Network Rail reaffirms its commitment to the armed forces community: Network Rail chief executive, Mark Carne and Air Vice Marshall Graham Russell

Monday 2 Jul 2018

Network Rail reaffirms its commitment to the armed forces community


Network Rail reconfirmed its pledge to the armed forces community by re-signing its Armed Forces Covenant on Reservists Day.

Network Rail chief executive, Mark Carne, signed an updated version of the covenant, surrounded by some of the organisation’s employees, who also serve as reservists. Mark was joined by Air Vice Marshall Graham Russell, 2*Director of Helicopters, who was there as a representative for the Ministry of Defence.

Thanking the assembled reservists for their commitments to both Network Rail and the armed services, Mark Carne said:

“We hugely value the role of the people from the armed forces in our company and actively encourage people who are leaving the armed forces to consider joining us. We find that those with an armed service background come with a natural sense of discipline, team work and leadership. They’ve come from a safety critical business where risk management is so important and where managing projects on time and on budget is crucial. In short, they embody so many of the virtues that we need in our organisation.

“We have a great track record of people being successful in our company with an armed forces background and I’m delighted to reaffirm our pledge to continue to support them, especially those that are able to carry on their service duties as reservists. Our pledge is a small matter compared to the enormous commitment that each and every one of them gives to their roles.”

Air-Vice Marshall Graham Russell thanked Network Rail for the ground-breaking and innovative benefits that the organisation offers to both reservists and to service-leavers.

Alan Pattison is a senior programme manager at Network Rail as well as Flying Officer, OC Police for the 607 (County of Durham) Squadron in the RAF and attended the covenant re-signing. He is grateful to the support that Network Rail has given to him, enabling him to fulfil his ambitions as a reservist:

“I met my wife when I was in the RAF. The rules back then stated that one of us had to leave if we wanted to remain together, so I did but I always missed it. The support that Network Rail has given to me since I decided to join the reserves has meant that I’ve been able to enjoy the best of both worlds for the past five years. It’s a juggle but I love both my roles and the satisfaction that they give to me.”

Network Rail first signed the Armed Forces Covenant in 2015. The organisation has a dedicated Defence Engagement Manager who, as well as supporting ex-service people into roles at the organisation, also supports reservists to fulfil their armed forces obligations.

In November 2017, Network Rail’s work supporting members of the armed forces into the workplace was recognised when the company was awarded Armed Forces Covenant Gold Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) status.

Further information on the range of career opportunities available at Network Rail can be found at:


Notes to editors:

  • Network Rail signed the Armed Forces Covenant in 2015. Since then the company has worked closely with the Ministry of Defence to transition skills into the rail industry and develop a forces-friendly environment with its workplace.
  • The Employer Recognition Scheme encompasses three award tiers: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Gold Award winning employers have to first make pledges under the Armed Forces Covenant, then demonstrate and advocate their support for the Armed Forces.  So far, 88 employers have been recognised with a gold award out of over 2300 signings. 

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