Welsh rail, via Network Rail

Major Network Rail Wales and Western route managerial shakeup

In a tectonic shift for Network Rail’s team of directors in the Wales and Western region, three new appointments have been made to aid in the delivery of a safer, more reliable and resilient railway.

Nick Millington MBE is moving into the permanent role of route director for the region, a role in which he has been interim route director since June 2022.

Nick Millington MBE holds a plethora of experience throughout a career in rail, spanning over 30 years, where he has strived to improve the standards of sector safety by leading Network Rail’s ‘Safety Task Force’, successfully reducing near misses by 70% over a three-year period. This dedication to enhancing safety standards for his railway colleagues and charity work was celebrated in the King’s New Year Honours, 2023, where he was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).

Nick Millington OBE, route director at Network Rail for Wales & Borders route, said:

 “The Wales & Borders route has been my home for some time now and I have enjoyed every day working as interim route director.

“Thankfully, I have a great team and have developed some fantastic new relationships with our partners at Transport for Wales and Amey Infrastructure Wales, and I know these partnerships will help us to deliver a safe and efficient railway for our passengers and customers.

"I look forward to delivering the best possible railway for Wales and Borders."

Nick Millington, via Network Rail

Marcus Jones has been appointed as the new route director for the Western Route, joining Network Rail from June 2023 where he is moving from his current role as train service delivery director at MTR Elizabeth line.

Marcus has had a notable career in the rail sector, serving the UK for almost 20 years, which has seen him awarded with a British Empire Medal in 2020 for his contributions for transport during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marcus Jones, newly appointed route director at Network Rail for Western route, said:

“I am truly delighted to be stepping into this new role. It’s going to be a great experience coming back working within Network Rail, and I look forward to working with new, and some old, faces as well as our partners to improve performance. 

“I have dedicated my career to delivering a railway service that passengers and train operators truly deserve and will continue to do so in this new role.” 

Marcus Jones, via Network Rail

Sophie Bancroft is the final addition from this swath of appointments, is moving into the role of operations director for the Western route this June, replacing Keith Andrews who, after 32 years at Network Rail is retiring following a very successful career in the industry.

Sophie has spent 15 years at TfL, delivering excellent customer service in London Underground's stations, trains and service control functions, broadening her skills through working within strategic functions and being an advocate for diversity in the workplace.

Sophie Bancroft, newly appointed operations director at Network Rail for Western route, commented:

“I’m really excited to start my new role at Network Rail. I have spent my whole career at TfL learning, developing and working with great people to deliver an effective operational service. 

“I can’t wait to work with a new team, in an industry that I love, to help improve performance with our partners across the route.”  

Sophie Bancroft, via Network Rail

Michelle Handforth, regional managing director for Network Rail Wales and Western region, announced the new appointments, saying:

“I am excited to announce our three new director appointments across Wales and Western – huge congratulations to them all.

“Marcus’s knowledge of the operational railway and experience in the critical Thames Valley corridor between Reading and London Paddington, and Sophie’s passion for putting people and customers at the heart of everything she does, will both be incredible assets to the Western route.

“With Nick’s leadership, I’m confident we will continue to improve performance, working as one team with TfW and Amey Infrastructure Wales. I know Nick will drive a forensic approach to safety and performance, making our railway in Wales more resilient and meeting the needs of communities across Wales."

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