Meet our staff: A Conversation with Phil Whitehead | Chiltern Railways

Meet our staff: A Conversation with Phil Whitehead

What’s your current role, and history at the company?

Interim Revenue Protection Manager. I manage and support the Customer Service Inspectors (CSI) to reduce ticketless travel. My first role on the railway was in the ticket office. I was 17, and shocked that a working day started before 6am! My first role at Chiltern was Station Announcer at Leamington Spa. I won ‘Announcer of the Year 2007’. I’ve since been a Train Manager and CSI team leader.

What first attracted you to the railway?

My dad was a driver for Central Trains. He worked on the railways for over 40 years so I’ve always felt comfortable being part of the industry.

What do you most enjoy about working for Chiltern?

Having an active part in a fantastic company. Being able to help passengers and staff alike. Showing the industry how a railway should be operated and how we can have such a positive impact on passengers’ journeys. I love working for Chiltern because I know what I do each day makes a difference to my team and to the wider business.

What’s the most challenging part of your role?

Finding the balance between being with my team and being able to drive the team forwards behind the scenes.

Which 5 words best describe a typical day at Chiltern?

Rewarding - challenging (in a good way) - exciting - stressful - enjoyable.

Any advice for people just starting at the company?

Make a genuine positive difference to everyone around you each day. Learn from the difficult moments and use the experience to be a better person (for the next challenging situation!).

Are you a sports fan?

Massive sports fan. I watch anything and everything. Cricket is my main passion. I play for Ashorne & Moreton Morrell in the Saturday league and Bishop’s Tachbrook on Sundays. I’m also a level 2 qualified cricket coach.

Tell us something people don’t know about you.

I have an identical twin.

This year is your 14th on the railway. What do you think railways will look like in another 14 years’ time?

I imagine Chiltern will be halfway through the next franchise, and everyone will buy tickets before they travel!

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