Railway supervisory boards set up to improve performance and help win external investment: left to right. Phil Whittingham, MD of Virgin Trains; Geoff Inskip, chairman of the West Coast and Chilterns supervisory boards; Martin Frobisher, MD of London North Western.

Wednesday 15 Nov 2017

Railway supervisory boards set up to improve performance and help win external investment


Transport expert and business leader Geoff Inskip has been appointed chair of two independent supervisory boards to oversee business performance and help attract external investors on the West Coast, West Midlands and Chiltern railway routes.

Geoff will chair the West Coast and West Midlands supervisory board. He will separately chair a board for the Chiltern route.

This step is part of ‘In Partnership for Britain’s Prosperity’* - a single rail industry plan to improve services for customers and bring lasting economic benefits to individuals and communities across the country.

The quarterly boards will provide Network Rail's London North Western route business with rigorous oversight and challenge. The boards will focus specifically on the interaction between track and train and on long-term strategy including helping win external funding to make the railway bigger, better and able to carry the increased volumes of customers forecast to use it in future.

Geoff's appointment was made jointly by Network Rail’s London North Western route business together with Virgin Trains, West Midlands franchise winners Abellio and Chiltern Railways.

Geoff said: "I am delighted to be appointed as chair of the West Coast team at this exciting time for Britain's railway. Working with rail industry partners and stakeholders, I'm looking forward to helping bring together 'track and train' in an integrated approach to driving improvements for passengers and business." 

Martin Frobisher, managing director of Network Rail’s London North Western route business, said: “I’m thrilled to have Geoff at the helm of our supervisory boards, which are a pivotal step towards our transformation into one truly customer-focused railway team. We and the train companies have invited Geoff to hold to us firmly to account as we seek to be better at connecting workers to jobs, businesses to markets and people to their families and friends.”

Phil Whittingham, managing director of Virgin Trains on the West Coast, said: “We’ve been running services on the West Coast for more than 20 years, and are always looking for better ways of doing things - whether that’s working together with Network Rail to improve punctuality, or spearheading digital ticketing for customers. We welcome Geoff to the supervisory board and look forward to working with him and the rest of the industry to bring even more benefits to customers, and the local communities the railway serves.”

Dave Penney, managing director of Chiltern Railways, said: “Our railways are fundamental to the nation’s prosperity and we welcome Geoff’s appointment and the creation of the supervisory boards.  Chiltern Railways and Network Rail have a long history of investment providing tangible benefits for our communities.  By working in partnership as one railway, we can continue to ensure delivery of a safe and reliable service while harnessing further investment and innovation to make improvements for the growing numbers of customers on the Chiltern route.”

Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde, managing director of West Midlands Trains, said: “The railway is a highly integrated system, and that system performs best when the all the players are working together effectively. The creation of these supervisory boards will help us pull in the same strategic direction and provide tangible benefits to our growing number of passengers.”

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Network Rail press office -London North Western route
0330 854 0100

About Network Rail

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.

Every day, there are more than 4.7 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.

We are building a better railway for a better Britain.

Follow us on Twitter: @networkrail
Visit our online newsroom: www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk