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Britain's first all female operated train service runs today

In light of International Women’s Day, today (March 6th) Network Rail and Southeastern Railway join forces to launch the first ever passenger service run entirely by women.

A rush hour Southeastern service will leave London for Kent staffed by a female driver and conductor, while female Network Rail signallers staff the route.

For the first time a commuter service will be operated by exclusively female rail staff from start to finish, from the depot to destination. In total, 15 women will take part.

And the service will form one of the three Female Trains today as the rail industry seeks to attract more female recruits into a traditionally ‘male’ industry.

SoutheasternFemaleJourneyEdit 10

Southeastern’s driver, Monika Kurek, will run the 7.42 out of London Victoria to Faversham.

Additionally, GWR will run a female train from London Paddington to Bristol, while LNER will run a ‘Flying Scotswoman’ from Edinburgh to Kings Cross.

The extra push comes as Network Rail pledges to increase the number of women in the workforce by 50% by 2024, equal to almost 4,000 new female staff.

Moreover, Southeastern today has revealed that 20% of its workforce are now women following a strenuous campaign to raise the profile of the industry, leaving the group on track to hit its target of 21% by 2021.

Southeastern Managing Director, David Statham, said: “We’re honoured to be playing our part in today’s ‘Female Train’. We have made considerable progress in attracting more women into the industry and we’re proud that 20% of Southeastern’s employees are female. The fact today’s ‘Female Train’ is one of the first shows how much more the rail industry needs to do to and we will continue working with partners like Network Rail to achieve this.”


Chief Executive of Network Rail, Andrew Haines, said: “This is a brilliant celebration of women in rail. I hope it demonstrates to other women and girls that a rewarding role in our industry is a real prospect. We have an abundance of diverse and interesting jobs available and the users of the railway deserve the best of our talents. That must mean a much more diverse workforce.”

Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Network Rail, Loraine Martins, said: “This is about ensuring our organisation is as diverse as the communities we serve and valuing the contributions that everyone can make to our business. We will continue to work tirelessly to increase the proportion of women at Network Rail at all levels in our business, as well as developing the phenomenal talent that we already have.”

Images & Video: Network Rail 


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