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All change at MTR UK


Following news that Jeremy Long would retire from his post as chief executive officer for the European business at MTR, it’s ‘all change’ for the executive team in the UK.

Steve Murphy, who is currently managing director of MTR Elizabeth line, will take up the position of chief executive officer MTR UK from 1 October 2020.

Richard Schofield, MTR UK.

In his place, Richard Schofield will assume the role of interim managing director of MTR Elizabeth line. Utilising his extensive experience, Richard will continue to play an influential role, working closely with TfL and Crossrail in seeing the project to completion – a key responsibility he will retain when he transfers to a new position next year as infrastructure director for MTR UK.

The new permanent managing director of MTR Elizabeth line will be Nigel Holness, who is currently in Australia as chief executive officer for Metro Trains Sydney (MTS), a joint venture of MTR Corporation, John Holland Group and UGL. He will be relocating to London in early 2021 to take up his new position.

Nigel has previously worked at MTR Crossrail (now MTR Elizabeth line) as programme director and deputy managing director. He brings with him over 30 years of rail industry experience and has worked at board and senior executive level in a range of roles, including interim managing director for London Underground.

In Sydney, Nigel has led the team to deliver exceptional operating results by ensuring that new trains, signalling, stations, and other assets and systems introduced into service are operating at the right level of reliability and are fully meeting customer and Sydney Metro’s expectations.

More recently, Nigel has also led the restructuring of MTS in its second year of operation, to ensure that it is better placed to meet future needs. In addition to his excellent track record delivering performance results, Nigel is highly skilled at leading organisations through change and delivering significant transformational projects.

Nigel Holness, MTR Elizabeth line.

Looking forward to his new challenge, Nigel said: “I am delighted to be returning to MTR Elizabeth line in the role of managing director. I’ve had the privilege of witnessing what the team has achieved so far and the commitment of MTREL’s people to deliver the highest levels of performance and customer service.

“The past 18 months leading MTS in Sydney have been some of the most rewarding of my professional career. While now is the right time for me personally to return to the UK, I am proud of what has been collectively achieved with my MTS colleagues and excited to be remaining part of the MTR family.

“I look forward to joining MTR Elizabeth line and leading the team in realising its vision of operating a transformational railway for the UK and to working with the TfL and Crossrail teams to successfully deliver the remaining stages of the project.”

Once Nigel Holness is in post, Richard Schofield will take up the position of infrastructure director, responsible for developing MTR UK’s rail infrastructure capability. He will continue to lead MTREL’s support of the Crossrail project through its final critical stages, which includes the opening of the central section.

Steve Murphy, MTR UK.

This will mark the delivery of full services across the Elizabeth line route, connecting Reading and Heathrow in the west to Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east of London.

Steve Murphy, the new CEO of MTR UK, commented on the changes: “Whilst we can look forward to Nigel’s return to the MTREL family in 2021, it is my pleasure to hand over to Richard in the interim.

“Richard has held a leadership role at MTREL since 2017 and is a valued member of our executive team and at the forefront of the programme delivery, making him the natural choice to lead the company through this period of transition.”


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