David Horne, currently Managing Director of Stagecoach-owned East Midlands Trains, has been appointed to play a leading part in the mobilisation and transition arrangements for the new InterCity East Coast franchise. Stagecoach begins running the ICEC franchise on March 1 next year.
Horne takes up his new role next month and, subject to the commencement of the franchise award as envisaged, will become MD of Virgin Trains East Coast when the franchise starts.
Horne has more than 25 years experience in the rail industry, having started his career in 1988 as a ticket office clerk in Cornwall. He has also held senior positions within South West Trains and Virgin Trains.
Horne led the successful bid on behalf of Stagecoach for the EMT franchise in 2007. The 42-year old currently live in Nottinghamshire.
Martin Griffiths, Chief Executive of Stagecoach Group, said: “David has a wealth of experience of the railways which will be invaluable as we prepare to launch the new franchise.
“East Midlands Trains has been a great success, and I am very proud that under David’s leadership it has maintained an unbeaten record as the UK’s most punctual train operator and was recently named Passenger Operator of the Year.
"I would also like to pay tribute to Karen Boswell, who has been Managing Director at East Coast over the past five years. In challenging circumstances Karen has ably led a team of 3,000 committed employees and ensured we have a good platform for our future plans."
Horne said: “I feel very privileged to be given the opportunity to lead this major new franchise. I’ve travelled on East Coast on many occasions over the years and have seen first-hand the level of pride the team have and the focus on delivering a great service for customers.”
The new Virgin Trains East Coast franchise will start in March 2015 and is planned to run until March 31 2023, with the option for a one-year extension at the Department for Transport’s discretion. Trains will operate under the ‘Virgin Trains East Coast’ brand and the franchise will be managed by Inter City Railways, a venture between Stagecoach and Virgin. Plans are now well underway to ensure a smooth transition to the new franchise, and it has recently been confirmed that the Head Office will remain in York.
Jake Kelly has been appointed Managing Director Designate of EMT. He has previously worked as a director of the company and joins from the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance where he has worked since 2010 in the roles of Commercial Director, Customer Service Director and more recently as Development Director.