Published on: Thursday, 2 April 2020
Last updated: Thursday, 2 April 2020
The country is depending on its rail workers to get other key workers safely to work in vital services such as the NHS and organisations who care for the elderly and vulnerable.
Rail employees are still staffing their stations, driving trains, maintaining them in the depots, cleaning every surface, and working behind the scenes to make sure essential workers can travel safely and reliably.
At the small station of Shelford in Cambridgeshire, Angela Milton, is continuing to look after her customers from her ticket office, and customers have shown their appreciation with messages of thanks on social media.
Angela has worked at Shelford station for 11 years and has always gone the extra mile to look after her customers.
Recently she celebrated her birthday with rail passengers by treating them to cakes and she is known to regularly leave a bowl of fruit for customers to help themselves to – although obviously she’s not doing this at the moment.
Her helpful and caring attitude led to her being named Greater Anglia’s best station employee on the network in 2015 with one customer commenting: "Angela always greets you will a big smile and a warm welcome no matter the weather or the hour."
Angela has completed a total of 24 years working in the rail industry working at stations and ticket offices across the country.
Over the years, she has worked hard to create a pleasant and welcoming environment for passengers at Shelford station. Some of her activities have included a creating a library in the ticket office, putting on a Christmas party, tending to the flowers and offering free refreshments, all in addition to her ‘day job’ selling tickets, providing assistance to passengers and keeping the station tidy.
Angela says, "Shelford is special because I have put my individual stamp on it. It was an empty space previously but now we have a library, lovely pictures of steam trains on the wall, a community notice board, flower tubs, bowls of sweets and often fresh fruit.
"Some of the villagers pop in just for a chat. I have been known to ring or visit customers that I haven’t seen in a while to make sure that they are ok and I’ll always help to find them the best value tickets for their journey."
"It’s so strange at the moment with the station being extremely quiet but I want all my customers to know that I will still be here when they are able to return and in the meantime I am doing everything I can to keep things running smoothly here at Shelford."
At Greater Anglia we are so grateful to Angela and all our amazing staff who are keeping the railway in East Anglia going.
We are taking every step possible to make sure our employees can continue to work safely.
Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak Greater Anglia has stepped up cleaning of trains and stations, especially high contact areas such as grab rails, door buttons and handles and ticket gates and topping up soap, water and toilet roll in toilets more frequently.
A reduced timetable operates from Monday 23 March. The service will be similar to a Sunday service, but with additional services at the start and the end of the day to enable passengers to get to and from work. See greateranglia.co.uk for full details.
In line with the rest of the industry, the company has also made changes to its refund policy, so customers can change Advance tickets and get free refunds of walk-up tickets.
The company is following all Government hygiene guidelines and encouraging customers to wash their hands and cover their mouths and noses when sneezing or coughing. NHS posters are displayed on trains and at stations.
More information refunds and other coronavirus-related actions is already available on the Greater Anglia website.