Latest Rail News

08.12.17

McNaughton steps down as HS2 technical director

Professor Andrew McNaughton, technical director at HS2 and the company’s first official employee, is to step down.

McNaughton has been working on the £56bn project since 2009 – when he took over as chief engineer – but will move to a part-time strategic technical adviser role.

He will also continue as chairman of the World High Speed Rail Committee and as an adviser across government transport projects.

McNaughton commented: “After leading the design and authorisation phases of HS2 for the last nine years I am stepping back from a full time executive leadership function to this more strategic role which, I am delighted to say, will continue my strong link with HS2 whilst also giving me more freedom to advise the government here, and others elsewhere, on both high-speed railway development, and wider transport issues.”

As technical director, McNaughton was responsible for developing the specific route design of the HS2 network along with advising on civil engineering, systems and planning.

Back in May, he also hit back at rumours of HS2 running over budget, saying that “you should never trust journalists” who were reporting that the project was not keeping to schedule.  

He is also special advisor on rail to the Australian government, special professor of rail engineering at the University of Nottingham, a visiting professor of engineering at both Imperial College London and Southampton University, vice chair of the EU Transport Advisory Group, and chair of the European Rail Research Advisory Council.

HS2 chief executive, Mark Thurston, said McNaughton had been an “inspiration” to many of those who worked on the HS2 project.

“He has been critical in establishing the project and in recruiting the highly talented team that will carry his and many others’ work through to fruition,” he continued. “We will continue to lean heavily on his expertise, at the same time as benefiting from the perspective Andrew gains from his work with other organisations.”

HS2 has seen a number of staffing changes over the recent months, with chief financial officer Steve Allen resigning, followed by controversy over a report by National Audit Office which found that its redundancy payments exceeded the DfT’s recommendations by a whopping £1.76m.

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Comments

Simon Eames1990   15/12/2017 at 23:27

Oh dear, another HS2 official is going AWOL. Just makes me laugh.

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