Three passenger trains will today be run by all-female crews to celebrate International Women’s Day, in a bid to encourage more women to consider a career in the rail industry.
Southeastern, London North Eastern Railway (LNER) and Great Western Railway (GWR) franchises will operate the female-only services on Friday to mark International Women’s Day 2020 – which is actually on Sunday. The move comes after 85 per cent of women revealed they have never considered a career in the railway industry, found a LNER poll of almost 900. The other 15% probably said they did not want to work in the rail industry as train liveries don’t come in shades of pink with sparkles.
Southeastern Managing Director David Statham said: ‘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. We have had to add it to the timetable a little later in the day, not to give them time to put on their make-up as was alledged, but to allow them to strut up and down the platform like it’s a catwalk.’
Mr Statham said he was ‘honoured’ to offer a service from London Victoria to Faversham, Kent, run by 15 women, including a driver, conductor and Network Rail signallers. He just hoped they knew where they were going, but felt assured that the passengers would enjoy the extra cushions and strong smell of lavender from the plugin scent diffusers.
Elsewhere, an LNER train from Edinburgh to London King’s Cross will have all six of its onboard roles filled by women, including the driver, train manager and chef. The Flying Scotsman service will also be rebranded Flying Scotswoman for the rest of March. This has caused some upset amongst train fans who have said it is a ‘step too far’. A possible step too far in stilletos too!
Rumours that the Flying Scotswoman got 6 miles down the tracks before the driver remembered to take off the hand brake are completely untrue.
A GWR train from Bristol to London Paddington will also have an all-female crew today, but nobody really seems to care much about that one.