Chris Gibb

Ep. 57 Maximising the UK rail network - Chris Gibb

Chris Gibb is the non-executive director of DOHL and was formerly the CEO of Scottish Rail Holdings and COO of Virgin West Coast. He has over 40 years of experience in the rail industry and watched on like the rest of us as Phases 2a and 2b of HS2 were cancelled.

Chris joins host Peter Johnson on the latest edition of the Rail Technology Magazine podcast to discuss a personal project he has worked on to maximise the UK rail network with only the London-Birmingham high-speed line being constructed.

Chris has formed a plan to make the best use of HS2 and create the maximum benefit for all passengers and freight. He talks about the existing issues which would prevent the rail network from running at maximum capacity once HS2 becomes operational and sets out a roadmap to 2042 which includes proposals to build a “New Northern Line” and achieve maximum efficiency at the lowest cost.

Chris also introduces his concept of an “Italian model”, under which different fleets could run as efficiently as possible on both high-speed and conventional railway network lines.

With little over five years until the first HS2 services are scheduled to run, Chris believes it is time for a constructive debate and discussion about how best to maximise existing UK rail infrastructure including HS2 Phase 1 to deliver the best outcomes. He recognises that there is currently no other plan to achieve this and with his proposal hopes to start the ball rolling for a crucial discussion.


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