Latest Rail News

26.03.15

Managing director of Scotrail-Network Rail alliance appointed

Phil Verster has been appointed as the new managing director for the planned Abellio ScotRail/Network Rail Alliance in Scotland. 

Verster has been at Network Rail since 2012 and currently works as route managing director for London North East. Prior to joining NR was deputy-CEO at Irish Rail and before that engineering director at Southeastern.  

The appointment of Verster – who grew up in South Africa and speaks Dutch – comes as Abellio also announces that the managing director of ScotRail, Steve Montgomery, is to step down – despite only last week saying he was stay on in charge of the Scottish franchise once the Dutch firm takes over.

Montgomery will stay on for the initial handover of the franchise and leave the role “sometime in May”, a spokeswoman for ScotRail said.

Announcing the appointment of Verster, Phil Hufton, managing director of network operations for Network Rail, said: “Phil brings a wealth of valuable experience to what will be one of the highest profile roles in the industry. He has achieved great results during his time on the East Coast mainline and I look forward to him bringing that same positive approach to leading the railway in Scotland.”

Dominic Booth, managing director of Abellio UK, added: “We are delighted to be able to announce the appointment of Phil so early in the transition process, and so soon after announcing the Day One team for ScotRail. We are confident that Phil brings the requisite skills and experience to drive transformational change in order to deliver against our ambitious plans for the improvement of rail travel in Scotland.”

Verster, who will report to both Booth and Hufton, said he was delighted to have the opportunity to work on Scotland’s railway. 

“The alliance between Abellio ScotRail and Network Rail gives us a unique opportunity to establish new ways of working and to improve what we deliver for the travelling public and our communities,” he added. “This is a very exciting time for the railway in Scotland and my approach is all about listening to our communities and focusing on what is important to our customers.”

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