Passengers boarding the 5.40am service to London Kings Cross from Edinburgh Waverley on Friday were greeted by female passenger staff as they prepared for an historic journey after the famous LNER Flying Scotsman route was rebranded for International Women's Day.

The Flying Scotswoman was helmed by an all-female crew, including four sisters, for the first time in its history after it was renamed for the month of March to help encourage more women into the rail industry.

Kelly Measures, who has been a train driver for 11 years, said it was a "proud moment" being on board the service with her three sisters, all from Peterborough, who also work in the rail industry like their father did.

Ms Measures said: "I'm a driver, which is predominantly male-oriented, but there's more and more women coming through.There's not as much difference as there used to be."

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She was with Toni Measures, an on-board chef, and their half sisters Jamie Tyrell, who works as a loyalty executive, and Ellie Tyrell, a marketing apprentice.

Kelly Measures said: "Our dad worked for the company in the engineering department and I just happened to get a part-time job on the railway.

"I think with the both of us working here, and everybody else coming through and seeing the benefits that we get - the free travel, the pay, and the job security - they've all seen that, and I think it has inspired them (the other sisters) to join as well, in the roles that they enjoy."

Ellie Tyrell said: "We've joined with all different skill sets.

"It doesn't matter where you've come from, or what you've been doing before, there's always a role in the rail industry for you."

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Some 42% of LNER employees are women, but according to a poll of 890 women commissioned by the company, 85% of working-age women in the UK have not considered a career in rail.

People director Karen Lewis said being on board the all-female staffed service was "fantastic," but the industry needs to work harder to attract women.

Ms Lewis said: "What we're trying to do is celebrate all the wonderful roles women can have in the rail industry.

"At LNER, we're trying to get women to change their perceptions of the rail industry."

The Flying Scotswoman service was one of three passenger trains entirely run by female staff on Friday to mark International Women's Day.

Southeastern and Great Western Railway also operated services.