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19th Jan, 2022

Solihull rail conductor tells all about life on the tracks during pandemic

Sarah Mason 26th Nov, 2021

A RAIL conductor who features in an advert highlight Covid safety has spoken about what it was like working on the railway during the pandemic.

Urmila (Millie) Sharma, from Solihull, features in the West Midlands Railway (WMR) Ready When You’re Ready campaign which highlights what she and the rest of her team have been doing to keep them safe from Covid-19 since the pandemic began.

The WMR senior conductor said she will never forget working through the pandemic.

“The first and second lockdowns were very scary for all of us,” she said. “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.”

Millie, who is based at Birmingham New Street, dreamed of working on the railway when she was younger and has now done so for more than 20 years.

She started out as a ticket checker before progressing to a revenue inspector then into the booking office before taking on her current role.

Looking back on the past 20 months Millie said people have started to be more aware of the rail staff.

She said: “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.”

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