Anton Valk, former chief executive of Abellio UK, was appointed CBE earlier this year.
Mr Valk received the honour in the Hague from the Queen’s representative Sir Geoffrey Adams, Her Majesty’s ambassador to the Netherlands. The award recognises the powerful contribution made by Mr Valk to Anglo-Dutch relations and the good work of Abellio in Britain.
Abellio UK employs upwards of 11,000 people and, in partnership, runs Merseyrail, Northern Rail and as a stand alone, Greater Anglia.
Anton Valk started Abellio, a subsidiary of Netherlands Railways, in 2001. When he retired from the company as its UK Chairman in April 2012, Abellio carried more then one million passengers a day.
Valk has been described as a great believer in the exchange of ideas and spread of best practice between the Netherlands and Britain. Politicians, civil servants and industrial leaders have visited Holland at his invitation.
Anton served for many years on the ATOC board and was one of the co-founders of the Rail Delivery Group. Since stepping down he has remained active in the rail industry helping out with the rail advisory group of UKTI and as a member of the British Transport Police Authority. He is on the advisory board of the National Railway museum.
Valk has a background in telecoms and railways. He has an engineering degree from Delft University of Technology and an Executive MBA from Nijenrode University.
Says Anton Valk, ‘As CEO I have always felt very welcome in the UK and I was delighted to be able to contribute to the renaissance in public transport over the past 10 years. Both countries have much to offer to each other not only in business but also in culture and science and I look forward to continue my commitment to Anglo-Dutch cooperation.’