Home People Diamond in the rough

Diamond in the rough

Passenger Eileen Lawrence has shared her story of heartache and relief when her diamond wedding ring, which had fallen onto the track a day earlier, was found by Network Rail staff.

When the ring slipped from Eileen’s hand and bounced over the platform edge and into the darkness at Bloxwich North station one November morning, she thought it was gone for good.

Upon arriving at Birmingham New Street station, she reported her mishap to staff and the hunt to find it began.

Unfortunately, efforts on the day proved unsuccessful. It was only when Network Rail’s track section manager for Walsall, Phil Heeley, was alerted the next day, that he was able to get his track technicians Adrian Callaghan and Matt Hayes to meet Eileen exactly where she had last seen her precious ring.

“In all my 40 years’ service I have never had a request like this one,” said Phil. “I told Matt he would have to stop the movement of trains with a ‘line block’ before going on to the track, and if the wedding ring wasn’t visible he’d have to move the ballast stone by stone. I even considered trying to get a metal detector if that didn’t work.

“But almost as soon as Matt and Ade went down onto the track, luckily the wedding ring was sat there, pointing up towards the sky.”

Eileen added: “I felt completely overwhelmed when my ring was finally found. When you hear about Network Rail in the news it’s often negative, so I really wanted to share my story about the lengths its staff went to reunite me with my wedding ring.”

It was only after the ring was safely back on Eileen’s finger that she plucked up the courage to tell her husband of 31 years about its unexpected overnight stay on the tracks.


Read more: Budding engineers take to the sky


 

Recommended

The role of apprenticeships in filling the skills gap

Rail Forum Midlands talks about the skills gap and what its doing to bridge it

RailStaff Awards: Lifesavers

Of the 20 trophies presented at the RailStaff Awards there is one that is more emotionally charged than all the others.

Sheriffs on patrol

Whether they’re opening a new building or marking a new milestone or landmark anniversary, MPs are often snapped celebrating special occasions with...

RailStaff Awards: Celebrating extraordinary people

On May 18, hundreds of people travelled between London Paddington and Exeter St Davids on Great Western Railway’s (GWR) last High Speed...

RailStaff Awards: Introducing your host…

Showman Richard Salkeld shone so brightly at the 2018 RailStaff Awards that organisers have signed him up to return for this year’s...