Pauline takes rail minister for a ride!

26 March 2008

Last Thursday Pauline Cawood, secretary of ASLEF’s Leeds branch, took a passenger in the cab with her as she drove the 0916 from Leeds to Sheffield. It won’t lead to a discipline charge from Northern, though – because the guest was Transport Minister Ruth Kelly!


Pauline was an ASLEF delegate to last year’s Labour Party Conference and while she was there she collared Ruth Kelly about the issue of 60 tonne lorries. At the end of their talk, Pauline invited the minister to experience train driving at first hand.


Last week Ruth Kelly took up the offer, emerging from Pauline’s cab to say, ‘I really enjoyed it. I was struck by the level of training involved and the concentration required.’ She also said she had ‘learned a lot about some of the areas where government can make a difference to our railways.’


Pauline said she talked about what the job involves and ‘the general things you need to think about to be a competent train driver’.


There’ll be a fuller report in the May edition of ASLEF’s Journal.

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