Crossrail CEO Wolstenholme to step down after seven years at organisation

Andrew Wolstenholme is to step down as chief executive of Crossrail, it has been announced.

After seven years, Wolstenholme will take up a new role in the private sector, and programme director Simon Wright will lead the organisation in a combined role as chief executive and programme director while the remaining work is completed.

Over the coming year the Crossrail team will reduce as works complete in the central section of the railway, with some functions being transferred to Transport for London as the new infrastructure owner.

The revised organisation will continue to work on the surface route and the integration of infrastructure to support Elizabeth Line service changes during 2019.

Sir Terry Morgan, Crossrail chair, explained: “Construction of the Elizabeth line has entered its final stages and during the coming year we will be handing over the completed assets to Transport for London, who will lead the final testing and commissioning phase ahead of the railway’s opening in December.”

He thanked Wolstenholme for his contribution to the project, which include overseeing the major construction phase of 42km of new tunnels, 10 new stations and the installation of systems to support the operation of the new railway.

“He has steered the project with a relentless focus on safety and in a way that delivers wider benefits to the UK in innovation, skills and environmental performance.

“Andrew leaves the team well placed to finish the remaining construction activity and commence infrastructure testing to finish the job, ahead of the opening of the Elizabeth line,” Sir Morgan added.

Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, said: “Andrew’s leadership of Crossrail has been critical to its success to date.

“His work not just on delivering this vital and world-leading project, but also in championing innovative construction methods, supply chain development, diversity - as well as his relentless focus on safety - will leave a lasting legacy across the industry. I am extremely grateful for the contribution Andrew has made.

“I wish him well in his new role and I am delighted that my department will be continuing to work with Andrew in his capacity as a non-executive director of HS2 Ltd, where his experience and skills will continue to be put to good use, to the benefit of the sector.”

London mayor, Sadiq Khan, added: “Andrew Wolstenholme has played a huge role in the delivery of the Elizabeth Line – a multi-billion pound project that will transform travel in London and the south east and set new standards for infrastructure across Europe. 

“His leadership has ensured the project is more than 90% complete, with the track and tunnels finished, and much of the focus now on the final phase of delivery.”

Top image: David Parry PA Archive

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