Ruth with her OBE

Big date at Buckingham Palace as Great Western Railway and Network Rail director receives OBE

Inspirational Great Western Railway and Network Rail director Ruth Busby was at Buckingham Palace on Friday to receive her OBE from the Princess Royal.

Ruth, People and Transformation Director (Regional) for GWR and Network Rail Wales and Western, was recognised in the New Year Honours ‘for services to diversity in the rail industry’.

Her award recognises not only her work within GWR and Network Rail, but the numerous other organisations she represents to champion Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in the rail industry.

Ruth, from Didcot, said:

“It was an absolutely thrill to receive my OBE from the Princess Royal and it was lovely to be joined at Buckingham Palace by my husband, Liam, and children, Megan and Alfie.

“I still feel so humbled that people took the time to nominate me and the memories from Friday’s ceremony will last a lifetime.”

Ruth joined GWR in 2018 and, after helping to lead colleagues through the Covid-19 pandemic, was named HR Director of the Year at the 2021 Personnel Today Awards.

Last year she began a joint strategic role with responsibility for the HR and Internal Communications teams in both GWR and Network Rail’s Wales and Western Region.

Over the past few years, she has also worked with the Department for Transport, the Samaritans, and Mental Health at Work, to lead a research study on mental health and wellbeing across the rail industry.

She is also the Executive Sponsor for Rail Wellbeing Live, the biggest health and wellbeing movement in the history of the rail industry.

As a non-executive director of the Youth Futures Foundation, Ruth also works to improve employment outcomes for young people from marginalised backgrounds and is currently chair of its People and Culture Committee and Employer Advisory Board.

Ruth also remains a passionate supporter of Women in Rail, having previously served as co-chair of Women in Rail South.

Contact Information

John Carter

Media and Communications Manager

Great Western Railway

0845 410 4444

Notes to editors

First Greater Western Limited, trading as “Great Western Railway” (GWR), operates trains across the Great Western franchise area, which includes South Wales, the West Country, the Cotswolds, across southern England and into London. GWR provides high speed, commuter, regional and branch line train services, and before the covid-19 pandemic helped over 100 million passengers reach their destinations every year. GWR has been awarded a National Rail Contract to continue operating the Great Western network, which shall run up to 21 June 2025, with the potential for a further three years at the Secretary of State’s discretion. Find out more here: