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Women in Transport: Network Rail senior asset engineer

Category: Employer Focus, Women, Engineering, travel and leisure, women in transport

Women in Transport: Network Rail senior asset engineer

100 Years of Women in Transport.

Clare's role as an engineer involves carrying out a programme of work to identify and prevent landslides from happening, as well as fixing them when they do happen.

How did you enter the transport industry?

Whilst I was studying for my Engineering Geology MSc dissertation, I worked with a company who at the time was doing the earthworks examinations in Scotland for Railtrack (Network Rail's predecessor), who I then pursued a permanent job with. I have been examining, designing, repairing and now managing railway earthworks for 16 years and I still love it.

What does your job involve?

In a very simplistic way I identify where landslides might happen, carry out work to prevent these landslides and fix them when they do happen. I carry this out through a programme of examinations, maintenance, refurbishment and renewals work. Our Asset Management team manages the railway embankments and cuttings in London North Eastern and East Midlands route stretching from London King's Cross and St. Pancras in the south to Berwick and Carlisle in the north, and from Lincolnshire in the east to Halifax in the west. I manage the northern and central areas of this route.

Why do you like working in transport?

I love working on the railway; the history is fascinating, there is always more to learn and the people working in the industry are fiercely proud of the work they do and always happy to share their knowledge which is a pleasure to be around. I am from Ireland and although I have been living and working in the UK for 17 years now it will never really feel like home. However, I definitely feel at home on the railway.

What achievement are you most proud of?

Being able to help get people to the places they need to be. One particular landslide stands out - the East Coast Mainline was shut near Berwick due to an embankment washout following some torrential rainstorms (the same ones which shut the Newcastle Metro in 2012). It happened on a Thursday and I drove up from York the same day to meet with our contractor and ensure we did the right work to allow the safe re-opening of the railway as quickly as possible. I also had to ensure the correct and relevant information was passed on to the train companies and their passengers. I stayed in Berwick until the embankment was rebuilt, which wasn't until the Sunday morning. As I watched the first train over the site, a very long East Coast train travelling at 5mph, which took a long time, I was very happy to have been part of a team who had worked flat out to get the railway re-opened for those passengers.

What would your advice be to someone interested in your role?

Go for it, take all the opportunities offered, keep asking questions and listen to the answers.

How can we attract more young people into the industry?

Share our stories, show how it can be fun, challenging, welcoming and above all, useful. For my role in particular I’ve had the opportunity to build things in various and often interesting places and think my experiences would definitely inspire young people to pursue a career in engineering.

Are you interested in a career with Network Rail? Please click here!

Vercida works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with Vercida to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please call 02037405973 or email info@vercida.com for more information.

We are also officially recommended by Disability Confident as a step on achieving Employer status, please click here for more information.

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email info@vercida.com for more information.

Learn more about this employer

Network Rail

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