Nick Donovan takes Northern into public ownership

Nick Donovan, Northern.

As Northern Trains moves into public ownership, Nick Donovan has been appointed as the new managing director.

For the last two years, Nick has been advising the ScotRail Alliance on train service performance and before that worked on making the case for Northern Powerhouse Rail.  He was interim Engineering Director at Arriva Rail North in 2016. He is the independent chairman of the Network Performance Board and also led TransPennine Express from 2011-2015.

Robin Gisby, DOHL.

Robin Gisby, chairman of Northern Trains and CEO of the public sector operator DOHL (DfT OLR Holdings Limited), said: “Nick’s widespread experience, leadership of TPE and his role as chair of the industry’s National Performance Board has given him a first-class insight into all the issues and challenges we face, not just as Northern but for all operators across the Northern region.

“Given the current circumstances and environment we are operating in, I am very confident that Nick is the right person to lead the business going forward.”

Robin also commented on former managing director of Arriva Rail North: “David Brown has faced some very difficult challenges during his time leading the Northern business. I have now asked David to move across to our holding company where we can explore other senior level opportunities and retain his skills and experience. We should all take this opportunity to acknowledge David’s significant contribution to the Northern Franchise over the last two and a half years.

“Our priority over the coming weeks will be to stabilise performance whilst continuing to deliver existing projects including the introduction of new trains. Over the next 100 days, we will push forward with a widespread review of the business and its operations to ensure that we can and will deliver the improvements that Northern’s passengers deserve.”

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