ORR appoints interim CEO

Joanna Whittington
Joanna Whittington has been appointed interim chief executive of the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), taking up the post on 16 January 2016.

She has been with ORR as a board member and director of railway markets and economics since March 2014. In this role, she was responsible for economic regulatory affairs, including leading planning for the next rail funding period between 2019 and 2024.

Joanna comes from an economic consultation background, specialising in transport, and has been active in with the rail industry for many years. Between 1995 and 1999 she worked for ORR in various capacities before moving to the Ofgem.

Joanna said: “It’s a huge privilege to be appointed to this position at such a critical time in the development of Britain’s road and rail industries.”

A permanent chief executive is likely to be appointed for 1 January 2017.


South West Trains MD to become Stagecoach Group boss

Tim Shoveller
Tim Shoveller, who has been managing director of South West Trains for the past four years, is moving to the position of managing director of Stagecoach Group’s UK Rail division. He takes up the post on 1 February.

Reporting directly to Stagecoach group chief executive Martin Griffiths, he will be responsible for the management of the Group’s existing rail businesses and new business development opportunities.

Tim brings with him nearly 25 years’ experience in the rail industry. He joined Stagecoach Group in 2007 as managing director at East Midlands Trains, having come from Virgin Trains where he was business development director and previously operations director. Before that, he was operations director at Midland Mainline and has also held a senior position at Eurostar. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Railway Operators.



Alex Hayes to stay with the Northern franchise under Arriva

Alex Hynes

Arriva Rail North Ltd has announced that it has appointed Alex Hynes to continue as managing director Northern rail when Arriva takes over the franchise.

Alex, who has been managing director of Northern since August 2013 is an experienced transport professional, who has held a variety of senior roles within the rail industry. He joined Go-Ahead in 2005 before becoming commercial director at their London Midland franchise and then managing director – rail development on Go Ahead’s executive committee.

He will take up his role on 1 April when Arriva begins operating the nine-year contract it was awarded in December.

He is tasked with transforming rail travel for customers across the North of England – with an extensive investment programme including new and refurbished trains, extra services, increased capacity and a variety of station and ticketing improvements.


Susan Cooklin to head up Network Rail’s route services

Susan Cooklin
Susan Cooklin has been appointed to the newly created position of route services director at Network Rail. She heads up the route services directorate which will supply services to each of Network Rail’s eight routes. The aim is optimise resources on a national basis and deliver economies of scale. The directorate will initially include group business services, the national supply chain, and Network Rail Consulting.

She moves from the position of group chief information officer and director shared services, where she led the company’s 900-strong IT and shared services unit.

Susan has held senior and executive roles in both IT and business operations within FTSE top 20 companies in the UK. Before joining Network Rail she spent seven years at Barclays Banking Group in a variety of executive roles in technology, change and operations. In September 2014, she was asked to join the board of Leeds Building Society as a non-executive director.



Leo Goodwin to be MD of new TransPennine Express franchise

Leo Goodwin
FirstGroup has announced that the TransPennine Express is to be headed up by Leo Goodwin as managing director when the franchise is renewed on 1 April.

Leo has held several previous roles within FirstGroup. Having joined First in 1998, he held various management positions at First Great Western before moving to First TransPennine Express in 2003 when the group took over the franchise. Initially he was part of the management team and later became commercial director. During this period the franchise experienced industry leading levels of passenger growth and a significant expansion of services. In 2013 Leo become commercial development director at the First Rail division.

Commenting, Leo Goodwin said: “I am delighted to be given the opportunity to build on the successes that First TransPennine Express achieved over the last 11 years, in which we have more than doubled passenger journeys on the network.”



RDG confirms Elizabeth de Jong as director of policy

Elizabeth de Jong
Elizabeth de Jong, who has been acting director of policy at the Rail Delivery Group since Nick Ellins stepped down in mid-October last year, has been officially appointed to the post. She will continue to be responsible for rail industry reform, the planning of tomorrow’s railway, disability and inclusion, integrated transport and business analysis.

An economist by background, Elizabeth began her career with transport consultancies MVA and Steer Davies Gleave before undertaking a range of senior roles for Stagecoach Group businesses. She then joined the Department for Transport where she worked in franchise management and franchise procurement, including letting the East Coast franchise in 2014.

RDG chief executive Paul Plummer said: “Elizabeth has made a huge contribution to the RDG and the organisation as a whole already, and I am delighted to confirm her new role.”