'A railway close to my heart': Mann in for Hopwood at SWR


Claire Mann has been appointed managing director of South Western Railway (SWR) with current MD Mark Hopwood returning to sister company GWR.

Ms Mann (pictured), who will take up the post early in 2021, has more than two decades of experience in the transport sector.


She is currently director of bus operations for Transport for London (TfL), responsible for the day-to-day running of the capital’s 9,200-strong bus fleet. She was previously director for Docklands Light Railway, also at TfL.

Ms Mann has also held roles as operations and safety director at Arriva Trains Wales; general manager east at the former First Great Western (now GWR) and customer service director at London Overground.

Mr Hopwood, who is currently interim managing director of SWR, will return to be MD of GWR on 4 January 2021. The role of MD at SWR will be covered by its chief operating officer, Mike Houghton, until Ms Mann joins.

She said: ‘This is a railway close to my heart and one that is vital for connecting so many diverse communities. I am passionate about delivering an excellent customer experience and building on the great work already underway to transform this railway.

‘People are the most important part of any successful operation and I am looking forward to meeting the teams and individuals across the SWR network.’

Steve Montgomery, MD of SWR majority shareholder First Rail, said: ‘Claire is well-placed to lead SWR as we continue our £1.2bn programme to transform the travelling experience for our customers.

‘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.’

He added: ‘I’d like to thank Mark Hopwood performing this important interim role over the past year.’


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