Marianna White

Marianna is an Engagement Manager in the Business Development and Engagement department.

Can you describe a day in the life of an Engagement Manager?

I work with members to understand their organisations and the challenges they are facing. I use my rail experience to help me connect the right member to the right RSSB product or service to support them. I do this mainly by engaging with a range of roles covering safety, health, operations, engineering, and sustainability and by keeping up to date with industry intelligence. 

I also connect members with others working through similar issues and look for opportunities to promote good practice. Concerns are fed back into cross-functional discussion groups to inform thinking and help shape future products and services. I also connect members with our commercial services, like our consultancy and training offerings, to help support them with specific issues.

The key is always to listen, and I always do, whether that be to a driver, dispatcher, senior conductor, or senior leader.

What brought you to RSSB?

After working for a number of train operators and the Department for Transport (DfT), I was looking for a new challenge. That challenge was met when an opportunity came to join the RSSB Engagement team. I had already seen the industry from two sides, so this really appealed to me, as I knew I could support RSSB in helping its members deliver a better, safer railway through the great products and services it has available.

How can you help RSSB members?

I have over 30 years’ experience in the rail industry, all of which helps me connect with and understand member needs—because I’ve been there. 

I began my rail career working for a number of train operating companies, where I undertook many frontline roles before moving into management, as well as project delivery, including rolling stock and all the projects that go with it. I also held a number of roles at the DfT, including managing the contractual relationship with the train operators, which included negotiating changes to the contracts, identifying risks, managing commercial proposals, and leading policy regarding the passenger experience.

Is there anything else you’d like members to know?

I always thought I’d be a professional musician, as I played in the Essex Youth Orchestra for many years. But when an opportunity to join the railway came up, I put down my bow and started selling tickets and using a dispatch bat. 

My railway career has taken me from the double bass to double variable rate sanders, among other things. Railways are about the people, and I can think of no other industry that would have played me such a rich and varied career.