HomePeopleAppointmentsJulian Edwards to head up West Midlands Trains

Julian Edwards to head up West Midlands Trains


Julian Edwards, the interim managing director of East Midlands Railway for the first few months of its new franchise, has been named as the new managing director of West Midlands Trains (WMT).

With over 20 years senior rail industry experience, Julian was also recently deputy managing director and UK development director for Abellio UK, owner/major shareholder of both West Midlands Trains and East Midlands Railway. Before that, he spent seven years as finance director with WMT’s predecessors, Central Trains and London Midland.

West Midlands Trains is a joint venture between Abellio (70.1 per cent share) and East Japan Railway Company / Mitsui & Co (29.9 per cent share in a 50:50 split). It operates two brands – West Midlands Railway (to destinations across the West Midlands via Birmingham New Street) and London Northwestern Railway (services between Liverpool and Birmingham, and on the West Coast main line to and from London Euston).

After 30 years in the rail industry, 17 of them at director level, West Midlands Trains’ previous managing director, Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde, decided he will take a career break before moving onto new ventures. He will work alongside Julian until Easter to ensure a smooth transition.

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 three per cent 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.”

Mark Winnington, West Midlands Rail Executive.
Mark Winnington,
West Midlands Rail Executive.

Mark Winnington, chairman of West Midlands Rail Executive, expressed his enthusiasm to work closely with Julian: “While I recognise the hard work that has been invested since the launch of the West Midlands Trains franchise in 2017, recent performance has not been good enough and has not met the standards which customers deserve.

 “West Midlands Trains has accepted this and work is well advanced on driving forward performance improvements, including a new improved timetable in May 2020.

“We’re confident that Julian’s extensive experience in the rail industry and unwavering passion to work collaboratively with rail stakeholders, not least the WMRE, will deliver customer benefits and have a railway that West Midlanders are proud of.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Latest news

Boost for regional transport in upcoming budget

It looks likely that Chancellor Rishi Sunak will announce a £5.7 billion investment into sustainable transport settlements for city regions in his Autumn Budget...

TSSA members vote to accept ScotRail pay offer

The TSSA has called off its dispute with ScotRail, with its members having voted to accept a new pay offer. The TSSA says the offer...

Passengers give rail a thumbs up in latest survey

Nearly ninety per cent of rail passengers said they were satisfied with their last journey, according to a new survey by watchdog Transport Focus. The...
- Advertisement -

More news

Rail museum holds consultation on major plans

The National Railway Museum will house a consultation on plans for a new Central Hall as part of its vision as the cultural heart...

TfL bodycam video results in assault conviction

Uxbridge Magistrates have sentenced a woman to a 12-month community order and 35 rehabilitation activity requirement days following a physical assault on two Transport...

Portishead line reopening delayed

A decision as to whether the Portishead line will return to life has been delayed by the government. North Somerset District Council had applied for...