Avanti West Coast Margaret Jones Retirement 2 Low Res

Avanti West Coast employee departs railway after 37 years

Margaret Jones, Avanti West Coast Route Support, retires after nearly four decades on railway. 

  • Avanti West Coast Route Support, Margaret Jones, retires after 37 years
  • Retirement marks end of an era for family after decades of service on west coast
  • Margaret joined the railway in 1986 following in the footsteps of her parents  

An Avanti West Coast employee has completed her final working day after a 37-year career that marks the end of her family’s service on the railway.

Margaret Jones, Route Support at Avanti West Coast, helped colleagues with rosters, arranging essential equipment, as well as general administrative duties for the last time last month.

Retirement signals the end of Margaret’s family’s connection to the railway – her dad worked in the Booking Office at Carlisle after leaving the Army, her mum held various clerical roles within track maintenance and payroll at Carlisle before working onboard trains and retiring 12 years ago.

Earlier generations of Margaret’s family also worked on the railway – her great grandad drove steam trains between Carlisle and Glasgow, and his son (Margaret’s great uncle) also became a driver in Carlisle before transferring to Euston Junction depot where he drove steam, diesel, and electric trains on the West Coast Main Line.

With an aspiration to follow in her mother’s footsteps and work in an office, Margaret applied for a role in the typing pool based at Carlisle station. She started the temporary position on 8 December 1986 and was responsible for typing internal memos, external letters, and photocopying.

In November 1989, at the age of 21, Margaret was offered a permanent position as a typist – a job she carried out for just over a year before holding administrative roles, including that of a Roster Clerk, at Carlisle for seven years.  

Margaret became Clerical Support in April 1996 – commuting by train to Preston station where the role was based. She covered the Anglo Scot route (London to Scotland) supporting station and onboard colleagues between Warrington and Glasgow/Edinburgh. Her remit also covered teams at Runcorn and Liverpool for six years.

Margaret’s enjoyment of helping people is what kept her in this same role for 28 years. While the job title changed, and the station and depots she looked after varied every few years, her responsibilities remained the same – ensuring colleagues at stations and onboard, as well as their managers were supported with ordering equipment, uniforms, and general admin.

Her efforts behind the scenes supported colleagues to keep the day-to-day running of the stations and onboard service on track.

Most of Margaret’s working life was spent in Preston before moving back to Carlisle station in 2022. She said: “Carlisle is close to my heart – it’s where I live and the place where my Mam and Dad were based during their railway careers. It has been great to have started my career here, as well as finish it.”

Throughout her career spanning four decades on the railway, Margaret has seen many changes – from different uniforms to the evolution of First Class and advances in technology. Manual typewriters were in place when she began her railway career. These were slowly replaced with electric typewriters before computers were installed. Today her role can be carried out with a laptop and smartphone.

One of her fondest memories is serving tea and coffee to passengers onboard British Rail Mark 3 trains – the train fleet that operated on the West Coast Main Line before the iconic electric Pendolino trains were introduced.

Reflecting on her time on the railway, Margaret said: “I’ve been fortunate to have enjoyed my job and blessed to have worked with lovely people.  

“I’m proud to have worked in the same place as my family – following in their footsteps and contributing towards our decades of service on the west coast. The railway is my extended family and I’ll remain in touch with them. I’m excited for a new challenge with retirement but I’m sad to be leaving friends and colleagues who I’ve known for a long time.”

Warren Grigg, Customer Experience Manager at Avanti West Coast, said: “Margaret has devoted her working life to the railway in a variety of roles and always been committed to the job. She’s a wealth of knowledge and if Margaret doesn’t know the answer, no one will!

“She has been a great support to me personally during my career, as well as many others who have had the pleasure of working with her. We appreciate all she has done for us, and the railway and we’ll miss her very much. On behalf Avanti West Coast, I’d like to wish her a happy retirement!”


Contact Information

Laura Normansell

Avanti West Coast


Notes to editors

Main image: Margaret Jones, Avanti West Coast Route Support, retires after 37 years on the railway.

About Avanti West Coast   

Avanti West Coast, operator of intercity rail services on the West Coast Main Line, is a joint venture between FirstGroup and Trenitalia, delivering a cleaner, greener railway that drives the West Coast forward.

We’re on a mission to revolutionise train travel. Our refurbed Pendolinos are returning to the rails, with a £117m investment that’s delivering best in class comfort. Rebuilt using sustainable materials wherever possible, including tables made from recycled plastic bottles, our upgraded fleet offers 25,000 brand new seats, free Wi-Fi, onboard recycling and much more.

New Hitachi trains are set to replace our Voyager trains from 2024, leading to a 61% cut in carbon emissions. Quieter and roomier, with more reliable Wi-Fi, wireless charging for electrical devices and a real-time customer information system, the new 23-strong fleet is the result of a £350m investment in sustainable travel.

We’re tackling climate change wherever we can, from reducing energy and water use to training drivers in eco-driving techniques and sourcing food and drink from local suppliers. Our goal is to be net zero carbon by 2031. We’re on track.

For the latest news, visit the Avanti West Coast Media Centre: https://newsdesk.avantiwestcoast.co.uk/

Press Office: 0845 000 3333