Hello and a huge welcome to the Women in Rail Scottish Regional Group.
The WR Scotland Group aims to provide its members, women and men in the Rail industry, with a supportive and friendly local network for their professional development, personal growth and professional confidence.
I would like to ask for volunteers from our industry, both women and men, to help with the operation of the WR Scotland Group, working in partnership with organisations such as Young Rail Professionals (YRP), the National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR) and others at Women in Rail.
Please let me know if you are interested in helping me with this great opportunity and leading Scotland to help progress and grow industry diversity and inclusion.
The objectives for the WR Scotland Group are to:
- Provide a forum to support operational and non-operational professional development for women in rail in Scotland.
- Attract more women into rail; we must do more to encourage female talent from schools, colleges and universities, inspire the next generation and support the UK wide Women in Rail campaign for industry.
- Develop a Scottish awards programme to showcase the talent and achievements in both operational and non‐operational rail industry roles across the country.
We will be organising a variety of events for members including networking events, development workshops, speaker events and of course some relaxing and fun get-togethers.
To make sure you don’t miss out on any of these activities organised by the Scottish Group, register on Contact Us and join the Women in Rail community in Scotland. Membership is completely free and will give you access to local and national events.
We hope to hear from you soon,
Lorna Gibson, Training Director, QTS Training Ltd
Lorna Gibson is Training Director for the QTS Group, a large railway maintenance engineering company owned by Renew Holdings and supplying Railway Infrastructure Engineering services throughout the United Kingdom. Lorna’s key role within the Group is that of Managing Director of QTS Training Ltd, a subsidiary company which supplies railway safety, on-track plant, health and safety and construction management training to the rail and wider industries.
Lorna is Chair of the Developing Young Workforce Ayrshire regional group, a member of the Young Person Guarantee EAC Project Board, Past President of the Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry, is a founding member of Women in Rail Scotland and sits on the NSAR Rail Apprenticeship Quality Board.
Lorna has over 30 years’ experience of business management and business development within the private sector, initially a senior business manager within Doig & Smith, a UK wide Chartered Surveying practice, followed by a directorship with Paligap Brands Ltd, a digital marketing agency, and now for the past 9 years as a Director within the QTS Group.
A passionate member of the Rail Industry and local business community Lorna is involved with a wide range of business activities particularly with regard to employer engagement with education and encouraging young people towards the rail and STEM industries.
Eva Maclnnes - Vice President, COWI UK Limited
Eva MacInnes is Vice President for COWI UK Limited in Scotland, a multidisciplinary engineering design consultancy based in Glasgow.
Eva graduated with a Masters degree in Civil Engineering with International Studies, MEng (hons), in 2005 from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, including a year at the University of Calgary in Canada. Eva is a chartered Civil Engineer (CEng MICE) with the Institution of Civil Engineers and is a professional member of the UK Register of Ground Engineering Professionals (RoGEP). Eva is also a member of the British Geotechnical Association (BGA).
Eva’s engineering skills lie in the design, construction, and project management on a wide range of civil and geotechnical engineering projects. Key experience has been gained through her work on the Scottish Railway Network where she is COWI UK’s design lead and project manager of the RCDP Contract with QTS Group and Network Rail. In addition to railway improvement works, Eva has experience on large earthwork contracts, highways infrastructure, healthcare and wind farm developments as well as smaller residential and local authority schemes.
Eva is dedicated to encouraging and promoting the development of young engineers, she is a Delegated Engineer at COWI UK, supporting graduates pursuing chartered status. Eva is also a member of the University of Strathclyde’s Industry Advisory Board and has presented to final year female engineering students at Napier University.
Eva will act as treasurer for the Women in Rail Scotland Regional Group.
Lisa McGhee - Marketing Manager, QTS
Lisa has over a decade of experience in the marketing and communications industry, having started her career working with Scotland’s leading PR agency. Over the course of her career, Lisa has worked on a number of high profile clients including Network Rail’s Airdrie-Bathgate Line, ConstructionSkills, Glasgow Harbour, dandara and Halcrow.
Latterly, Lisa spent six years working at Trump Turnberry, a Luxury Collection Resort, where she managed all of the marketing and PR efforts for the resort. She oversaw the marketing strategy for the relaunch of the five-star hotel and Championship golf course in 2016.
Since joining QTS in January 2018, Lisa is responsible for all marketing and brand activity for the company. She is actively involved in work with young people, through schools’ activity and the Youth Athlete programme, plus she is a keen member of the Women in Rail steering group.
Lorna McDonald - Business Manager, Hitachi
Lorna originates from East Yorkshire and from the age of 16 began her career as a motor vehicle engineer, working across all aspects of the industry for several years.
In her early 20’s she successfully applied to be a police officer in Humberside Police.
During her first 15yrs she was the force lead for community cohesion as well as a child protection officer. Dealing with some high profile investigations, she worked with vulnerable young people and children. She decided she would do her bit to support these families by becoming a foster carer. Juggling parenting her own child, fostering and policing for several years she decided in 2010 to look for a new challenge, she moved to London and joined the Counter Terrorism Command.
Having spent 22yrs in policing, Lorna decided that joining the rail industry would be an exciting career change. After a year in central government at BEIS as the lead for the UK rail supply chain, she joined Hitachi as a business manager. Working for a global high-speed train company, she travels extensively across the UK and the rest of the world nurturing existing relationships and building new ones.
She is currently responsible for introducing battery technology into the UK rail market. She is committed to supporting the UK supply chain and works alongside various rail trade associations supporting new entrants into the market place. As the lead for Scotland, Lorna spends much of her time in Scotland with her colleagues. Be it at depots, within the control rooms or working alongside government stakeholders, the investment into Scotland is very much for the long term.
Lorna juggles being a mother, a mentor, a school governor and encourages women and apprenticeships into the rail industry.
Sarah Alexander, Counsel, Dentons
Sarah is a Senior Associate in Dentons’ construction and engineering team, specialising in dispute resolution since 2008 with a particular focus on resolving issues arising in high value onshore and offshore construction projects. Sarah is accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as a specialist in construction law, and is qualified to practice in Scotland, England & Wales, and Ireland.
Sarah frequently advises on projects involving rail infrastructure, whether that be on behalf of asset owners or contractors working on or in the vicinity of the railways. Dentons is currently Network Rail’s sole provider of legal services in Scotland, and is one of a number of panel firms providing advice in England & Wales. Sarah has been instructed to advise Network Rail in relation to a number of projects across the rail network in Scotland.
Johanna Randall, Founder and Stakeholder Director, Future Travel Studio
Johannah is a freelance strategic operations advisor and user experience consultant. Her skills encompass policy, strategy, delivery and project management gained across transport operators, government agencies and construction. She has led multi- disciplinary project teams to deliver transformational change and infrastructure projects. She is a subject matter expert in station operations, innovation and continuous improvement, design thinking and accessibility.
Her current portfolio includes a new design and mobility business, Future Travel Studio; stakeholder and project management for Scottish Rural and Islands Transport Community (SRITC); supporting asset management company – Contrax on transport and hospital projects; leading transport business for communications agency, Fuel; and, promoting innovation and diversity through the not-for-profit community, Rail Innovation Group.
Johannah’s experience encompasses leading the development of the HS2 Station Vision and operational concept that set out the customer experience, operational excellence, and creating sustainable business during her time as Head of Station Operations. Previously, at the Department for Transport (UK) she directed franchise specifications and policy development and managed the re-development of King’s Cross station on behalf of the train operator, InterCity East Coast, including heading the design and specification of all customer and staff facilities, managing the customer operations during the construction, and leading on the opening programme.
Johannah is a politics graduate and holds qualifications in systems thinking and design. She is currently studying for an MSc in Strategic Management and Innovation at the University of York.
Johannah lives in Pitlochry with her husband, Chris.
Louise Benwell, Director, Project Controls, Turner & Townsend
Louise has worked in the rail industry for the past 13 years. After starting out in an admin role with designers Scott Wilson Louise then moved to Sydney and landed a role within the planning team with the Novo Rail Alliance. She worked on complex power supply upgrade projects and spent weekends monitoring works on site.
Returning to the UK in 2014 Louise took a role with Turner & Townsend. She is now a director in the business and has had experience managing electrification schemes including EGIP & SDA working closely with Network Rail.
Louise has just returned to work after a period of maternity leave and will be supporting Network Rail with the Rolling Programme of Decarbonisation. With two small children, Louise is an advocate for flexible working and shared parental leave. Louise is keen to promote the railway family ethos and is delighted to be elected to the steering group to act as a role model to encourage others to join the industry.
Heather Waugh, Freight Train Driver, Freightliner
Heather Waugh joined the railway as a Train Driver with Scotrail in August 2006, having previously been an Operational Manager with Royal Mail for 10 years.
In January 2019 Heather became Freightliner’s first ever female train driver in Scotland and, indeed, the only female freight train driver at all in Scotland. Not only was she grateful at the acceptance of her colleagues, but she was voted in as Aslef LLC Union Representative for her depot.
She is passionate about issues around mental health, equality, diversity and inclusion and believes strongly in breaking down barriers, both mental and physical, which prevent women from excelling in areas that are still heavily male dominated within the rail industry.
She won ‘Highly Commended’ at the Women in Rail Awards 2020 in the category of ‘Inspirational Woman of the Year’.
In 2021 Heather took part in a BBC initiative to raise awareness of mental health, and partners with the Samaritans to highlight and improve support within the industry. She is also part of the DfT steering group to improve mental health support throughout the industry.
This year she was honoured to win ‘Outstanding Individual Contribution’ at the RFG Awards, and has been listed in the UK Women of the Year 2021. She is a popular speaker at events, including COP26 and the European Year of Rail.