Julian Edwards succeeds Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde as MD, West Midlands Trains
Julian Edwards has been named as the new managing director of West Midlands Trains (WMT). Julian has been a director of WMT since 2017 – and more recently the MD of East Midlands Railway during the successful mobilisation and launch of the new franchise. The current MD of West Midlands Trains, Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde, will work alongside Julian until Easter to ensure a smooth transition.
After 30 years in the rail industry, 17 of them at director level, Jan decided last year he would take a career break before moving onto new ventures.
Commenting on his appointment, Julian Edwards said “This is an exciting time to be joining WMT as passengers will start to see the benefits of our £1 billion investment programme. The last six months has been very difficult for West Midlands Trains. I would like to thank Jan for addressing many of the issues, including settling the dispute with the RMT, delivering a 3% discount for season ticket holders, introducing more rolling stock in December and the recent timetable changes that are already making a positive impact on train performance.
“There is still much to do. Work is well advanced on further performance improvements, the May 2020 timetable, additional compensation for non-season ticket holders and the roll out of two brand new train fleets starting in the second half of this year. The introduction of our new trains combined with the investment programme in stations and customer services and the much needed changes to timetables in 2020 gives us the opportunity, to have a railway the people of West Midlands Trains and our customers can be proud of.”
Julian has over 20 years senior rail industry experience including seven years as finance director with WMT’s predecessors, Central Trains and London Midland.
About West Midlands Trains
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West Midlands Trains operates both West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway services.
- London Northwestern Railway services operate between Liverpool and Birmingham, and on the West Coast mainline to and from London Euston.
- West Midlands Railway services operate to destinations across the West Midlands via Birmingham New Street.
The West Midlands Trains franchise started on 10 December 2017 and will run until 2025/26.
West Midlands Trains operates 1,300 services a day, manages 150 stations and provides over 70 million passenger journeys a year. Over the course of the franchise, West Midlands Trains will be investing £1 billion into the rail network to deliver new trains, improved routes and station upgrades. This will include 400 new train carriages across the network and space for an extra 85,000 passengers into Birmingham and London at peak times.
The franchise is a joint venture between Abellio (70.1% share) and East Japan Railway Company / Mitsui & Co., Ltd (29.9% share in a 50:50 split). Abellio is the international passenger transport subsidiary of the Dutch national railway company, Nederlandse Spoorwegen. In the UK, Abelllio operates ScotRail and Greater Anglia train services, Merseyrail services in a joint venture with Serco and buses through Abellio London. For more information visit www.abellio.com
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