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15 Feb 2022

Fifth time’s a charm: Meet Jennifer Beston, the fifth-generation railway worker at Southeastern

Fifth time’s a charm: Meet Jennifer Beston, the fifth-generation railway worker at Southeastern: Jennifer Beston and Father Cambridge Interchange

  • Jennifer became the first woman in five generations of her family to join the industry

LONDON, 15th February: This International Women’s Day (March 8th), Southeastern railway is showcasing the incredible stories of women in its workforce, including fifth-generation railway worker Jennifer Beston, Head of Major Programmes at Southeastern.

On joining the rail operator in 2009, Jennifer became the first woman in five-generations of her family to enter the industry.

She followed in the footsteps of her great great grandfather William. He joined Great Western Railway, then known as Rhymney Railway, in 1899 as a lad porter and began the family’s storied journey.

Keen to become part of the team, Jennifer’s great grandfather William then took up a job at the Alexandra Docks Railway in Newport in April 1921, he was followed by Jennifer’s granddad Ned, a civil engineer at British Rail in Plymouth in 1948, her father Martin, a civil engineer at Kings Cross in 1978 and then finally, Jennifer herself.

(Martin at Trowse swing bridge)

Jennifer Beston Father at Trowse Swing Bridge

(Ned on the Tamar Bridge, middle)

Jennifer Beston Grandfather on Tamar Bridge (Centre)

All four generations before Jennifer stayed in the industry until they retired, a commitment she attributes to their longstanding love for the railway.

Speaking on her own journey, she said: “I guess you could say it was my family history which drew me into the railway – I’ve always felt very welcome in the industry and lucky to be able to continue my family’s journey at Southeastern.” 


(Martin and William at Clutton)

Jennifer Beston Great Grandad at Clutton

(William, right, at Pontrilas)

Jennifer Beston Great Great Grandad at Pontrilas (on the right)

As Southeastern’s Head of Major Programmes, Jennifer delivers projects across the network alongside The Department for Transport, Network Rail and other train operators to benefit passengers – including everyone from commuters to day-trippers.

She’s passionate for everyone to feel part of the industry, she reflected: “Though not everyone has a family story quite as unique as mine, I think it’s important for people to know that you don’t need to have any railway connections to join in. It really is an industry for everyone.”


Contact information

Oyinda Olatuyi

Notes to editors

Media contacts

For further information and interview enquiries, please contact Southeastern’s PR agency, M&C Saatchi Talk, at:

About Southeastern:

Notes to editors

For further information contact:

Southeastern Press Office

0330 095 9091

About Southeastern:

Southeastern runs train services into London from Kent and East Sussex, operating over 2,000 trains a day, carrying more than 640,000 passengers, serving 176 stations and covering 540 miles of track.

SOUTHEASTERN is owned by SE Trains Ltd, a subsidiary of the Department for Transport’s public sector owning group, ‘DOHL.’ DOHL has responsibility for three rail companies, LNER, Northern Trains Limited and SE Trains.

Southeastern is the trading name of SE TRAINS LIMITED. Registered in England under company 03266762. Registered office address: Albany House, Floor 8, 94-98 Petty France, London, England, SW1H 9EA. SE Trains Limited is a subsidiary of the Department for Transport’s Operator of Last Resort Limited - ‘DOHL.’


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