Northern Ireland Railways first female train conductor .

Ruth Davies from East Belfast is the first woman to join an elite group of train conductors in Northern Ireland Railways. The role is a high ranking post and traditionally has been a male preserve.

A  porter for about eighteen months before Ruth Davies applied and was interviewed for the conductor's job.

Just like the rest of the fellas, and whether I was picked or not was up to the boss.

By the time she had applied for the post, Northern Ireland Railways had already agreed with the Equal Opportunities Commission to change traditional policy. Through a working group they posed questions to female staff about becoming engine drivers or fitters. The responses showed women assumed these were jobs for men.

A spokesman for British Rail says the company has been in business for 150 years but,

It’s taken us 151 years now to get Ruth into this job and we’re very proud of her.

Ruth Davies plays down the suggestion that she is a pioneering woman. She would like to see other women take up her line of work from now on.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 8 March 1990. The reporter is Poilín Ní Chiaráin.