Meet Senior Conductor Millie

Thursday, 20 October 2022

With the launch of our TV advert campaign, ‘Ready When You’re Ready’, heroes of the network - such as Senior Conductor, Urmila (Millie) from Solihull who works out of Birmingham New Street - were thrust into the spotlight to reassure passengers that the trains were safe. Undeterred by the challenges of Covid-19 that continue to impact the company’s staff – WMR is working tirelessly to make sure those returning to the trains feel safe to do so.

Photograph of Millie Senior Conductor speaking to a passenger

Millie found working throughout the pandemic a struggle but has remained upbeat about the challenges being faced and was honoured to be asked to feature in the campaign that shows customers exactly what she and the rest of WMR has been doing to keep them protected. Millie will never forget the Covid pandemic, but she has good memories too. Here’s what she had to say…

Working on the Railway

“I always wanted to work on the railway and have now done so for 20 years! I started out as a ticket checker before progressing to a revenue inspector. Next, I went into the booking office and for the last five and a half years I have been a Senior Conductor.

“As a Senior Conductor, my role is very varied. I’m in charge of ensuring the safety of passengers on the train and ticket revenue, but I also get involved with dispatching trains. Another hat I wear is as an instructor, training new conductor recruits.

“I really enjoy training. Having done my day-to-day job for quite some time, this aspect of my role is just so interesting, and every day is different.”

Challenges at Work

“It’s always a challenge when things go wrong! For example, if the signals are down or if there is a points failure and the trains are delayed. Passengers can get frustrated trying to find out what their options are, so it’s my job to help them!

“I try to put myself in the passenger’s position and think what would I need to know? Then I try and give them the information I would want if I was them. I may not always know the answers but if I don’t, I will always try to find out and show them that I will go above and beyond where possible as I do really love my job.

Photograph of Millie Senior Conductor

Working through the Pandemic

“The first and second lockdowns were very scary for all of us. The entire network was like a ghost town but we all still had to go to work. I was nervous of catching Covid and taking it home with me.

“By the time the third lockdown came around it was better as more people were going to work and we were really prepared for them with new cleaning systems and social distancing measures in place.”

“It’s starting to feel a little more ‘normal’ again now, with the trains beginning to get busier as more people are returning to offices and heading out to meet friends and family.”

Positives from the Pandemic

“I feel needed, respected and appreciated. People are more aware of what we do and how we have tried to work hard and help them throughout the pandemic They’ve even been commenting and thanking us - it’s really nice and certainly doesn’t go unnoticed!