Network Rail’s western route managing director, Patrick Hallgate, has been awarded an MBE for services to the economy.
Patrick, who joined Railtrack’s graduate trainee scheme in 1999 shot to national attention alongside the famed Orange Army last February. Tasked with rebuilding the sea wall and railway at Dawlish after the storms of February 2014, Hallgate joined a thousand-strong team which worked round the clock to reopen rail services to the west. The project to restore the railway through Dawlish stands as an enduring testimony to the achievement of railway staff working together.
Patrick spotted the graduate trainee scheme quite by chance whilst working at the Home Office. He liked what he saw and applied. After training and working on route performance and maintenance, he became general manager Great Eastern in 2002. Route directorships followed at Sussex, then Anglia.
In 2009, he became programme director IP, Signalling and Electrification National Programmes before taking up his present role in the west. Hallgate is a firm believer in a career with the railways. ‘I’ve changed jobs every couple of years and taken on bigger challenges every time. Even when I was a little unsure of myself on occasion, I had the right support around me to make the best of the situation and grow and develop into a better leader. As a result, I’ve become the route managing director, managing a team of 2,500 people.’
Hallgate has an MSc in organisational psychology from Bristol University. Quick thinking and team work certainly helped overcome tide and storm at Dawlish. The line re-opened earlier than expected at the beginning of April last year.