff and the new platform 8 - and the current North Wales Railway Upgrade project, improve the resilience and reliability of the railway, better connecting people, businesses and communities.
“Overall, we are working more closely than ever before with our partners, including Arriva Trains Wales and overall, punctuality in Wales and Borders is amongst the best across the network. We look forward to working with Transport for Wales, the new train operator and other industry partners to provide an improved service for passengers during the new franchise which starts in October this year.”