Jennifer Hayton, a Network Rail track worker from Saltburn-by-the-Sea, has moved house during the Covid-19 crisis so that she can continue to carry out her role as a key worker in the rail industry.

Jennifer, who has worked for Network Rail for six months, is a track operative. Part of her job involves inspecting the track and repairing faults to make sure that the railway can continue running reliably and safely, so this role cannot be done from home.

Jennifer was previously living with her Mum, who has an underlying health condition and has been asked to self isolate for 12 weeks. To protect her Mum’s health and make sure she can continue to carry out her role, Jennifer took the decision to move out and has now rented a flat in Gateshead. This means that Jennifer can continue to do the job she loves and help to protect her Mum’s health.

Keeping the railway running is particularly important during the Covid-19 pandemic as freight services make sure that supermarket shelves stay stocked with household essentials and keep vital medical supplies moving. Although a reduced passenger service is in place, this service is crucial to enable those who cannot work from home to get to where they need to be. Safety is Network Rail’s top priority and Jennifer’s role has been adapted in line with Government guidance.

Jennifer said: “It was really important for me to be able to carry on going out on track as it’s a key part of my role and something which I wanted to continue with, however, I didn’t want to do anything which could impact on my Mum’s health, so I made the decision to move out. My line manager has been really supportive throughout this process, which has really helped.

“Moving home has brought some challenges, for example I don’t yet have WiFi in my new home, however my neighbours have been fantastic and given me their code, which has really helped me out!

“I think it’s important that everyone pulls together during this difficult time which is why I wanted to play my part in helping to keep the railway, and Britain, running.”