Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

All-female crew staff 'Flying Scotswoman' train

All-female crew of Flying Scotsman Image copyright PA Media

An all-female crew, including four sisters, have operated a train from Edinburgh to London to mark International Women's Day on Sunday.

The LNER Flying Scotsman service is being re-branded as the Flying Scotswoman for the whole of March in a bid to encourage more women to consider a career in the rail industry.

The train set off at 05:40 bound for Newcastle and London King's Cross.

The women filled roles including driver, train manager and chef.

Kelly Measures, who has been a train driver for 11 years, said it was a "proud moment" being on board the service with her three sisters, all from Peterborough, who also work in the rail industry, as their father did.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Mel Tate drove the train to London from Edinburgh

The 32-year-old said: "I'm a driver, which is predominantly male-oriented, but there's more and more women coming through.

"Our dad worked for the company in the engineering department and I just happened to get a part-time job on the railway."

She was joined by her sister Toni Measures, an on-board chef, and their half sisters Jamie Tyrell, who works as a loyalty executive, and Ellie Tyrell, a marketing apprentice.

Ellie Tyrell, 21, said: "We've joined with all different skill sets."

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Sisters (L to R) Ellie Tyrrell, Kelly Measures, Toni Measures and Jamie Tyrrell were among the women staffing the train

The original flying Scotsman was the first train to come out of the newly-established LNER nearly 100 years ago.

The train got its name in 1924, and in 1928 ran the first non-stop London-Edinburgh route - the same route the Flying Scotswoman will travel throughout March.

About 42% of LNER employees are women, but according to a poll of 890 women commissioned by the company, 85% of working-age women in the UK have not considered a career in the rail industry.

LNER's people director Karen Lewis said being on board the all-female service was "fantastic," but added that the industry needed to work harder to attract women.

"What we're trying to do is celebrate all the wonderful roles women can have in the rail industry," she said. "At LNER, we're trying to get women to change their perceptions of the rail industry."

The Flying Scotswoman service was one of three passenger trains entirely run by female staff on Friday to mark International Women's Day.

Southeastern and Great Western Railway also operated services between Bristol and London Paddington and London Victoria and Kent.

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