Category: Employer Focus, diversity, equality, Network Rail, travel and leisure, archivist
100 Years of women in Transport.
Vicky's main responsibilities are to collect and preserve records relating to Network Rail, which will document the railway story for future generations.
How did you enter the transport industry?
I have always been interested in the railway so when the Archivist role for Network Rail was advertised seven years ago, I jumped at the chance to be able to build an archive which will document the railway story in the first part of the 21st century. I’m very fortunate to have had a great career in archives and records management. I started work at the Cheshire Record Office and have also worked for archive services at BP, the National Railway Museum, York University and North Yorkshire Archives.
What does your job involve?
My main responsibilities are to collect and preserve records relating to Network Rail that are to be kept permanently. This is so the business has a record of the key decisions, actions and communications it makes, but it will also tell the story of how Network Rail has managed the development, maintenance and operation of the railway for future generations. I also manage a collection of historical engineering drawings dating back to the very earliest days of the railway which chart the development of the most iconic structures on our network. The most challenging aspect of my role is engaging colleagues with the importance of archives that have been created in the last 10-15 years. We are a young company which has a large 19th century inheritance, but what I do as an archivist isn’t always about Victorian history. It is much more about collecting and preserving records, now primarily digital, that will show how we made our decisions, took our actions and communicated to our stakeholders as an organisation.
Why do you like working in transport?
The railway is something that impacts everyone; whether you travel by it every day, you work for it, you live near it, you remember a favourite journey from your childhood or you have a railway ancestor. Being able to engage people in that story is a great thing.
What achievement are you most proud of?
Achieving Archive Accreditation for the Network Rail Corporate Archive; we were the first business archive in the country to achieve this award which is recognition of the service from national bodies and professional peers. Also the creation and launch of the virtual archive site where we can showcase the history of our railway engineering to a worldwide audience: www.networkrail.co.uk/virtualarchive
What would your advice be to someone interested in your role?
Getting good experience in both historical archives and modern records management environments has stood me in good stead in my role at Network Rail. I have also found that if you are passionate and positive about what you do and your subject - in this case the railway and the story of its operation and development - it goes a long way.
How can we attract more young people into the industry?
I would engage them in the fact that a career in transport isn’t just about engineering; a career in transport is about opportunities in a wide range of disciplines and there are so many different ways in which you can contribute and get involved.
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