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New chair for rail industry’s West Midlands Supervisory Board and Grand Rail Collaboration

Alex Warner has been appointed as chair of the Grand Rail Collaboration (GRC), a West Midlands rail industry group committed to boosting train reliability and passenger satisfaction. He takes over from West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, whose one year term ended this month (May 2020).

The Grand Rail Collaboration, which also acts as the rail industry’s West Midlands Supervisory Board, brings together the West Midlands Rail Executive, Network Rail, passenger and freight operators and other rail industry partners. It is committed to leading the rail industry in the West Midlands by working together to provide passengers, freight operators and stakeholders with a better service.

Alex’s role as chair is independent of the industry but, as the leader of the supervisory board, he reports to Network Rail chairman Sir Peter Hendy.

Malcolm Holmes executive director, West Midlands Rail Executive and director of rail for Transport for West Midlands, said: “I welcome Alex Warner’s appointment as chair of the Grand Rail Collaboration which has, since its inception in 2019, laid down strong foundations to deliver significant tangible improvements for the West Midlands’ rail passengers.

“I look forward to working with Alex and our Grand Rail Collaboration partners to create an easier to use, more joined up rail network for the people of our region.”

Dave Penney, Central route director for Network Rail, said: “I warmly welcome Alex to his new role as chairman of the Grand Rail Collaboration. He has a wealth of experience in the rail industry and other sectors which I’m confident he will use to help improve passenger experience and satisfaction across the West Midlands.”

Members of the Grand Railway Collaboration include: West Midlands Trains, CrossCountry, Avanti West Coast, Chiltern Railways and Transport for Wales; Network Rail, Rail Freight Group, West Midlands Rail Executive, and Transport Focus.

Areas of the rail industry the GRC will tackle include passenger and freight train performance, simplifying fare structures, improving the quality of trains and stations, sharing busy track capacity in the most efficient way and delivering resilient, reliable timetables.

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