Woman changes middle name to match her favourite railway station

Chiltern Railways employee Rehana Khawaja said the station is ‘a huge part of her life’

Neil Lancefield
Wednesday 20 March 2024 12:09 GMT
A woman has changed her middle name to Marylebone in tribute to the railway station (Chiltern Railways/PA)
A woman has changed her middle name to Marylebone in tribute to the railway station (Chiltern Railways/PA)

A woman has changed her middle name to Marylebone because the railway station has “a soul.”

Chiltern Railways employee Rehana Khawaja said the west London station is “a huge part of my life.”

The 45-year-old changed her middle name from Ismat to Marylebone by deed poll.

She considered altering her first name to pay tribute to the station but her four daughters objected.

Ms Khawaja has often been based at Marylebone during her 20-year career for Chiltern Railways, in which she has worked in a variety of roles such as train dispatcher and station manager.

She currently works across the operator’s network as its safeguarding and security manager but returns to Marylebone as much as possible.

(Chiltern Railways /PA Wire)

She said: “The station itself is not big but it’s got a soul. The more I explored it over my time here, the more I was falling in love with it.

“It really does feel like a home away from home to me.

“We know that things go wrong sometimes and people can get delayed. But everybody there works so hard with a smile on their face.

“It’s got a personal touch. It’s warm and welcoming. Not every London station is like that. I love the building, I love the people, and I love the history of the station.

“When I got to manage the station, I felt like I was flying. I still feel like that when I’m there now.

“It’s such a huge part of my life, and now I’ll carry it with me officially, which is really exciting.”

Chiltern Railways human resources director Vanessa Russell said it was a “surprise” when her department was informed of Ms Khawaja’s new name.

She went on: “I think it’s a testament to the importance of the station and the community feel it has.

“Compared to other London stations, Marylebone is small but mighty. It has a rich history, and I’m touched that the station has had such a tangible impact on Rehana’s life.

“Her pride in the station is utterly heartwarming.”

Celebrations including a train-naming ceremony and unveiling of new artwork were held at Marylebone station last week to mark the 125th anniversary of it opening.

Ms Khawaja and a colleague are embarking on a walk between all 27 stations between Marylebone and Birmingham Moor Street across different days this year to raise money for charities Safeline and Railway Children.

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