Andy Heath has today been named the new managing director of Merseyrail, succeeding Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde, who has been appointed the managing director of West Midlands Trains. Both Jan and Andy will begin their new jobs on 11 December 2017.
A lifelong railway man and born and bred in Liverpool, Andy has been at Merseyrail for twenty years. Most recently he has been the deputy managing director, a role he has held since 2012, as well as the operations director, since 2005. He joined the Liverpool-based rail operator in 1998 as the trains manager. Previously, he was a regional traincrew manager, based in Colchester, starting in the industry as a British Rail graduate trainee in 1987.
Andy has played a very important part in securing Merseyrail’s position as one the best performing UK rail businesses and was instrumental in developing and implementing the current Merseyrail concession, which began in 2003.
With the new fleet of Stadler trains set to be introduced by 2020 and other transformational projects well underway, Andy is taking the helm at a critical time in the present franchise.
Commenting on his new role Andy Heath said: ‘I am extremely pleased to be taking on this new position, having worked at Merseyrail over the last two decades. During this time, we have delivered one of the best performing franchises in the country – an achievement that I will endeavour to maintain under my stewardship.
‘My focus as managing director will be on three major projects: to deliver the new trains, modernise ticketing and improve customer facilities at our stations. This will not only drive Merseyrail’s success, but also support the ambitions of the Liverpool City Region.’
Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde said: ‘I have enjoyed my time at Merseyrail enormously. There’s a great team in place here, and staff are consistently willing to go the extra mile for the benefit of customers – I see this every day with my own eyes. Since the beginning of the concession in 2003, the business has been transformed. I’m now leaving it in the very capable hands of Andy Heath, who I know will see Merseyrail continue to go from strength to strength.’
Frank Rogers, chief executive at Merseytravel, said: ‘Jan has done an excellent job at pushing Merseyrail to the next level, having overseen a hugely successful period in the concession, which saw record high levels for performance, passenger satisfaction and fleet reliability. We wish him all the best for the future. Andy is a talented business leader, and I have every confidence that he will build on Jan’s success, providing seamless continuity and drawing on his experience in the rail sector, the city region and the Merseyrail business overall.’