Wednesday, 15 September 2010

East Coast - New Ops Director named

The management changes at state owned East Coast, that Eye alluded to on Friday, have now been announced.

This press release issued today:


Danny Williams has been promoted to the role of Operations Director at East Coast.

Mike Hogg, who has until now been responsible for Operations, has stepped down from his position and will be leaving the company.

Karen Boswell, Managing Director of East Coast, commented:

“I want to pay tribute to Mike Hogg for his dedication to the role over many years. His operational judgment has never been in question at East Coast, and his knowledge and experience within our industry is highly respected.

“But the move comes as a result of our determination to make a significant step change in performance improvement – an area which has been challenging for our business over the last nine months. Working closely with Network Rail and other industry partners, I expect Danny Williams to tackle this challenge with renewed vigour.”

Michael Holden, Non-Executive Director of Directly Operated Railways, the parent company of East Coast, will work closely with Danny Williams during an interim period and will provide advice on the implementation of specific initiatives designed to achieve sustained improvement in operational performance at East Coast. Michael Holden has had a long and successful career in railway operational management since joining British Rail in 1978, including four years as Regional Director for the Southern Region of Railtrack, and then Network Rail. In 2003 he set up South Eastern Trains and was its Managing Director until it was re-franchised in 2006. Today, he specialises in providing strategic advice to the rail industry.

Before joining East Coast earlier this year, Danny Williams was Head of Trains Service for First Capital Connect (FCC). Here, he was instrumental in improving FCCs Thameslink train Public Performance Measure to 90% (Modified Moving Average) via a cross-functional ‘Destination 90’ initiative.

He led a driver management team that was responsible for the day to day operation of eight train-crew depots across the FCC business, and his extensive operational responsibilities also included safety line management, and the management of three control offices. Most recently he was Head of Customer Service Delivery for FCC, with 78 stations, and occupational safety also under his remit. Danny (36) has worked in the rail industry for 19 years, and in 2009 he was nominated ‘Young Professional of the Year’ at the Rail Business Awards.

Danny Williams and Michael Holden will take up their new positions with immediate effect.


UPDATE: This from Steve Strong...

I note that Ms Boswell says that Mr Hogg's "
operational judgment has never been in question".

Perhaps this explains why East Coast have decided they need to replace him with two people - at the taxpayers expense of course.

If double-manning is good enough for management then can it be long before Aslef demand a return to similar practices on East Coast footplates?

UPDATE: This from Mallard...

With East Coast performance languishing at the bottom of the PPM table isn't it about time that the government acted against this failing TOC?

I suggest that East Coast is immediately stripped of the franchise and that its operation is handed over to Directly Operated Railways which was set up for this very purpose.

Only in state owned hands can the franchise return to its former glory! (Is this right? Ed)