A Network Rail worker from South Yorkshire is one of thousands of railway staff helping to keep vital freight and passenger services moving during the Coronavirus crisis, meaning supermarket shelves stay stocked and those who cannot work from home are able to travel.

Gary Robinson from Doncaster works for Network Rail as a Mobile Operations Manager. Gary plays a key role in keeping the railway running reliably and safely and is often the first to respond to incidents across South Yorkshire which are impacting on train services, such as issues with the tracks, trespassers and vehicles striking railway bridges.

This role is even more important in the current climate due to the need to keep freight services, transporting vital food and medical supplies, moving, as well as making sure those who cannot work from home can still get where they need to be on time.

Safety is Network Rail’s top priority and Gary has adapted his role in line with Government guidance. Shift changeovers are now being done over the phone so that teams do not have to come into contact with each other and checks on signalling staff are being done remotely.

Gary, who has worked for Network Rail for 13 years, said: “I love the variety which my job brings and how the work I do helps to keep medical supplies moving and those who cannot work from home on the move.

“There has been a really strong team spirit during this time and, though we can’t see each other, we are making sure we keep in touch via messages and phone calls to provide support.

“I’m incredibly proud to work for the railway and to be playing my part to keep the country moving during this time.”

Network Rail is reminding passengers that only essential journeys should be made and those who do need to use the railway should continue to check before they travel via National Rail Enquiries or with their train operator.