Laura Shoaf to lead Transport for West Midlands
Laura ShoafIn one of its final actions before being dissolved the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority (ITA) has appointed Laura Shoaf to head up Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) – the body that will replace it.

Laura, who was strategic director of transport at the ITA, becomes managing director for TfWM, the transport arm of the new West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) which came into effect on 10 June.

Laura will be responsible for guiding and delivering the combined authority’s transport strategy to develop a network that fully integrates the region’s road, rail, bus and tram systems.

Her appointment was approved at the final meeting of the ITA whose powers and duties, along with those of its delivery body Centro, were transferred to TfWM upon the launch of the WMCA.

Morgan Sindall creates new directorship for rail
Peter DayMultidisciplinary design consultancy Morgan Sindall Professional Services has appointed Peter Day to the newly created position of sector director for rail. The new post is designed to deliver a more focused approach to the transportation sector, and to help maximise the company’s capability and offering.

A highly experienced design and project manager and a recognised Network Rail Design Contractors Responsible Engineer (CRE), Peter has over 25 years’ experience in construction. He is currently working on some the UK’s largest overground and underground rail projects including Crossrail and the Whitechapel station upgrade, where he provides delivery and assurance leadership across all disciplines.

He has an open approach to understanding the sector constraints and has driven design industry best practice through his knowledge of how railways are operated and managed. His portfolio includes projects for surface and sub-surface infrastructure, train operating companies, tramways and international stations.

Russell Jackson joins AECOM
Russell JacksonAECOM has appointed Russell Jackson as head of rail – UK & Ireland and Continental Europe, where he will be responsible for leading and growing AECOM’s rail business across the region.

Russell joins AECOM from Atkins, where he worked in several senior roles, including most recently as director for emerging markets in the company’s transportation division and regional director west in the rail business. With more than 20 years’ experience in rail infrastructure management, Russell has led the delivery of major civil infrastructure, station upgrade, signalling, electrification and rail enhancement projects.

Russell will be a major contributor to the strategic team, providing detailed knowledge of the UK rail market to enhance the company’s EMIA offerings and proposals, whilst working within the UK, Ireland and Continental Europe transportation business under Paul McCormick. Russell took up his new post in May.

New general manager for TE Connectivity’s rail unit
Al GhelaniAl Ghelani has moved from the post of global pricing manager in TE Connectivity’s global commercial operation to the position of general manager of the rail division of TE’s Industrial business unit.

Ghelani assumed the role on 1st June, 2016, and is now based in Swindon, UK, reporting to Thomas Schmidt, president of TE Industrial.

A UK native, Ghelani has a mechanical engineering degree from Liverpool University and is certified as a six sigma black belt. Before joining TE three years ago, he spent 15 years at General Electric in commercial, supply chain and pricing leadership roles.

“Al has contributed significantly to TE’s industrial business unit over the last three years,” said Schmidt. “TE’s rail business is strategic to the company, more importantly, it is critical to our customers.”

Peter van Loo, former general manager of TE’s rail unit has moved to TE industrial strategic growth.

Andy Thomas becomes rail route MD for Wales
Andy ThomasAndy Thomas, who is currently managing director of Keolis Hyderabad, India, where he is working on the city’s new Metro system, is to return to the UK as route managing director for Network Rail’s Wales route.

Andy has had a wide ranging international career in rail, transport and industrial sectors, including successful strategic leadership roles with Transport for New South Wales in Australia and Transport for London, where he was head of strategic planning and performance.

The interim route managing director, Paul McMahon will stay in the post until Andy joins in August.

Commenting on the appointment, Paul McMahon said: “The railway in Wales is seeing the biggest investment in generations and we recently published the Wales Route Study that sets out opportunities to continue delivering improvements for passengers. We’re also working closely with the Welsh Government on their aspirations for the next Wales and Borders franchise and the South Wales Metro.”

RSSB appoints technical director
Chris Lawrence RSSBRSSB has appointed Chris Lawrence as technical director. He joins from WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff where he has been director as well as rail technical sector head. Chris, who is a chartered engineer with over 30 years’ experience, previously worked for Arup where he held a number of senior rail positions in the UK and overseas.

The new role will support RSSB’s whole-system perspective of technology as well as underpin its reputation for technical excellence by ensuring it has the right skills for today’s and tomorrow’s railway.

RSSB chief executive Chris Fenton said: “Chris brings a true cross-system perspective and a wealth of experience. The industry faces major challenges to deliver, and technology will play a vital role. So it’s essential we have the appropriate skills to best provide the expertise and knowledge for the future.”