Meet Ebru

Unknown territory

The first railway is dated back to the 6th century before the birth of Christ in Ancient Greece. What in the World of a Thousand Mothers. Fair enough, it was constructed way different than the railway is constructed in Denmark today, but still. In fact, the Danish railway is one of the most modern in the world, which has, among other things, resulted in the fact that Boston Consulting Group in a recent analysis ranked the Danish railway as the second best in Europe, surpassed only by Switzerland. Also, the Metro has been awarded as the best driverless train in the world. You probably think that it sounds quite ridiculous that Denmark has the second best railway because all you know is delays and bad press, nevertheless we are actually quite privileged. In BCGs analysis, Denmark actually scores 6.8 out of 10, surpassed by Switzerland with a score of 7.2 out of 10. For comparison, our Norwegian neighbours are scoring 4.9! There are obviously places in the world where the railway is even worse than in Norway. This is where Ebru Karakoc will make her ability in the railway as valuable as possible. “In the beginning, I was very sceptical and thought that the railway industry wasn’t for me at all. That the industry only was dealing with capacity calculation and design, and that it generally was a masculine industry, but I have realized that I was wrong. The industry is about so much more – it is about making a difference and helping other people, and that is exactly what I love about my job.”

The industry embraces all types

“Unfortunately, many people think that the persons currently employed in the industry are a little old and grey, but I don’t think that’s true. The industry is not different from other industries that embrace all types. Of course, some of my colleagues are different to me, but that’s what I like about them and we’re working really well together.”

“In addition, many young people also consider the railway industry to be a very masculine industry, and I think that is a huge misinterpretation of the industry. Especially because women imagine that people working in the rail sector are only men in overalls who carry out physical work on the rails. The industry gives you a lot of opportunities, and you don’t necessarily have to be on the tracks all day long. And personally, I really like a good combination of physical work and the administrative. I have been wearing a dress underneath my overalls several times, for example, if I had a meeting afterward” Adds Ebru.


What motivates you to achieve your goals?

“I prioritize doing work that I find interesting and that I think is fun to accomplish. To make a difference to other people and help where I can, really motivates me. You can say that you also make a difference to other people by constructing buildings for them as a construction engineer, but it is not in the same way as when you pave the way for them and make it easier to get from one place to another. The tracks you make is used by hundreds of trains every single day. You help a lot of people by working in the railway industry. And then there is the whole environmental aspect of it, and that is also a great motivator for me.”

Where do you see yourself in the future?

“I would really like to work with foreign projects. It is not because the Danish projects are boring, but simply because I think the foreign are more challenging.”

In particular, the projects in the developing countries interest Ebru, because of the fact that a lot of the poor countries’ railways haven’t developed at all.

“Everything seems new to the population and therefore we need to try to put ourselves in their place, think like them and work from that point. Tanzania’s railway is more than 100 years old and needs to be renewed. Some of the rails are not in operation due to the lack of materials and the speed of current trains, which in operation is only between 40 and 60 km/h. Therefore it is something completely different to the Danish railway and because of that, you will have to think out of the box if you want to work in such a place. And at the same time, you do not have the opportunity to make use of that many resources.”

What does your future in the railway industry look like?

Ebru has no doubt that she will work in the railway industry for many years, and she thinks that her generation can contribute a lot of good things to the industry because her generation sees things from a new perspective and knows about the latest technology.

“We have a more simple approach to things than the older generation. If things can’t be done in one way, we find another way to do it, and in that way, we solve the problems. That is why the industry needs young people like us.”

Visionary Greeks got the indigenous idea of railways, as they had to carry ships 6 kilometers by land from one sea to another. Nowadays, there are several things that are more current, talking about digitisation, high-speed trains and trains designed for comfort and productivity. In Tanzania, the conditions are quite different from the ones in Denmark, and that is exactly what Ebru finds interesting about working in the developing countries.



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