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New MD for Network Rail's Wales & Western Region

Network Rail has announced that Michelle Handforth has been appointed as the new managing director for the Wales & Western region. Michelle, currently the chief executive of Aberdeen Harbour Board, will join Wales & Western in the summer.

Michelle has had a wide-ranging international career in several sectors including aviation, rail, maritime, financial services and the oil and gas industry. She previously held roles at Great North Eastern Railways as commercial director and with First Group as a strategic lead on franchise bids. She brings with her over 20 years’ Board experience in customer service, safety, transport infrastructure and innovation.

Michelle Handforth said: “I’m delighted to be appointed as managing director of Wales & Western and to return to the rail industry at such a critical time. I look forward to working with colleagues and industry partners to welcome passengers back to the railway by providing the best possible service.”

Michelle was appointed Chief Executive of Aberdeen Harbour Board in 2018, having held leadership roles in several business sectors, including aviation, rail, maritime, financial services and the oil and gas industry. She was the Managing Director of Babcock Offshore Helicopters in Aberdeen; prior to this she was General Manager for Sydney Ferries, in Sydney, Australia.

Andrew Haines, chief executive of Network Rail said: “I’m pleased we could bring Michelle back into the rail industry. It’s been a difficult year and she’ll bring a fresh perspective to help us navigate through these challenging times.”

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