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Stagecoach and Network Rail lead the way on International Women’s Day with all female route leadership team

08 Mar 2017

  • Only route in the UK headed up by two female managing directors
  • Margaret Kay of South West Trains and Becky Lumlock of Network Rail lead track and train on one of country’s busiest networks

Stagecoach and Network Rail are joining forces to mark International Women’s Day today (8 March) by celebrating their female leaders and supporting the campaign’s theme for a more gender inclusive world.

Margaret Kay, the newly appointed Managing Director of South West Trains, part of the Stagecoach Group, and Becky Lumlock, Route Managing Director for Network Rail’s Wessex route, are now working in partnership to deliver rail services between London and the South West – one of the busiest sections of the country’s rail network with around 230 million passenger journeys each year.

It is the only section of Britain’s rail network to have two female leads working together to deliver track and train. The route also includes two female Finance Directors; Sam McCarthy of Network Rail’s Wessex route and Natacha Robert of South West Trains.

Margaret Kay, Managing Director of South West Trains said: “It’s great that the Wessex team is leading the way in demonstrating how the rail industry is changing for the better. It sends a really strong signal out that there are opportunities in this industry for everybody.

“I’m very pleased to be working alongside Becky in driving forward our plans across the South West network and making a real difference for our customers. However, it’s clear that we need to continue our work in encouraging more women to join the rail industry across all levels, and we’re pleased to be supporting this year’s International Women’s Day by demonstrating the steps we have already taken in our businesses.”

Becky Lumlock added: “The railway industry still has a long way to go to address its current gender imbalance, but we are making progress and it’s important that we celebrate these milestones in order to encourage other women to pursue careers in the railway.

“The number of passengers using the railway is growing at a fantastic rate and in order to deliver our Railway Upgrade Plan and meet their demands, we need to continue to attract the best and brightest talent. That means harnessing the creative, analytical and problem-solving potential of all the young women out there who may not previously have considered working in the industry.

“I’m looking forward to working closely with Margaret to bring track and train closer together, and to continue our progress in boosting the number of women employed on the railway.”

Network Rail has recently launched a ’20 by 20’ target to increase its take-up of female employees across the business to 20 per cent by 2020 and South West Trains is fully supportive of this aspiration.

Margaret Kay joined as Managing Director of South West Trains on 6 March, moving from Stagecoach Supertram, Sheffield’s tram network, where she has been Managing Director for the past five years. Margaret was last year named in the industry’s top 20 most inspirational women in the Women in Rail Awards.

International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.



Pictured L-R Margaret Kay, Managing Director of South West Trains and Becky Lumlock, Managing Director of Network Rail Wessex at London Waterloo station

To find out more information about careers at Network Rail, or to apply for one of our apprenticeships, please visit

Currently, 16% of Network Rail’s 37,000 strong workforce is female. We aim to increase this to 20 percent by 2020.

Contact information

Emma Knight
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Stagecoach Group

  • Stagecoach Group is an international public transport group, with extensive operations in the UK, the United States and Canada. The Group employs around 39,000 people, and operates around 13,000 buses, coaches, trains and trams.
  • Stagecoach is one of the UK's biggest bus and coach operators with around 8,500 buses and coaches on a network stretching from south-west England to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Low-cost coach service,, operates a network of inter-city services across the UK and mainland Europe.
  • Stagecoach is a major UK rail operator, running the South West Trains, Island Line and East Midlands Trains networks. It has also partnered with Virgin to run the East Coast and West Coast inter-city rail franchises.
  • Stagecoach operates the Supertram light rail network in Sheffield.
  • In North America, Stagecoach operates around 2,400 buses and coaches in the United States and Canada. links around 130 key locations in North America. Stagecoach is also involved in operating commuter, transit, contracted, charter, airport shuttle and sightseeing services.