Tuesday 2 Mar 2021
Network Rail: Michelle Handforth appointed managing director of Wales & Western
Network Rail has today announced that Michelle Handforth, has been appointed as the new managing director for the Wales & Western region. Michelle, currently the chief executive of Aberdeen Harbour Board, will join Wales & Western in the summer.
Michelle has had a wide-ranging international career in several sectors including aviation, rail, maritime, financial services and the oil and gas industry. She previously held roles at Great North Eastern Railways as commercial director and with First Group as a strategic lead on franchise bids. She brings with her over 20 years’ Board experience in customer service, safety, transport infrastructure and innovation.
Michelle Handforth said: “I’m delighted to be appointed as managing director of Wales & Western and to return to the rail industry at such a critical time. I look forward to working with colleagues and industry partners to welcome passengers back to the railway by providing the best possible service.”
Andrew Haines, chief executive of Network Rail said: “I’m pleased we could bring Michelle back into the rail industry. It’s been a difficult year and she’ll bring a fresh perspective to help us navigate through these challenging times.”
Notes to Editors
• Michelle was appointed following an open competition and replaced Mark Langman following his retirement
• Michelle will take up her role in the summer
Michelle Handforth was appointed Chief Executive of Aberdeen Harbour Board in 2018, having held leadership roles in several business sectors, including aviation, rail, maritime, financial services and the oil and gas industry. She was the Managing Director of Babcock Offshore Helicopters in Aberdeen; prior to this she was General Manager for Sydney Ferries, in Sydney, Australia.
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We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.