Armed Forces Day: Meet David

Friday, 16 June 2023
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Meet David, a former member of the Armed Forces.

At London Northwestern Railway we are committed to supporting past and present members of the Armed Forces community. This Armed Forces Day, we caught up with our Duty Operational Manager, David to find out more about his journey in the forces and how he made the decision to join the railway.

David Flanagan at work

Can you describe your time at Armed Forces?

In January 1991, at the start of the 1st Gulf War – I packed my bags and headed to Woolwich to join the British Army and in particular, The Royal Regiment of Artillery. With no family history in the military, it was complete shock to everyone, but for me, it was the start of an amazing journey taking in London, Dortmund and Sennelager in Germany, back to Newcastle, the hills and devastation of central Bosnia, the desert of Egypt and the streets of Belfast, Dungannon and Portadown in Northern Ireland. A lifetime of memories crammed into 10 years, friendships that have stood the test of time, some of the most challenging of days but also a whole lot of fun, laughter and happiness. I left in 2001 and took my experience to join Cheshire Police.

David Flanagan Armed Forces

What made you join the railway after leaving the military?

After an 18-year career in the Police, I technically retired at the age of 50. It wasn’t long though before I sought employment on the railway. I had travelled on our network a lot over the years and saw it as a great workplace, interesting people and a daily routine that would always be dynamic and changing.

David Flanagan Police

A brief description of your railway career to date?

I have been employed by London Northwestern Railway since Feb 2020 when I joined the Customer Information Point team at Northampton, just prior to Covid, lockdown’s, quiet stations, and empty trains. In July of 2021 I had the opportunity and was successful in obtaining a Duty Operations Manager’s Role – also based at Northampton.

What skills acquired during your military service do you use in your current job on the railway?

The biggest thing for me is the discipline and work ethic. Nothing is a chore and I throw myself into every task and challenge. I work well individually but also as a team and enjoy leading and guiding others.

Do you connect with other railway employees who are also ex-military?

I don’t really have contact with other ex-military personnel, other than perhaps brief chats when someone notices a tie or a regimental badge.

Would you encourage any ex-military to consider a career in the railway and why?

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the railway to forces leavers. It provides stability, challenges, and has a wide variety of roles. There really is something for everyone.

Armed Forces bronze logo

At London Northwestern Railway, we continue to thrive towards being a more inclusive workplace, which is why we have committed to the Armed Forces Covenant to support the Armed Forces community as part of their Employer Recognition Scheme.

If you are interested in a career in the railway, you can find out more about our jobs over on our careers page.