Nearly everyone in the UK will use a train at least once a year. At Liverpool Street station in central London, we see over 67 million journeys per annum – that’s a lot of customers we need to support and look after. If you have ever travelled through the station you will have noticed our customer service advisors (CSA’s) in their orange hi vis jackets ready to assist whoever may need them. Despite the challenges of the job, our CSA’s are almost always smiling too.
Every month there are new initiatives put in place to show support for our teams and passengers. For “Purple Light Up Day” in November we changed the lighting and uniforms to purple to show solidarity with our disabled staff. For Christmas we hosted carolling sessions in rush hour to keep the festive spirit high. The station is never a quiet place to be.
We all understand what a typical “customer service” role entails – but life as a CSA is so much more than you would expect. Here’s a snapshot of what Libby Dragone and Jay Hamilton’s careers have been like since they joined our station staff.
Libby started at Network Rail 11 years ago, it will be 12 years in October. Whilst walking through the station one day, Libby saw a poster advertising a CSA opportunity. As Libby has always enjoyed helping people, she decided to apply and hasn’t looked back since. Jay’s journey begun seven months ago now, but she similarly loves her job as she is part of a community.
There is no such thing as an average day at Liverpool Street station. You could be involved in:
Conducting security rounds of the concourse and platform areas for security risks, including terrorism
We assist passengers with mobility issues or who have a lot of luggage (sometimes this is even celebrities)
Helping on reception to sign in contractors or media companies
As the station is open almost 24/7 anything could happen in the blink of an eye. Just last week Jay had to seek emergency medical help a passenger who went into cardiac arrest.
"He slipped and knocked his head before going into convulsions. My first thought was to panic but then immediately called for the paramedics. I stayed with him until the defibrillator and paramedics arrived and we were able to resuscitate him. Being able to support him made the day worthwhile."
It’s not always easy to put our passengers first. Sometimes we will have to ask intoxicated passengers to leave the station or alert the British Transport Police to potential criminal or terrorist activity.
"It’s sometimes hard to ask people to leave as they can occasionally get aggressive. It’s all about how you speak to people. If you speak to them nicely and have a laugh about situations you end up walking out together smoothly. Sometimes people will be angry but it’s very rare."
We have been fortunate that Liverpool Street has never been targeted by terrorists, but we need to be mindful that there is always a threat possible. Network Rail is constantly evolving and changing to meet the needs of our passengers and the environment, so you will constantly be able to grow and progress your career. Particularly so if you are a team player. Libby was recognised for her dedication just last year at a nationwide awards ceremony.
If you are still unsure about whether life at Network Rail as a CSA is for you, Jay would like to remind everyone that joining us could be a lifelong career.
"It’s rare to join a company that is always growing that offers stable job security. I have only been a part of Network Rail seven months, but I have already had meetings with my manager about how to become a shift station manager and grow my career."