At the start of the ACoRP annual awards at the Swindon Steam Railway Museum ACoRP’s Neil Buxton called for a brief silence and then asked everyone to raise their glasses to the late Tom Clift.
Career railway man Tom Clift, 58, died of a heart attack whilst visiting Edinburgh. The former managing director of Grand Central had been due to take up the reins at First Hull Trains.
‘We were looking forward to welcoming him into his new role. Tom was a railwayman for four decades, becoming a respected personality in the industry he cared about. Our thoughts are with Tom’s family and friends,’ said Vernon Barker, FirstGroup’s Managing Director UK Rail Division.
Tom Clift joined the railway immediately after leaving Warwick School aged 18. He later gained a degree in Business Studies and Transport Economics. He worked for Regional Railways. Later Tom was largely responsible for turning around railways in South Wales, joining the Cardiff Railway Co in 1994 to prepare it for privatisation.
He was Managing Director of Valley Lines for seven years and also held senior positions at Arriva Trains Wales and the Pullman Rail Group. He was the proud owner of a BR class 26 diesel locomotive.
Friends described Tom as ‘A thoroughly decent, old-fashioned, professional railwayman.’ He will be sadly missed.