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Careers with HS2: Caroline’s story

Caroline Warrington, Senior Project Manager, shares her career history, and what she loves about working at HS2.

“I have worked as a project manager in the railway industry for over 18 years.  I studied mechanical engineering at university, as I enjoyed maths and engineering, but had no real idea of the career I would follow.

After working as a design engineer in the aerospace industry, I won a place on a one-year internship in New York City.  I worked in the global project office for one of the world’s largest banks managing the delivery of projects, which included the development of now commonplace technology such as internet banking.

When I returned to the UK, I had a vague idea of combining engineering with project management, and, fortuitously, my university careers service found a vacancy as an Assistant Area Track Renewals Delivery Manager at Railtrack.  The rest, as they say, is history and my career has led me through different railway disciplines to signalling, which I enjoy the most.

I joined HS2 in 2018 as Signalling Project Manager and have recently been promoted to Senior Project Manager – CCS, TM and EMS.  I am responsible for managing the delivery of the signalling and control systems for Phase One and 2a.  These are the systems that will ensure our trains run safely and on time.

We are currently in the procurement stage and hit a key milestone in May when the Control, Command, Signalling (CCS) and Traffic Management (TM) pre-qualification pack was issued to market.  We are now finalising the same for the Engineering Management System (EMS) which is due later this year, while also developing the tender documents for both packages.

As a project manager, I have always stayed close to engineering and I love seeing projects develop from concept through design, installation and testing to being operational.  I joined HS2 at the time I did as I wanted to be involved in the development of the scope and contract which will hopefully help to ensure that we get the right end product.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my ‘accidental’ career in engineering and the railway industry as it has provided a great deal of diversity in terms of engineering disciplines and project types, the chance to work with some amazing people and the opportunity to develop my own knowledge and skills following a career path of my choosing.

As co-chair of our Gender Balance Network, I am keen to support women in developing their careers at HS2 and also to bring more women into the business and wider industry.

During my time here I have been involved in a number of initiatives to support young people, including careers events with young women through the Social Mobility Foundation and being a mentor for the Envision Community Apprentice Programme.  I am looking forward to participating in this summer’s virtual work experience scheme and other education activities once restrictions are eased.

HS2 is the most exciting project I have worked on; it’s a fantastic engineering challenge and I feel privileged to be involved in bringing new technologies to the UK railway.”