Railway Division: How we are governed

Railway Division consists of members of all grades professionally involved or interested in the science and practice of railway engineering.

Railway Division Board

Graham Neil - Chair

Head of Rolling Stock Engineering , London Underground.

Graham NeilGraham joined the railway industry straight from school as a rolling stock apprentice with London Underground. He finished his 4-year apprenticeship in 1975 winning London Underground’s Agnew Trophy - Apprentice of the Year Award.

He spent the next five years in LU’s Acton Works carrying out maintenance, modifications, diagnosis and repairs to electronic equipment used on LU rolling stock before moving to the rolling stock design division as an Auxiliary Equipment Engineer furthering his interest in rolling stock electronic systems.

During this time he became the specialist engineer responsible for all issues related to on-train electrical components, communications systems, train monitoring systems and existing ATO systems.

He then expanded his engineering experience when he became Head of the Electronic Development Section working at the forefront of rolling stock technology in the development of new electronic systems and specialist maintenance tools and test equipment.  He was also responsible for writing and developing new standards for electronic equipment and was an active member of various RIA Technical Specification committees (RIA 12, RIA 13, RIA 18, RIA 21 and RIA23/24).

Following an internal re-organisation in 1989 he become Client Engineer (Standards) responsible for developing a suite of performance based rolling stock standards covering all aspects of rolling stock design.  During this period he was also tasked with providing assurance directly to the Chief Rolling Stock Engineer for the introduction of the new Central Line 1992 Tube Stock trains – and thereby began his career as a New Stock Engineer.  This role broadened his knowledge of rolling stock design to cover a wider range of topics whilst working very closely within the delivery team but remaining independent enough to act as the Chief Engineer’s representative. 

This role continued into the mid-1990s with the introduction of the new fleet of 1996TS trains built for the Jubilee Line Extension and Graham was responsible for the development of the risk based staged assurance process used to introduce that fleet.  Around this time all London Underground engineering departments were amalgamated into delivery groups in one location and he became a team coordinator in the Trains Delivery Group responsible for a team of 33 specialist engineers located all over London. Later he inherited a small team of engineers specialising in noise and vibration management and in automated visual inspection – a system developed by London Underground to dynamically inspect track condition using high speed video at full line speed. By this time his New Stock Engineer role had expanded to include the new 1995TS trains being leased for the Northern Line under a PFI deal.

In 1998 with the Northern Line 1995TS delivery just beginning, with five trains delivered and operating in trial operations, he took over the role of the project engineer.  The trains were in their early delivery phase and it fell to Graham to develop and implement a reliability growth plan working closely with the train builder/maintainer Alstom and their subsystem suppliers to drive up the reliability of the fleet as quickly as possible.

With the delivery of the 1995TS almost complete and the reliability of the fleet approaching acceptable levels came the privatisation of the London Underground – The PPP Contract.  As Graham was still with the Northern Line Project he became the Chief Rolling Stock Engineer for InfraCo JNP.  However this was very short lived as he very quickly moved into the London Underground Chief Engineers Department to become the Control Systems Engineer responsible in part for the introduction of ATO on the Central Line 1992TS and as lead systems engineer for all rolling stock depots.

In 2004 Graham became the Chief Rolling Stock Engineer (now Head of Rolling Stock Engineering) with a small team of engineers responsible for assuring the safety of all trains on the London Underground as well as briefing the Board on all matters related to rolling stock, approval of new and modified trains, setting of standards for rolling stock, audit of compliance to statutory regulations and standards and for research and development associated with rolling stock. As part of this role he is the London Underground representative on the UITP Metros Division Rolling Stock Subcommittee involved in sharing of information, knowledge and experience between metros all over the world.

In 2006 Graham became a Chartered Engineer (CEng) through the Mature Candidate Scheme and a Fellow member of the IET.  He continued his professional development by also becoming a Fellow member of the IMechE in 2009 and a member of the Railway Division Board.

He is currently a member of the IMechE Seminars and Conferences Committee, IMechE Skills Task Force, IMechE Steering group (Training) and the HQ Lectures Committee.  Graham is also a member of the IET Railway TPN /Exec Committee and various NSAR steering groups providing useful links between the IMechE and these other railway organisations.

James Collinson - Vice Chair

James Collinson

Managing Director, Network Certification Body
James graduated from Sheffield University in 1992 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and joined British Rail as a Graduate Engineering Management Trainee. For the next eight years he spent most of his time at train maintenance depots in largely engineering management roles, such as Shift Production Manager, Contracts Manager and towards the end of this period, Depot Manager at Leeds Neville Hill Train Care Depot. James left Neville Hill in September 2000 to join Railtrack, moving from Leeds to Peterborough to start his career in the infrastructure side of the industry.

He spent the next 10 years in various roles with Railtrack (which later became Network Rail), growing his knowledge of infrastructure asset management, but never moving too far away from his Traction and Rolling Stock roots. Working with Infrastructure and Rail Vehicle engineers and operations teams gave him the ‘system’ approach to engineering that he has today.

James now leads the Network Rail subsidiary business, the Network Certification Body (NCB), as the Managing Director, providing independent engineering certification services to both infrastructure and rail vehicle projects, which brings together the two parts of his engineering career in the rail industry.

The IMechE Rail Division has been a big influence in James' career, from attending his first Young Members Rail Conference to sitting down for his Fellowship review panel.

James is an IMechE Mentor and has enjoyed helping a number of engineers become Incorporated or Chartered over the last 15 years.

He did his first presentation at a Rail Division conference in 2006, the annual Young Members Conference, and in 2009 he decided to give something back to the institution by becoming the Chairman of the Rail Division Seminars and Conferences organising committee. After three years' tenure he handed over to someone fresh but still continues to arrange events, including activities at the new Milton Keynes Centre.

Andrew Skinner - Vice Chair

Head of Engineering, Great Western Railway.

Andrew SkinnerAndrew joined the rail industry straight from school and was sponsored as an undergraduate by the British Railways Board for a Mechanical Engineering degree at Brunel University.

Having spent time in the heavy engineering workshops in Doncaster and York as part of the sponsored student scheme, he had an initial placement in the Technical Office at Wembley Intercity Depot maintaining the West Coast passenger rolling stock.

Andrew then moved to South Wales and joined the Technical Office at Cardiff Canton locomotive depot and was responsible for performance data, modifications and carried out fault finding. During this time, he also deputised for the Production Managers leading the shift maintenance teams.

His association with South Wales continued when he moved west to become the Area Traction & Rolling Stock Engineer at Margam responsible for the locomotive depot, wagon repair shops and rolling stock technicians carrying out pre departure freight train examinations. Here he gained the first combined BS Quality award for all three activities on BR. He started a commercial interest whilst at Margam having responsibility for the maintenance of British Steel wagons under contract. It was also this role which opened up his interest in the industrial railway history of South Wales and the industrial production and logistics involved in the railfreight markets.

His Depot Management experience was further expanded through a move to the West Midlands running Bescot locomotive depot and Chester Wagon shops for a couple of years.

With the privatisation of British Rail, Andrew moved back to Cardiff Canton as the Depot Manager with the depot’s activities expanding to now carry out wagon and rolling stock overhauls including the travelling Post Office vehicles.

To further his commercial skills, Andrew then took a sideways move into the freight commercial team as an Account Manager for the sales of infrastructure trains to service Railtrack’s track maintenance and renewals programmes.

An opportunity then arose for a Project Manager with experience of Depot Management, rolling stock technical knowledge and commercial skills to join Great Western Trains. Andrew was successful and initially managed an £18M upgrade to the High Speed Train fleet. He has continued in various engineering roles including Fleet Engineering Manager, Fleet Manager with responsibility for four major depots and around 600 staff to his current role as Head of Engineering for the Great Western Railway. His responsibilities have broadened over time and he now manages fleet technical which covers one of the most diverse range of TOC T&RS in the UK including HST, DMU, EMU, locomotives and carriages. He also manages materials technical, performance data, technical standards and occupational safety. His team are also responsible for operation of the ISO certified engineering integrated management system covering quality, safety, environmental and energy management.

Andrew’s involvement with IMechE activities began in the early 1990s as a committee member of the Railway Division South Western Centre, he went on to Chair the Centre for three years and is currently the Treasurer.

Following his Centre Chairmanship, Andrew continued as an Ordinary Board Member of the Railway Division at HQ which he continues to do. He currently has special responsibility for The Railway Engineers Forum.

Andy Mellors - Immediate Past Chair

Andrew Mellors

Managing Director, South Western Railway

Andy Mellors joined British Rail as an engineering management trainee in 1988, graduating in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College in 1992.  

After undertaking various roles in rolling stock maintenance in North West London he moved to Merseyrail Electrics in 1995 and undertook a number of engineering roles prior to becoming Production Director in 1998.  After moving to FirstGroup in 2002, Andy was Engineering Director at First North Western and then First Scotrail prior to moving to First Great Western (now Great Western Railway) in 2007.  Andy was also Deputy Managing Director at GWR and, during his time there, oversaw significant fleet transformation, culminating in the introduction of new electric multiple units in the Thames Valley as well as finalising preparations for the introduction of the new Hitachi Intercity Express Trains.  He was appointed Managing Director for the new South Western Railway franchise, a FirstGroup and MTR joint venture, which commenced operations in August 2017.

Andy was past Chair of the Railway Engineering Graduate Scheme, operated by Rail Delivery Group (formerly the Association of Train Operating Companies) which has provided an accredited training programme for developing engineers in the industry.  He has been  the Chair of the South Western Centre of the Railway Division since 2015.


David Clarke

Michael Corbett

mike corbett_rail_nominee_resizedOwner and Director of JMRC Associates Limited
Mike graduated from Salford University and undertook post graduate  studies at Aston University, before joining British Rail as a Graduate  Engineering Management Trainee.

His early career was spent in both depots and technical offices in  Derby and London engaged primarily on traction and rolling stock,  electrification and plant service reliability but also including  management experience.

Mike then moved to Lincoln as Area Maintenance Engineer followed  by Area Maintenance Engineer Norwich with increased management  responsibility for all staff engaged on traction and rolling stock, plant  and machinery operation, maintenance and increasing multi-million  cost centre budgets. This included the opening of Crown Point Depot,  Norwich and new Sprinter fleet introduction.

He then moved to  manage the British Rail Level 5 Group’s rolling  stock profit centre overhaul depot at Chart Leacon, Ashford. This was  followed by management of British Rail Maintenance Limited, Wolverton Works, Milton Keynes, a rolling stock and component overhaul profit centre business, and subsequently, was Director, Wolverton Rail Maintenance Limited.

Following short term secondments to British Rail’s Freightliner (1995) Limited as Fleet Engineer and to the consultancy Halcrow Transmark to review Railtrack’s traction and rolling stock safety case and engineering management, Mike joined Atkins Rail Limited as a Senior Consultant, and subsequently, Regional Rolling Stock Director, London which included leadership and development of rail vehicle turnkey projects including the mandatory Drivers Reminder Appliance.

This led to his unique appointment as Project Director to the Joint Rolling Stock Leasing Companies Working Group for the regulated Train Protection and Warning System implementation on all the leasing companies’ rolling stock fleets. Mike furthered his project management experience at the rail vehicle leasing company Angel Trains Ltd including the fitment of the On Train Monitor Recorder for the company’s fleet.

Mike is now owner and Director of JMRC Associates Limited and currently supports the strategic Fleet Challenge Steering Group at the Rail Delivery Group. He has also recently completed the project management of the final restoration of the steam locomotive Flying Scotsman on behalf of the National Railway Museum (Science Museum Group).

Mike has had over thirty five years involvement with IMechE activities commencing as a committee member of the newly formed Railway Division South East Centre, which he went on to serve as Secretary and then Centre Chair for three years.

He was a long serving member of the Railway Division Lectures, Conference and Seminars Committee, and, following the re-configuration of the committee structure, served on the Conference and Seminars Committee including three years as Chair.

He has chaired a number Railway Division conferences and seminars and presented papers. He remains actively involved now as an inaugural member of the Railway Division Milton Keynes Centre and has recently presented to centres on the Flying Scotsman project.

Mike is an IMechE mentor and has mentored a number of engineers to chartered status. 

Zena Dent

Zena Dent

Projects and Technical Director, Porterbrook 
Zena joined the rail industry whilst studying for a degree in Engineering Economics and Management at Oxford University and was sponsored by British Rail for the final stages of her degree.

On graduation Zena joined British Rail as an Engineering Management Trainee, with various roles in the maintenance of rolling stock in the North East.

She then moved to SNC Lavalin to work within (and latterly led) the rolling stock maintenance consultancy team. During this time she led projects to develop maintenance programmes for new trains, improve the reliability, availability and cost of older fleets, working with clients to procure new vehicles and new maintenance contracts. This role also enabled Zena to work on international rail projects including Australia and Denmark.

Zena then moved to Eversholt Rail where her role focused on the procurement and project management of new rolling stock. This included working with DfT to evaluate, negotiate and procure the ‘Javalin’ fleet of high speed trains with Hitachi. Later, having procured a fleet of Desiro train from Siemens for Scotland, she went on to project manage the design, build, test, approval and delivery of this fleet, which had significant technical challenges as the first ‘fly by wire’ train for the UK.

Other projects have included procurement of ETCS for fitment to existing fleets and management of significant vehicle upgrade programmes (fitment of new traction systems, new interiors including air conditioning, modifications to support passengers of reduced mobility). She has procured and managed other new trains from Hitachi (AT300) and Bombardier (Electrostar).

Zena is currently Projects and Technical Director for Porterbrook.

She maintains an active involvement with the IMechE and other industry bodies, sponsoring Porterbrook’s IMechE MDPS training scheme for engineering graduates, mentoring engineering graduates and for Women in Rail, developing the role of engineering higher apprenticeships within Porterbrook and supporting initiatives to promote engineering within schools. She has been a member of Railway Division Board for 2 years and is a member of the Lectures Committee.

Mark Hicks

Mark HicksTechnical Services Director at Angel Trains
Mark Hicks joined Angel Trains in 2001 as Head of New Build Projects responsible for delivering new build projects for UK and international divisions. In 2009 he took on the role of Technical Services Director and was appointed to the Board in March 2011.

Since joining the railway industry in 1983 he has held significant posts in the industry in many sectors, which has provided him with a wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise in key areas of the industry.

Mike Hulme

Mike HulmeManaging Director of Trains and Modernisation, Alstom Transport UK
Mike is responsible for the delivery of the technical, industrial and project solutions for all new Rolling Stock and Modernisation Projects supporting train operators and leasing companies.  Prior to this role Mike was Transport UK Service Vice President (2011-15), responsible for three business streams incorporating Full Service Provision, Rolling Stock Modernisation, and Parts Supply  incorporating Technical Support.

Mike Chairs the North West Rail Industry Leaders Group focused on promoting the NW rail industry, development of its skill’s base and campaigning for an improved interconnected travel experience across the region.  He is also a member of RSSB Innovation Board

From leaving school in 1985, Mike was sponsored through University by British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL) Sellafield, and subsequently held various engineering and operational roles within the Sellafield Site.  Prior to leaving the nuclear industry in 2001, his last position was Head of Engineering for Calder Hall Power Station.

In October 2001, Mike joined Alstom, initially as Validation Manager, Preston Transit. Since then he has held various senior positions in UK Transport Service, including Supply Chain Director West Coast Main Line, Engineering and Tender Director, and latterly Vice President.

Mike was educated at Durham University where he achieved a 1st class degree in Engineering Science & Management. He is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Mick James

Mick JamesProfessional Head of Plant at RSSB
Mick is a career railwayman, starting as a craft apprentice on the Western Region.

He was a HST Engineer at Laira Depot, Technical Engineer for First Great Western and is now Professional Head of Plant at RSSB (and currently also acting Professional Head of Rolling Stock).

He is a Fellow of the Institution and has been chairman of the South Western Centre of the Railway Division, where he is now the Centre Secretary.

He has been an elected RD Board member for the past three years.

Felix Schmid

Felix Schmid University of Birmingham

Felix Schmid graduated from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich, Switzerland, with a diploma in elec­trical and electronic engineering.

He worked for two years as a software analyst in Zürich and Solothurn, in the days of microcomputers with 32kb of RAM and 32kb of programme memory. He then moved to GEC Traction (later to form part of Alstom) in Manchester, England, where he spent four years designing con­trol systems for electric locomotives, at a time when sep-ex choppers were at the forefront of technology.

Subsequently, he completed a one year spell at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST), studying the non-galvanic measurement of electrical power. From UMIST he moved to the University of Salford to work as a mechanical design engineer on a knowledge transfer project with a machine tool manufacturer, where he later took a part-time role as an electrical systems designer.

From Salford, Felix transferred to Brunel University in West London to teach a then new subject, Computer Integrated Manufacturing. In this context he developed a new approach to engineering education that resulted in him being awarded a doctorate in engineering. After a year in Switzerland as a railway in­spec­tor looking after ‘private’ railways in the francophone part of the country, he returned to Britain, intending resume his post at Brunel. Serendipity intervened and brought him to the University of Sheffield where he was tasked with developing the MSc programme in Railway Systems Engineering and Integration. He also con­ducted research into railway control systems and created railway short courses for London Under­ground, Britain’s Railway Inspectorate and Bechtel.

Felix was appointed to a professorship at the University of Birmingham In 2005, with the remit from the University of Sheffield to move the railway MSc programme to a new home. This led to a new title for the programme, - MSc in Railway Systems Engineering and Integration. The move was accompanied by a significant update to the con­tent to reflect developments in the rail industry, in the UK and worldwide. The MSc programme grew rapidly in its new home and gained a worldwide reputation. This spawned the development of a Master of Research programme and of a new MSc in Railway Risk and Safety Management, in collaboration with the University of York and funded by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation. At the University of Birmingham, Felix and his team are based in the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE), the largest railway focused research centre in the West. Within BCRRE, Felix became heavily involved in research into rail­way capacity and systems engineering.

Felix has led the new postgraduate programme in Urban Railway Engineering for Singapore Mass Rapid Transit Institute (SMRTi) since autumn 2016. This programme currently has some 250 students in Singapore and Felix takes a team of 15 academic staff from Birmingham to Singapore twice a year. He is also developing a new version of the MSc programme in Railway Risk and Safety Management. This is being created jointly with the Institution of Railway Signalling Engineers and is expected to exempt successful graduates from the IRSE examination.

In February 2018, The University of Birmingham received a Queens Award for Higher and Further Education, an achievement of which Felix is very proud.

Rebeka Sellick

Rebeka SellickDirector, SellickRail Ltd

Rebeka was elected to the Railway Division Board in 2015. She lead authored the IMechE’s report “Increasing Capacity: Putting Britain’s railways back on track” published in January 2017, following it up with lectures at IMechE HQ and regional centres and presentations to governmental and industry bodies. In March 2018, Rebeka represented the IMechE to deliver a keynote address on Next Steps for the UK’s Railway Infrastructure at a Westminster Energy, Environment and Transport seminar.

She relishes the IMechE mentoring role, successfully facilitating the development of professional engineers, not only within railways but additionally, as part of her CPD, within the bus industry. She keeps up to date by judging the innovation paper element of the annual Railway Challenge and by joining in at Railway Engineering Graduate Scheme conferences.

Rebeka also volunteers articles published across the railway press on subjects ranging from what railways are for to specific innovations, as well as on capacity and performance. She admires the commitment of those who write doctoral theses, which she honours by acting as an external examiner.

Her paid work is currently as Director of SellickRail Ltd, an innovation, engineering and business consultancy she founded in 2016. Rebeka enjoys a range of assignments, from assessing and supporting technology transfers for railway benefit to advising international investors on UK rail opportunities, all grounded in her long and wide experience.

Rebeka’s 30 years in railways began with British Rail Derby, prior to her Oxford University degree in Engineering, Economics and Management. Before and between university, she made and mended trains from London to Inverness. After graduating, Rebeka’s fluent French enabled a pioneering work exchange with SNCF in Paris.

Rebeka approached privatisation via TOC management roles, before helping initiate ROSCOs. Broadening into consultancy, Rebeka created the Asset Management service within Interfleet Technology, delivering international assignments with her team of 50. Seven years as Engineering Director ATOC brought policy and research to the fore, which she continues to pursue in and amongst her current consultancy roles.

She has experience working across GB Railways, eg operator, Rosco, consultancy, representative body. As well as throughout the railway product cycle, eg R&D to implementation, asset management & maintenance optimisation.

She is skilled at thinking clearly and offering constructive input, has a record of developing collective positions and putting cross-industry projects together and is good at delivering on promises.

She says she is now able to commit more time to the Institution again, now that her daughter has turned eight, and is already keen to be an engineer.

Noel Travers

Noel TraversDirector of Westley Associates
After leaving Bombardier Transportation in February 2016, Noel set up his own consultancy business, providing Interim Executive support to the rail sector. Whilst this new business is in its infancy, Noel has already contributed to a major project through undertaking the role of Independent Chairman for a Compatibility Forum.

Noel joined Bombardier Transportation in 2008 as Sales Director for the Passengers Division in the UK, then added South Africa into his responsibility in 2011. In 2013 Noel moved in to the Project Management function as VP Project Management, taking full P&L responsibility for all Electrostar new build projects. At the start of 2014, Noel added P&L responsibility for all Electrostar maintenance contracts into his Portfolio. In June 2014 Noel was asked to take over the role as Head of Project Management and Managing Director UK, responsible for the UK manufacturing and services business, excluding Crossrail and LU projects. 

Noel joined Bombardier Transportation from the Royal Bank of Scotland, where he was Senior Director, Transport and Infrastructure, in its Structured Asset Finance business. In this role, Noel was responsible for all “non-RoSCo” rail asset financing internationally. Prior to RBS, Noel was a Vice President at GATX Capital Corporation, where he was responsible for business development in the European market, and also for managing GATX Capital’s existing portfolio of European rail investments. Before joining GATX Capital, Noel held various engineering and management posts in the pre and post privatisation British Rail.

Noel is a Chartered Engineer, and Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and holds a BEng in Mechanical Engineering from Loughborough University and a MSc in Rail Systems Engineering from the University of Sheffield. 

Craig Young

Craig YoungProject, Planning and Resource Manager at Network Rail
Craig is a mechanical engineer with over ten year's experience in the UK railway industry.

He accumulated six years' design and project engineering skills while working within Network Rails (NR) Traction and Rolling Stock (T&RS) Engineering department. He is currently the Project, Planning and Resource Manager for the Network Certification Body, covering assessment activities against RGS, TSIs, NNTRs and CSM for infrastructure and rail vehicle projects.

Craig has been an active member of the Institution's Railway Division for eight years, and chaired the Young Members committee for three years. He currently sits on the Milton Keynes Centre Committee, Prize Committee, Skills shortage Committee, and Railways Division Board.

Sub-committee Chairs 

Iain Flynn - Co-Chair Events

John Reddyhoff - Skills Task Force

Emil Tschepp - Young Members

Amanda White - Railway Luncheon

Amanda White photo 02 300Head of Rail, Transport for Greater Manchester

Amanda joined the railway industry in 2003 as a trainee electrification and plant (E&P) engineer with Network Rail. After three years training Amanda moved into the maintenance team as E&P system support engineer.

A year later Amanda completed her part time MSc in Railway Systems Engineering and took a role in Network Rail’s London office as scheme design specialist, specifying engineering requirements for major enhancements projects such as Tram Train and Intercity Express Programme.

In 2010 Amanda joined HS2 Ltd as Senior Route Engineer North West to lead the design and selection of a new railway between Birmingham and Manchester. Always passionate about engagement with stakeholders, she led discussions with statutory bodies, businesses, member of the public and senior decision makers, including senior politicians.

Amanda took up the position of Head of Rail for Transport for Greater Manchester in 2014, responsible for working with railway operators to promote quality services and integrated travel. Her work on rail devolution continues to seek local control of Greater Manchester Stations to realise better facilities and regeneration for passengers and communities.

Amanda is also a member of the Rail North Strategic Partnership Board, working to improve rail franchises in the North and developing strategies for future rail growth with HS2 and Transport for North.

Amanda has been a volunteer, supporting the IMechE Railway Division activities for over ten years. Initially joining the organising committee for the Annual Railway Seminar, then taking the chair of the Seminar and Conference Committee. Amanda has now been in a lead role for the Board in organising the Railway Division Annual Luncheon for four years.

Amanda is passionate about the railway industry and the people that make it a success. She believes that through the IMechE both knowledge and relationships are developed which inspire current and future generations.

Centre Chairs

Rachel Turner - Midlands

Rory Dickerson - Milton Keynes

Stephen Thompson - North Eastern

Dr Howard Parkinson - North Western

Howard ParkinsonDirector, Digital Rail Ltd

Howard is a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers with a PhD in engineering from Manchester University (UMIST). He has over 25 years railway experience from around the world.

Howard is a director at Digital Rail Ltd and the Chairman of the IMechE Railway Division North Western Centre. At Digital Rail Ltd he is the lead on Autonomous Vision, Data Fusion and Intelligent Systems Engineering. He has been recently working on a Vvision system for autonomously monitoring the Platform Train Interface to increase safety and reduce dwell time.

Iain Rae - Scottish

Toby Johnson - South Eastern

Matthew Prosser - South Western

Pradeep Agrawal - Lucknow

Past Chairs

Richard McClean CENG FIMechE

Richard McClean

Chair 2017 - 2018  Managing Director, Grand Central
Richard joined the railway industry as an Engineering Management Trainee in 1982, working in various parts of the network, mainly in the London area. He spent 18 months acting as Personal Assistant to the Chairman of the British Railways Board at the time of Railtrack’s vesting. Richard joined GNER in 1998, as Production Director, having previously been Production Director on LTS Rail.

Richard then performed the role of Development Director including leading on Franchise Bids and delivering GNER’s major Franchise investment commitment projects, including rolling stock/station remodelling schemes.

In December 2007, Richard became the Production Director of National Express East Coast, leading the transformation of operational performance for the business and the continued development of its timetable and fleet.

Immediately prior to joining DB Regio UK in February 2010, Richard was the National Express Project Director for the Intercity Express Programme with responsibility for ensuring that these DfT procured trains entered service successfully without impact on the East Coast Franchise.

Richard was Chairman of ATOC’s Engineering Council a cross industry body looking at all aspects of railway rolling stock activity.

Since 1st April 2010, Richard has been Managing Director of DB Regio Tyne and Wear who operate Metro trains and stations on behalf of Nexus under a Concession Agreement. In this role Richard has been responsible for the launch of the new Concession and the ongoing deliver of all services to passengers on the Metro network.

In February 2012, Richard took up the role of Managing Director of Arriva’s Grand Central open access operator.

Richard was recently seconded to the role of Arriva’s Mobilisation Director preparing for the commencement of the new Northern Franchise but has now returned to Grand Central following the successful completion of that project.

Richard is married with two children.

Richard East

Richard EastChair 2016 - 2017
Chief Engineer, Atkins

Richard joined the rail industry straight from school and was sponsored by British Rail for the completion of his Mechanical Engineering degree at Birmingham University. 
He spent a couple of years in Scotland working on the operation and maintenance of their fleet of trains and then moved down to Derby to follow his interest in the technical aspects of trains.   This resulted in him being for a number of years the specialist engineer responsible for all issues associated with disc brakes on railway vehicles.  

He expanded his project engineering expertise by moving to Network South East business sector and was fully responsible for such projects as the environmental testing of class 465 EMUs at Vienna and the installation of Automatic Train Protection and other safety systems to the class 165 DMU fleet. 

His project management expertise developed through him managing all the engineering issues associated with procuring and introducing the first passenger EMU after rail privatisation, the class 365/5 dual voltage Networker Express. 

This period coincided with a transfer to Atkins which further broadened the opportunities for his project management skills across the whole rail system including managing design improvements to a busy London Underground station which included a number of heritage features.  

He has recently produced the technical description detailing the fleet options for the InterCity Express Programme, which has currently led to orders for 866 vehicles for both Great Western and East Coast routes.

Richard also spent two years working in Denmark on their ERTMS installation project where the whole country is to be fitted with a Level 2 ERTMS system.

He became involved with the Midlands Centre of the Railway Division as Secretary and Treasurer in 1987 and participated in a number of summer technical visits to broaden his knowledge and understanding of European rail systems. 

He expanded his interest in the Railway Division by joining the Board and chaired a number of seminars on sustainability in the rail industry.  He later became a Vice-Chairman with special responsibility for Communications and Railway Engineers Forum and has recently been awarded the Eur Ing qualification.

Christopher Kinchin-Smith

Chair 2015 - 2016

Chris Kinchin-Smith has been Managing Director of KS Transport Consultants Ltd since 2004.  His principal fee-earning work at present is as Project Director for the UK’s Long Term Passenger Rolling Stock Strategy.  This is published annually by a pan-industry group comprising rolling stock owners, train operators, Network Rail and the Rail Delivery Group.  He has undertaken a wide variety of railway-related consultancy assignments in the UK and overseas, both with his own company and previously with Booz Allen Hamilton in 1996 to 2001.

He joined British Rail in 1968 as an Engineering Scholarship student, and was sponsored through Nottingham University (BSc Mechanical Engineering, 1st Class Honours, 1968 to 1971).  Following a 15-month period with Voluntary Service Overseas teaching mechanical engineering to technicians in the Eastern province of Sri Lanka, he resumed his career with British Rail and progressed into increasingly senior roles in fleet maintenance management, with the then new fleets of InterCity 125 high speed trains, and with diesel and electric multiple-unit trains.  In 1989 he moved into strategic planning and general management with British Rail’s Network SouthEast business unit.  He was an Executive Director (responsible for the long distance routes and for operational performance) of the Strategic Rail Authority in 2001 to 2002, and has twice been a train operating company Managing Director, most recently with First Great Western in 2002 to 2004.  

He has been a committee member of the IMechE Railway Division’s (RD) SW Centre since 2005, becoming its Chairman for a three year period commencing in April 2012.  He has been a RD Board member since the same date, and Deputy Chairman of the RD since June 2014.  His main focus with the SW Centre has been to develop new synergies and relationships between the RD, the Universities and railway engineering employers in the SW Centre’s geographical area, and the other engineering institutions.  He is a member of the RD’s Skills Task Force and sees the promotion of railway engineering as a career to school and University students as being his highest single priority as Chairman of the RD.

His Chairman’s Address will be on the theme of “Growth and Transformation - The Opportunities and Challenges of Growth in Passenger Demand on Britain’s Railways”.

Chris Kinchin-Smith
Managing Director
KS Transport Consultants Ltd

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Simon Iwnicki

2014 - 2015

Christopher Moss

2013 - 2014

Bridget Eickhoff

2012 - 2013

William Reeve

2011 - 2012

Tim Dugher

2010 - 2011

Roger Goodall

2009 - 2010

Richard Lockett

2007 - 2008

Malcolm Dobell

2005 - 2006

Cliff Perry

2004 - 2005

Regional Centres

Railway Division has seven well-established regional centres in the UK. Each of these runs its own events programme:

Railway Division is developing its presence internationally, beginning with India:

Contact the relevant Centre Secretary from the list above, if you would like to receive information on the Railway Division activities taking place in your region. You will need to have your membership number to hand. 

Get in touch

Have a question or would like to get involved?

Contact our Governance and Engagement Team:

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