Posted 3rd December 2020 | No Comments

New managing director at SWR: Hopwood returns to GWR

A SHUFFLE of senior train operator posts has been announced by FirstGroup.

A new managing director has been appointed at South Western Railway. She is Claire Mann, whose previous experience goes back 20 years and includes the post of director at the Docklands Light Railway and other posts at Arriva Trains Wales, First Great Western and London Overground. Her current job is director of bus operations at Transport for London.

She is replacing Mark Hopwood at SWR, who will be returning to Swindon and his main job as managing director at Great Western Railway from 4 January. The responsibilities of the md at SWR will then be covered temporarily by chief operating officer Mike Houghton until Claire can join.

Mark Hopwood’s interim replacement at GWR has been Matthew Golton, who will be seconded to First Rail in a new interim post as First Rail business development director. He is also expected to return to GWR in due course and remains a director of First Greater Western Ltd.

First Rail managing director Steve Montgomery said: ‘With her experienced background in customer service and public transport, Claire is well-placed to lead South Western Railway as we continue our £1.2 billion programme to transform the travelling experience for our customers. We are all looking forward to having her on the team. Although passenger numbers may be suppressed at the moment, people will want to travel again for work or leisure, and we are ready to play our part in helping the economic recovery across the network. I’d like to thank Mark Hopwood [for] performing this important interim role over the past year and for his commitment to improving services at SWR.’

Mark Hopwood added: ‘It has been an honour to lead the team at SWR and I would like to thank all my colleagues for their professionalism, dedication and commitment in what has been a challenging year. I feel we have made real progress with our performance, our investment programme and improving our customer experience. I know that I head back to GWR leaving SWR in very capable hands.’