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WMR reveals key appointments to drive forward new franchise

West Midlands Rail (WMR) has revealed two key appointments to help prepare the organisation to oversee the new local franchise, which it will run jointly with DfT from this autumn.

Tom Painter is to become WMR’s franchise delivery manager, where he will lead the management of the regional business unit of the new West Midlands franchise. Prior to his appointment, he held a business development management role at Chiltern Railways.

The other major appointment was that of Toby Rackliff as business development manager. He comes from Transport for West Midlands, where he was most recently responsible for rail policy and strategy.

Malcolm Holmes, WMR’s acting programme director, said the two appointments bring a wealth of experience and expertise.

“Their combination of industry and local knowledge will be invaluable to the management of the contract in the West Midlands,” he said.

Rackliff will be responsible for WMR engagement with stakeholders, and will also develop the WMR strategy for other franchises operating in the area. He will also play a key role in the creation of the new West Midlands Stations Alliance, with Network Rail and the future operator.

Two train companies, Abellio and Govia, are bidding for the eight-year franchise to run local services on behalf of WMR, a consortium of 14 local authorities and the DfT. The winner is expected to be announced in the summer.

Image: New faces at West Midlands Rail: Business development manager Toby Rackliff (L) and franchise delivery manager Tom Painter (R) with acting programme director Malcolm Holmes (centre)

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Lewis C   29/06/2017 at 13:34

Having lived in the West Midlands for the entirety of my life, the rail network has had a great impact on my life (especially my local station Old Hill). Between the two competing companies, I've no idea whom I want to win. Govia has done an acceptable job so far, and should improve due to the franchise commitments. On the other hand, Abellio have done very good work into both of their existing franchises. Based upon the new rolling stock for the Greater Anglia area, I'd look forward to the replacement of the 323s. The two things I don't want are the ghastly livery design from West Midlands Rail, nor the boring white being applied to GA rolling stock.

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