This week we travel to meet with Rosaleen Wallace, Station Manager, Westport, Manualla Junction and Castlebar, Co. Mayo. Rosaleen began her journey with Iarnród Éireann while on the dancefloor! In a nightclub one evening, a friend who worked in Iarnród Éireann mentioned that she was moving to Galway so a position in Westport station would be available. Rosaleen was working in Baxter Healthcare at the time but was considering a career change. She decided to take a chance and applied for the Clerical officer position.
She was delighted when offered the position and credits her father Con Fahy and his time with the company for this as he worked as signalman in Ballyhaunis. Rosaleen received three weeks training and initially thought she would be in Westport for just 3 months. Eighteen years later and Rosaleen is still in Wesport!
Rosaleen feels very privileged to have received guidance and to have worked closely with former District Manager Gerry Glynn and former Station Manager, Anne Elliot, both of whom have now retired. When Anne retired in 2015, Rosaleen became Station Manager. Rosaleen carried out the role of Relief Station Manager while Anne was on leave and feels this certainly helped with her experience and preparation for the new challenge. Over the years she has seen many changes to the rail in the area ‘When I first started here, there was two signal cabins, ticket checkers and Guards on all trains plus there were nine manned level crossings. There was a lot of activity within the area' she states. ‘There are now five services daily from Westport to Heuston and four arrivals from Heuston daily’ She is glad to see passengers numbers up for the route and also revenue for the area returning. ‘Westport and Castlebar are thriving towns, it is great to see so many visitors for tourism and business arrive into the stations’ Rosaleen works closely with Westport Tourism and has recently joined the Chamber of Commerce to continue to promote tourism to Mayo.
Rosaleen customer service skills and friendliness with customers is very clear to see. She has real pride in her role and mentions Westport’s Best Stations awards and achievements, which is mainly due to the hard work and dedication of former Station Manager Ann. She hopes along with her team to continue to bring awards to Westport and to maintain a high standard of customer service. She has a great loyalty to rail travel , has recently completed the IRO course (Institute Railway Operators) and states marketing is a field she would like to study more.
Rosaleen oversees 25 staff members within the area and states that it is great to be part of the team. At Westport, she mentions former Station Managers wife Mrs Jackie Bolster who still lives in the station house and who often drops in for a quick chat.
When Rosaleen has time for herself, she love spending time with her family and friends and also enjoy hobbies of reading, music, going to the cinema and of course dancing!