Why Fireman?

Why do we call women ‘firemen’ and our business and why hasn’t it changed in the 21st century?

The ‘fireman’ on a locomotive is effectively the second in command to the driver. On a steam locomotive, where the term originated, the role is generally to attend to the locomotive’s heat source – usually coal, but not in the case for our railway legends.

We acknowledge that on the face of it, the term ‘fireman’ may not appear to be very inclusive and many will consider it gender biased, but rest assured, women ‘firemen’ exist and indeed, are welcomed onboard our locomotives!

We have a history of having women firemen onboard the locomotives, including one on the team today. The women in these roles are proud of their work as firemen and see themselves (and the role) as part of a team where every role is pivotal.

On commencing, we generally have a quick check-in about each woman’s level of comfort around the name of their job. To date, each of these women has clearly articulated their reasons for wanting the role to be known as fireman and we wholeheartedly respect their decision.

Driving and being in the cab of a locomotive is primarily, through over a century of tradition, a male-dominated role. Women have begun to move into these spaces and we pride ourselves on being an employer that encourages more women into these professions. As a tourism business that works with all walks of life, workplace diversity continues to be a key focus for our business.

We continue to work with all of our teams to ensure diversity and inclusion across our entire workplace.

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