Express & Star

New chief executive for high-speed rail project

A new chief executive has been appointed for HS2 Ltd to lead the completion of the high-speed railway.

Last updated

Watch more of our videos on Shots!
and live on Freeview channel 276

Mark Wild, one of the most respected figures in the infrastructure industry, brings almost four decades-worth of experience to the role.

This includes an outstanding record in the successful delivery of complex railway systems – the alignment of tracks, train, power, signalling and communications – most notably as the chief executive of Crossrail.

He will join HS2 Ltd at a pivotal moment in the programme’s delivery, with civil engineering works along the route from London to the West Midlands reaching their peak and focus shifting to building the infrastructure to operate the railway.

This new appointment forms part of a series of reforms across the project aimed at bearing down on costs and safely delivering the scheme on time, in line with recent scope changes announced by the Government.

Mark was selected following a rigorous recruitment process overseen by the HS2 Ltd board and led by Sir Jon Thompson, executive chairman, with backing from Mark Harper, the Secretary of State for Transport.

Mr Harper said: "HS2 between Euston and the West Midlands will provide faster connections for millions of passengers, grow the economy, regenerate communities and create tens of thousands of high skilled jobs across the country.

"Mark Wild brings a wealth of experience with him, including leading the successful delivery of Crossrail, and I have every confidence he will grip costs and robustly oversee this project to transform rail travel for generations.”

Sir Jon added: “Mark joins HS2 Ltd with unrivalled experience and a track record of successful delivery, giving confidence that he will drive this hugely complex programme to completion - providing more reliable and faster services for rail users, while boosting the economies of the West Midlands and London. It is a mark of the scale and ambition of HS2 that we can attract a leader of his calibre.”

Mr Wild’s precise start date is yet to be confirmed. His arrival follows the departure of Mark Thurston who led HS2 Ltd for six-and-a-half years up to the end of September.

Sir Jon will continue in his current position until Mark’s arrival, when he resumes his previous role as HS2 Ltd chairman.

Mr Wild was most recently chief executive of SGN, the gas distribution network covering Scotland and the south east of England.

He was previously CEO of Crossrail for almost four years, leading the project from a crucial juncture in its construction through to successful opening. The scale of Crossrail is eclipsed only by HS2 as the largest wholly new railway in the UK.

Prior to Crossrail, he was managing director of the London Underground.

Mr Wild said: "I look forward to leading HS2 as it progresses from major construction works to its rail systems phase and beyond to the first passenger services. The scale and ambition of HS2 is phenomenal and will deliver wide-reaching benefits for the UK through more jobs, economic growth and better journeys.”

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.