Interview with Claire Douglas

Driver at Direct Rail Services

What does your role consist of and what is a typical day?

I work a ScotRail service around the Fife Circle. I drive freight and class one passenger trains. I usually start my shift at 12:50 and finish roughly at 22:00. This shift works better for me because I’m not an early riser. I definitely prefer the backshifts so I can get more done in the morning before I start work.

A typical day involves arriving at the depot, prepping the engine and testing the coaches’ brake for departure. I leave the depot at about 15:00, emptying coaching stock on route to Edinburgh Waverley, where I bring the passenger carriages into service. At the end of the day, I drive the train back towards Edinburgh to bring the empty passenger coaches back to Mossend to be stabled for the early shift the next day

What is it about the industry that you love?

I love getting out and about and driving to different places: one day Edinburgh and Fife, and the next Inverness or down to Carlisle. There is a lot of variety, no one day is the same.

What would you say is the achievement you are most proud of?

The progress I have made over the past 15 years. I moved on from being booking office staff, to being a train conductor, which was challenging. When I started going through the driver training program, I gave myself another hard challenge, but it was worth the effort.

What advice would you give to women and young girls considering a career in rail?

If you think it’s a job you’d like to do, do it. As with any career, it’s not for everyone, so make sure you find out about the opportunities on offer and what they entail.  If it’s for you, you won’t look back, I’m 15 years in and I couldn’t imagine a better job.

 

Interviewed September 2016