How I joined the Rail Industry

Laura Warwick headshot

Written by Laura Warwick

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3 min read | 1 May 2024

Hello, my name is Laura Warwick. I am a Station Team Leader at Runcorn Station.

Here is an insight into how I joined the railway;

November 2024 marked my twenty second year on the railway. Customers and colleagues frequently ask me how I came to be working within this industry.  As a child I had always wanted to work in the travel sector. Like many others I had watched airport and railway documentaries on the tv, when growing up. The Hussle and bustle and the ever-changing environment was appealing to me. I also liked the idea of travelling and meeting new people.

I saw a job advert in a London newspaper, and I recall thinking to myself that this was the job for me, so I applied. At this time, I had no experience or knowledge of trains whatsoever!  I remember my interview day so vividly. I was seventeen, a couple months off turning eighteen and this was my first big interview. I recall feeling so smart in my new suit and my shiny heeled shoes, this gave me the confidence to go in and sell myself! I will always remember walking into my interview and being greeted in such a lovely, welcoming and calming manner. I was delighted when I received a phone call a week later offering me a position. I was given an invite to attend a three-week training programme in Crewe.

This was the start of my fabulous working life.

After my training I was fitted for my uniform and given a date to start my employment at London Euston Station. On my first day I got up extra early to make sure that my uniform looked smart, that my hair and makeup was perfect, and I left my house a little earlier to ensure that I arrived in ample time.

I was met by my Station Manager and was given an induction and got to meet the team. I knew from that day that I was going to love working there.

For just over four years I worked as a customer service assistant at Euston. I wanted to develop myself and my knowledge and skills, so during my time here, I worked within every department. I gained ticket, route and safety knowledge, along with experience of customer service and station operations. Euston is a very unique place. When disruption hits, you certainly know about it! I remember having some particular challenging days where the concourse was full to busting with customers who had been delayed by service disruption. They would come to me to get information on alternative routes to get them home. I would also address customer complaints and find resolution where possible.

Working at a terminal station can be very challenging but also rewarding. I have witnessed teamwork at its best, during disruption here.

On the 7th of July 2005 whilst I was on shift at London Euston, one of the darkest days of my career occurred. London experienced multiple terror attacks and this created a lot of panic amongst people. The city was locked down, phone signals switched off and the transport network shut down for safety. My job was to provide information, assist with customers who were stranded and comfort many who had experienced the trauma.

This day will forever remain with me, and I will never forget the people who died and were injured. I light a candle every year as a mark of respect. This day was also the day that I realised just how amazing all our railway workers are. I saw so much care, compassion and empathy given to people. My heart melted with pride.

In 2006 I applied for a transfer to Runcorn station in Cheshire and was granted it. I was sad to leave Euston, but I was excited to start a new chapter in a new area, with a new team.

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