Female signallers taking the lead on the West Coast Main Line

Female signallers taking the lead on the West Coast Main Line

Published 8 March 2024 | Average read time
3 min read
Stories Life at Network Rail

Today, on International Women’s Day, we’re proud that 11 of our 15 colleagues needed to signal trains on the West Coast Main Line between London and Crewe are women.

Some of our female staff include Alice Marsh, who chose to qualify as a signaller after joining Network Rail through our graduate programme.

Alice said: “I enjoyed taking part in some of the entry level signalling training as part of the graduate scheme, so made the decision to look for an opportunity to fully qualify.

“There is a lot of problem solving being a signaller, every day a different challenge, and seeing how decisions you make keeps passengers and freight moving is really rewarding.”

Alice is now a seasons delivery specialist – a crucial role as we deal with the impacts of climate change. However, as a qualified and competent signaller, Alice provides relief cover by signalling trains when needed and making sure that passenger and freight trains are kept on the move.

Females make up a third of our new staff

In the past 12 months, over a third of our new starters have been women.

Claudine Molloy first trained as a solicitor before moving to become an operations manager in signalling and controlling on this route.

Claudine said: “I love that in my job no two days are the same. You could be working to recover train services after an incident, developing a team member or delivering plans that improve train performance.”

Kelly Littleton, meanwhile, left her previous role as a primary school teacher to become a roster clerk on the West Coast Main Line, which runs north from London Euston station.

Kelly said: “Having friends and family that already work in the rail industry, they have always told me what a great company Network Rail is and so I looked into what jobs were available.

“In my job as a roster clerk, I roster and schedule everyone to make sure that we cover all the critical roles it takes to operate and signal the route.”

Saddiqa Shan, meanwhile, is only seven weeks into her rail industry journey as a trainee signaller. Saddiqa has always had a passion for championing women into professions that traditionally attract men. Saddiqa used to work for the Paris Saint-Germain Academy in Qatar before joining us and is the founder of Lichfield City Ladies FC.

Hear what some of our female staff say about their experience

A more diverse rail industry

On this International Women’s Day, Alice, Claudine, Kelly and Saddiqa would like to encourage more women to consider jobs in the rail industry. 

We’re an equal opportunities employer who recognise the importance of recruiting a diverse workforce and value an inclusive environment where everyone can play their part. 

If you are interested in a career in the rail industry with Network Rail, please visit: https://www.networkrail.co.uk/careers/ 

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