The state-owned operator of Britain’s rail network has announced Andrew Haines is to become its new chief executive, following Mark Carne’s decision to retire earlier this year.
Haines will be joining Network Rail after leaving his role as chief executive of the Civil Aviation Authority and comes into the position with a wealth of experience in the rail industry and transport sector.
The rail operator say Haines will take up his role in the early autumn following a period of handover, while his salary will amount to £588,000, inclusive of benefits – 27% lower than his predecessor’s package.
Announcing the appointment, Network Rail chair Sir Peter Hendy said Haines was the “ideal candidate” to carry on the transformation of the organisation that had been led by Carne.
“I am absolutely delighted to announce Andrew’s appointment today,” Hendy added. “He was the most outstanding candidate in a highly competitive appointment process. Andrew’s broad experience of rail and transport, and his reputation for relentless delivery and improvement makes him the ideal candidate to carry on with the transformation of Network Rail that has been led by Mark Carne. Britain’s railways are crucial for Britain’s prosperity: connecting people with jobs, goods with markets, and stimulating new housing and economic growth.”
The incoming chief executive will be tasked with driving the delivery of railway improvements set out in the strategic business plan for 2019/2024 and ensuring Network Rail continued to focus on safety, performance and cost effectiveness, according to its chair.
The appointment marks a fairy-tale rise through the ranks for Haines whose first job was as a left luggage clerk in London Victoria.
Commenting on his new role, Haines said: “I am delighted to be joining Network Rail to build on the excellent work of Mark Carne. Since my first job as a left luggage clerk at London Victoria I’ve been passionate about improving the services that the railways provide to customers and the wider economy. It will be an immense privilege to work alongside the dedicated, professional colleagues at Network Rail and many partner organisations to deliver closer working between track and train, embed devolution and turning the digital railway strategy into reality whilst efficiently delivering on challenging safety, operational, engineering and investment commitments.”
The appointment has also been welcomed by transport secretary Chris Grayling. He said: “Andrew has done an outstanding job at the CAA and has an impressive track record in the rail industry. Under Andrew’s leadership I look forward to Network Rail continuing its transformation into devolved route businesses, working in partnership with train operators to improve performance for passengers.”
Outgoing chief executive Carne announced his decision to retire in February after joining Network Rail in January 2014. He said he planned the timing of his announcement so there would be stability while the operator developed its business plan for the next five-year regulatory period and so there would be enough time for his successor to be firmly in place when it starts.
The Network Rail chair also paid tribute to Carne’s time as leader and the legacy he leaves behind. Hendy added: “Mark has been exceptional in his personal leadership of the delivery of the biggest ever upgrade programme in the railway’s history and ensuring that Network Rail has focussed on delivering for passengers, freight and the public. His focus on devolution and empowering people has transformed safety and the performance culture of the organisation. Mark leaves a significant legacy for Andrew to build on.”