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New managing director for Network Rail’s Eastern region

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Jake Kelly, currently the company’s system operator director, has been appointed as the new managing director of its Eastern region, starting the role on 4 September.

The news follows last week’s appointment of the current Eastern region MD – Rob McIntosh – to MD North West and Central region, and the confirmation of Ellie Burrows as MD Southern region.

Jake Kelly, said: “It is such a pleasure to be joining our Eastern region as managing director and I am excited to get started and meet the team. Having spent almost five years as managing director for East Midlands Trains, the eastern region feels like home to me, so it is wonderful to be picking up the reins from Rob McIntosh. There are big shoes to fill and undoubtedly big challenges ahead. My priority will be on delivering for our Eastern regions passengers and freight customers and building on the existing positive engagement with regional stakeholders.

“Likewise, I’ll be committed to building on the great safety record across the region and creating a positive and inclusive place to work for the thousands of colleagues across the region who do brilliant work, day in, day out.”

Andrew Haines, Chief Executive of Network Rail, said: “I’m very pleased to appoint Jake Kelly as regional managing director for our Eastern region. Jake’s extensive experience across the rail industry combined with his more recent familiarity with Network Rail will be invaluable as the region delivers improvements to safety, train service performance and efficiency alongside a major investment portfolio designed to boost capacity and regional connectivity.”

Jake joined Network Rail in 2019 as passenger director for North West and Central region, then joining system operator as director in 2021 where he managed some big issues including Operation London Bridge and leading the operational and timetabling challenges of almost a year of industrial action. He has also played a key part in supporting the preparations for Great British Railways. Jake joined Network Rail from East Midlands Trains where he was managing director.

Lawrence Bowman, network strategy and reform director, will temporarily lead the system operator team until a longer term successor to Jake is appointed following an open recruitment process.

Image credit: Network Rail